Top 10 Popsicle-Stick Christmas Ornament Crafts

Updated on January 7, 2016

Each year as Christmas approaches we search for homemade Christmas ornament ideas for our yearly ornament project. This year I've put my favorites together here in this article. We've also come up with a few ideas of our own.

Crafting plain popsicle sticks, also called craft sticks, into hand-made ornaments is a fun project for our entire family. We enjoyed making these cute ornaments from wooden craft sticks, paint, and glue.

1. Toy Soldier Popsicle-Stick Ornament

Jumbo craft sticks plus mini craft sticks can make a cute soldier. We were inspired by another toy soldier ornament we've had for a very long time. I looked at other pictures online to get ideas for colors. I wasn't going to paint his hands (leaving them the color of wood), but messed up and painted them red by accident. Soooo, I had the idea of painting them white like white gloves. I think it turned out OK.

The body is made from a jumbo craft stick, the arms are mini sticks, and the hat is a 3/4" end piece from a jumbo craft stick.

At the last minute, I added a thin stripe of lighter blue between the bottom of the pants leg and the black boot. The colors were both dark and needed some sort of separation.

2. Popsicle-Stick Airplane Ornaments

a.  Airplane made from round clothespin and craft sticks
a. Airplane made from round clothespin and craft sticks

Make these using a clothespin, jumbo craft sticks, and a mini stick for the propeller.

This blog is one of the neatest things I've seen in my life. I called everyone over to the computer to look at the amazing little World War I airplanes this blogger is making from clothespins and popsicle sticks. He even gives a peek here (near the bottom of the page) at his process for making a few different miniatures.You won't believe the detail.

I took a spin off of this gentleman's idea to make a few airplane ornaments out of three different types of clothespins, plus jumbo craft sticks. In photo a) I used a round clothespin, for b) I used a flat clothespin, and for c) I used a traditional spring-loaded pin with the spring removed and the two halves glued together. I just want to mention quickly that depending on how the prop is glued on, the plane may not sit on a flat surface. You can see in the picture where I angled the prop, it keeps the plane from sitting flat. This won't matter for an ornament, but might for other uses.

b.  Airplane made from flat clothespin. c.  Airplane made from spring clothespin.
b. Airplane made from flat clothespin. c. Airplane made from spring clothespin.

To hang these airplanes, I found very small eye screws at Hobby Lobby (a local craft store). They are labeled "screw eyes 3 x 12 mm". To hang the planes level, the best place for the screw is just behind the top wing, or at the very edge of it. I had to use a sharp object to make a tiny starter hole.

Eye screws
Eye screws

3. Popsicle-Stick Sled Ornament

This one comes from an awesome crafter over at Instructables. It looks just like a tiny sled—so cute! This crafter gives wonderful instructions and pictures. The only thing I wasn't sure about was if the points on the sled runners should be up (against the sled) or down (against the ground/snow). I looked at pictures of old sleds, but couldn't find the right angle to see the bottom to know. I put the point down against the snow and I think what I did is right.

After making two of these I have to agree with the crafter that painting the pieces first is the way to go. If you try to paint it afterward, you realize there are parts of the sled that are hard to reach after it's glued together, especially where one piece is over another. We love this sled ornament, and wrote the year on the side of a runner in white paint.

How to Cut Craft Sticks

Crafts sticks can be cut with regular scissors. The scissors need to be the heavy duty kind

(not the $1 kind). Sometimes I like to

snip the corners for a nice finished edge.

4. Craft-Stick Christmas Ornament Candy-Cane Sign

Where's the North Pole? Two miles that way! This idea comes from Mrs. Ritenour's Class. I don't know Mrs. Ritenour, but stumbled across her webpage online and now wish I had been in her class. The kids' crafts displayed in her room make me want to try each and every one.

This ornament is so simple, yet perfectly colorful and festive. It's a cute candy-cane-decorated sign with directions to the North Pole. Mrs. Ritenour and students used white foam paper for the sign, but I didn't have any, so I'm using some other paper I had in my craft supplies. And I cut the jumbo craft stick at 5 inches (with heavy-duty scissors) so it would have a flat bottom.

I think even very young children can make this one. Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas, Mrs. Ritenour! I hope kids from her class stop by and say hello.

5. Snowman Popsicle-Stick Ornament

Snowman Ornament Craft made from Popsicle Sticks
Snowman Ornament Craft made from Popsicle Sticks

There are many versions of this one. I put together my own version of this cute snowman using what I had on hand.

