Growing up, we each made at least one Christmas ornament a year. Usually more, but at least one. It was always fun decorating the tree and seeing ornaments from the past. Then when we were off on our own, we had a whole tree worth of ornaments all our own!
Now that I’m the mom, I want to keep the tradition alive, but we don’t always have time for crafting. My new favorite tradition is wish list ornaments! Y’all these are adorable and SO much fun to look at my kids’ interests from year to year! But even if you don’t do Santa or wish lists, you can tweak this and let your kiddos draw a picture to turn into a tiny ornament. My kids have drawn our family, the nativity, and even reindeer!
Buckle up, here we go!
So we Elf hard in my house, I love that little elf! And honestly, where I got this idea!
But don’t let that be the turn off, just hear me out. So Elf on the Shelf has these adorable Elf on the Shelf Letters to Santa that come with a book (surprise), blank letters, ribbons, markers, & a Mrs. Claus mat. As awesome as this kit is, I didn’t have the cash that year to invest, so I decided to DIY!
- I hopped on every mom’s favorite shopping site, hello Amazon, and bought a package of Shrinky Dinks papers!
- Once they were in, I traced out a border in red sharpie to make it similar to the ones I’d seen online & punched a hole at the top.
- Then our elf brought them the next day!
The kids were thrilled! They filled out their requests & returned their lists to our Elf’s shelf! That night, she shrunk the lists down, flew them to the Jolly Red Man and then flew them back to hang on our tree! (If you do Elf, this knocks out TWO days! You’re welcome!)
Now, obviously, you don’t have to Elf in order to do this. Just order your Shrinky Dinks and follow steps 1 & 2! The kids can even watch the shrinking! Follow the directions of whatever sheets you order, usually it’s about 320° for 5 minutes. I usually sandwich our Shrinky Dinks between two sheets of butcher paper & lay a silicone mat on top (this helps your list from curling up as it shrinks but isn’t required)! Then thread some string, yarn, or ribbon and you have the sweetest keepsake (just a reminder punch the hole BEFORE shrinking)! Even if your kiddos can’t write yet, let them scribble, or draw pictures! You can write their actual wishes on the back with the date if you choose.
Don’t do Elf? Don’t do Santa? Don’t worry!
You can still take advantage of this keepsake craft! Grab those Shrinky Dinks and cut out rounded shapes (this is important as once they shrink, straight edges are pretty much shiv material). And let your kids go to town! Mine have drawn family portraits, nativity scenes, wreaths, trees, hand prints, the list goes on! Then shrink them up! These also make adorable gifts for grandparents!