The body is a jumbo craft stick and the hat brim is a section out of a regular size popsicle stick. Usually pop stick snowmen have black hats, but for mine I chose blue. I remembered I had some blue ribbon I got on sale after Christmas last year with pretty snowflakes on it. Honestly, this particular ribbon was difficult to tie because it was too wide. I ended up folding it in half to make it narrower and gluing down the ends to make them stay. I'm happy with the results. But I think felt strips would work much better—especially with kids.


I use lots of brands of acrylic paints:

usually whatever is on sale in a 2-ounce bottle.

Paint dries very quickly on craft sticks.

6. Nutcracker Ornament Made with Popsicle Sticks

Make these in any color you like; we used blue and green.My 13-year-old daughter and I came up with this one using one of the nutcrackers in her room for inspiration. These ornaments are more detailed and take more time and care than some of the others, but we love them and would make them again.

How we did it: After we glued them and they dried, I lightly sketched lines on the wood to show color placement. Then we added one color at a time. Thankfully acrylic paint dries very fast on the craft sticks so we didn't have to wait in between colors. We simply chose colors that weren't touching for the next color. The trickiest part was the face and mouth. The mouth is white paint, which we let dry, and then outlined in red ultra fine marker for the traditional Nutcracker "teeth." The gold sequins were actually an afterthought, but made all the difference (in our opinion).

Materials: one jumbo stick and three regular craft sticks, cut and glued as shown below.

Cutting pieces for nutcracker ornament
Cutting pieces for nutcracker ornament
(left) Unpainted assembled ornament. (right) Miniature clothespin ornament and the real thing.
(left) Unpainted assembled ornament. (right) Miniature clothespin ornament and the real thing.

7. Santa Ornament Made From Craft Sticks

(left) Craft-stick Santa ornament.  (right) Cardboard backing for ornament.
(left) Craft-stick Santa ornament. (right) Cardboard backing for ornament.

Here's a Santa Claus with hat and beard, made from mini craft sticks. The link for this craft is no longer available :(. Anyway, it turned out really very cute we think. This design takes a little planning with the cardboard background (you'll see what I mean).

For mine, I didn't have any face ("flesh") colored paint, so I glued down a small piece of paper that was about the right color. For the cheeks we used a Q-tip dipped in some blush make-up. We like the pinkish cheeks.

You have to make a cardboard background for this ornament (see picture at right). If I were making these with kids, I would make a template for the cardboard for the kids to use.

8. Snowflake Ornament From Craft Sticks

Popsicle-stick snowflake
Popsicle-stick snowflake

Here you stack the craft sticks in a snowflake pattern. Using two different colors of blue was a complete accident! But I love the depth it gave this snowflake ornament. This is quite simple and can be layered with as many popsicle sticks as you like. We painted all the craft sticks first. We used three regular-size sticks, one horizontal and two vertical sandwiching the horizontal one and glued them together. Then we added two mini sticks in an "X" shape on each side, and finished with a final horizontal mini on each side. We found the snowflake embellishments at a craft store.

The pictures show how we layered the sticks.

Popsicle Sticks

are called lollipop or lolly-pop sticks in the United Kingdom.

9. Frame Ornament Made From Mini Craft Sticks

(left) Mini craft sticks make a nice small frame.  (right) Back of the frame.
(left) Mini craft sticks make a nice small frame. (right) Back of the frame.

9. Frame Ornament Made From Mini Craft Sticks

There's so much that can be done with this simple idea. Add photos, images from old greeting cards, or original artwork. A picture of a child, or a small piece of artwork made by a child, looks super.

We cut this colorful penguin out of an old Christmas card and used it for the decoration. In my mind I can imagine an entire Christmas tree covered with these little frames from a classroom or Sunday-school project.

We used mini craft sticks so the frame is only about 2½ inches square. I think next time I'll use two mini sticks and two regular craft sticks and make a rectangle so it's tall and narrow. I think that would look VERY neat with a tall, thin image.

10. Craft-Stick-and-Clothespin Reindeer

Sooooo adorable! This one comes from Crafts For All Seasons. I've seen similar reindeer, but I think this one is especially cute. The googly eyes (approx. 5 mm size) and red pom-pom nose are the perfect touches. The instructions show how to make a cute bell necklace for the reindeer, but I didn't have a small bell so I left it off. I'll add one as soon as I can.

The only difficult thing about this one is painting it; everything else is very quick. In the picture, I see where I missed some spots on the inside of the clothespin.

Penguin Popsicle-Stick Ornament (Bonus)

11. Penguin (Bonus)

I know this article is labeled as "10 ideas," but I just came up with this new idea and wanted to add it too. Here's a penguin popsicle-stick ornament. For the body, use a jumbo stick with the bottom end cut off straight. And for the wings, cut each end off of a regular size stick: about 1¼ inches long apiece. Then snip off just a little of the corners of the wings so they will fit closer together on the back (you can see this in the picture).

We used black and white paint, and after the white paint dried, we used an orange permanent marker over it for the beak and feet.

Which Is Your Favorite? Please Vote and Let Me Know Which One You Like the Most

Which popsicle stick ornament is your favorite out of the 10 listed here?

See results

Do You Think You May Use Any of These Ideas? Please Let Me Know...

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    • profile image

      joshua howden 

      2 years ago

      i love these amazing decorations

    • profile image

      linda welling 

      5 years ago

      how cute ,quick and so simple to make for gift giving or tie ons for your holiday packages..going to start making them this week of november 17,2014..happy holidays to all..

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Innovative! Nice lens! - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

    • kabbalah lm profile image

      kabbalah lm 

      7 years ago

      Never thought of it. Cute stuff

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Most definitely! I searched high & low and these are by far the best & exactly the type, skill level, and style I had in mind. I plan to use these when my un-laws are over Christmas Day. Every year we each make a homemade ornament for the tree & it's a great way to interact. Thank you & Happy Holidays

    • DearReview profile image


      7 years ago

      I remember making these when I was little! Thanks for taking me back!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 

      7 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Some great ideas for the grandkids! Thanks so much! :-)

    • lilymom24 profile image


      7 years ago

      Haven't done popsicle stick crafts with the kids in a long time and these cute craft ideas bring back memories. My favorite is the snowflake. =)

    • puzzlerpaige profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you very much for your nice comments. The idea to write the names and years on the ornaments is really neat. And to have a little part of people from your community is priceless.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm helping to coordinate the holiday open house for an art-inspired community center in my neighborhood. At the open house this year we are going to have kids make one of these ornaments, put their name/year on it and hang it on our tree. Throughout the years, the tree will show the historical archives of the people in our community. Thanks so much for the ideas/instructions on this page--it is a life saver for a non-crafty person like me:)

    • profile image


      8 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great ideas. I've made a few of these over the years--eating popsicles is a great side benefit.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, Good Idea ,thanks

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      They are also called "paddle pop sticks" in Australia. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Cool ideas! I LOVE making ornaments and I love crafts! Squid-liked. Please check out my lens 101 things to do with ribbon. Hugs :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I will show your lens to my little daughter, she loves making crafts.

      Thanks for your great information!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      These are too cute! Very nice lens!

    • savenlives profile image


      8 years ago

      very cute!!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      8 years ago from Vermont

      I'm saving these ideas! I've seen the photo frame and sled ornaments but some of these are nifty and new to me. I really LOVE the airplane made with clothespins and craft sticks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow ... what a really neat crafty idea ... I can see using these are bookmarks in a heartbeat!

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 

      9 years ago from Corona, CA

      I think I made some of these as a kid! Terrific lens!

    • Rita-K profile image


      9 years ago

      What fun! I may have to go hijack a kid and make a few!

    • javr profile image


      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I bet the children love making these. This lens has been blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • hotbrain profile image


      9 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      These are GREAT! Ornaments that I could make :) Angel blessed! This really is a terrific lens....

    • profile image

      nosajreef lm 

      9 years ago

      I just hung some of these same style ornaments on the tree my kids made years ago good memories nice lens

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      9 years ago from So Cal

      You are a lifesaver. My ornament that is to be with me at a party in 6 hours is not dry. Then I discovered your lens, which by the way I am blessing for having what I want, with the Popsicle sticks and now I can go with a completed ornament for the exchange.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I am going to use your airplane ornament for my cub scout Christmas party next week. Every year I bring an ornament craft for the kids to make for their Christmas tree at home and you have given me a fantastic one to make with them this year. Thank you so much!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      9 years ago from United States

      As always, a very creative article. I loved all of the ideas. Totally fabulous!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Now that I've seen the photos, I remember making these in art class when I was a kid. Nice work!

    • Timewarp profile image


      9 years ago from Montreal

      One xmas I made 2 whole armies out of old fashioned wooden clothes pegs, felt and gold ribbon for my brother :)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      9 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Love these ornaments. You are so clever.


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