There’s something almost tangible about the warm, homey feel of Scandinavian Christmas décor. Its simple, organic nature just seems to exude the feeling we all want during the holiday season. What luck, then, that we can DIY some of that natural Scandinavian sweetness into our own Christmas tree ornaments.
This article will demonstrate how to make four different kinds of modern Scandinavian Christmas tree ornaments. The first two are similar and involve wooden balls. One incorporates wooden beads to make ornament wreaths. And the last uses string and chipboard to make Christmas tree ornaments.
We sincerely hope you enjoy slowing down and enjoying the simpler things this Christmas season. Perhaps these ornaments will help to that end.
Scandinavian White + Wooden Ball Ornaments
- 1” wooden balls (not beads; beads include pre-drilled holes, and you don’t want those)
- Tiny screw eyes
- White acrylic paint
- Foam brush
- String/thread for hanging ornaments
- Drill w/ tiny drill bit, thumbtack, and small disposable dipping bowl
Begin by drilling a small hole into your wooden ball. My smallest drill bit was slightly too big for the screw eyes, so I went just deep enough to give the screw eye a good start.
Within that drilled start, I placed a thick thumb tack to puncture the rest of the hole for the screw eye. (You might find it easier to simply purchase a tiny drill bit. But if you’re too lazy to change out of your pajamas to run to the hardware store, the drill bit/thumb tack route might be the way for you to go, too.)
Gently grip the screw eye with some pliers, and screw it into the hole you’ve prepared. I emphasize “gently,” because these tiny screw eyes can separate from their screw bases if torqued too hard with the pliers.
Screw the screw eye all the way down so the bottom of the eye touches the surface of the wooden ball.
Repeat for as many ornaments as you’re planning on making.
Now it’s time to color block the ornaments. Pour some white acrylic paint into a small, narrow disposable container. Make sure the paint is deep enough that you can get as much color blocking onto your ornament as you want. Grab the ornament and dip it however you want.
The object is to create as clean of a circumference line as you can. In other words, the edge of the white part should be as straight and even as possible.
Place your ornament, paint side up, on some old papers.
Another way you can dry these is to hang them on a wire…or even your drill bit. Just try not to let the white paint touch anything and smear.
Repeat the process for all your wooden ornaments. If you pull the ornament up out of the paint and find too much paint, use your foam brush to wipe any excess drips away. Just be sure to avoid the circumference paint line if at all possible.
When they’re all completely dry, cut 5”-6” of string, thread, yarn, or whatever you want, thread it through the screw eyes, and tie.
All done! They look so sweet.
I just love these wooden and white ornaments in all their Scandinavian simplicity.
Copper, White, & Wooden Ball Ornaments
Before you add the threads, take some of your wooden + white ball ornaments and set them aside. We’re going to add a gorgeous copper element to them. The only thing you’ll need for this tutorial that’s different than the previous tutorial is, of course, copper acrylic paint.
Pour some copper paint into your small, narrow, disposable plastic container. (Tip: I recommend narrow containers because it wastes less paint; ideally, your container would be just millimeters wider than your ball, so there’s not tons of excess around the sides each time you dip a ball.)
Taking into account where the white color block is (and even where any unevenness or smudges along the white paint circumference might be, so you can hide them), dip your wooden ornaments again, this time into the copper paint.
Set them aside, and let the copper paint dry completely.
Cut and thread your hanging string (or whatever you’re using) through the screw eye, and tie.
I really love the boost that copper gives, in a lovely organic way, to these simple ornaments.
Scandinavian Wooden Bead Wreath Ornaments
For this simple DIY ornament project, you’ll need some bracelet memory wire (which is wire that’s coiled, so it retains its round shape). This example uses 0.025” (or 0.655mm) round “large bracelet” memory wire. Use wire cutters to cut a full circle with about 1/2″ overlap. You can err on cutting it too long, if you’d like, because you can always trim it down later.
Using some roundnose jewelry pliers, twist one end of your wreath into a tight circle.
Thread your wooden beads (this example uses 16mm beads) onto the other side of your memory wire.
Add as many beads as you want until you have enough on the wire to make a tight wreath. Leave at least 1/2″ on the end of your wire so you can create the second loop.
For this second loop, use your round nose pliers to create a circle, but create this one perpendicular to the first loop. Here is where you’ll trim off any excess memory wire.
This photo illustrates the different loop directions. If it helps, think of one as vertical and the other as horizontal.
You should have two loops ready to hook together.
Hook the loops together, then pinch down on them with needle nose pliers.
Viola! A beautifully simple wooden wreath ornament.
These ornaments are lovely. They are a little more visual, simply because they’re bigger, than the wooden ball ornaments we did previously.
Their raw wooden Scandinavian appeal is a perfect complement to almost any Christmas tree decoration.
Who doesn’t love a mini wooden wreath?!
Scandinavian String Tree Ornaments
- Light cardboard (such as chipboard or cereal box cardboard)
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Embroidery floss
- Glue dots
- Double sided permanent tape (such as photo tape)
- White acrylic paint + foam brush
Begin by cutting your chipboard to the height of tree you want. This example shows trees that are 5-1/2” tall and 1-3/4” along the bottom. Because my chipboard was the size of standard paper (8-1/2”x11”), I simply cut a piece of chipboard in half.
Next, measure and mark every 1-3/4” along one long side of your chipboard (as shown by the top of this photo). Then, starting from the same end, measure and mark 7/8” in from the other long side of the chipboard, then 1-3/4” after that. If you don’t have a paper cutter, use a ruler to draw lines for diagonals (as shown by the dotted lines).
Slide your chipboard into your paper cutter, line up the markings to create diagonals for the triangular tree shape, and cut.
Turn the paper to align the tip marking with the other base marking, then cut. You should have a minimalist modern triangular Christmas tree shape. (Feel free to tweak the dimensions however you want, to suit what you like.)
Continue cutting in this way until you have as many chipboard Christmas trees cut out as you want. Or double the number you want. Because you’re indecisive like that.
Lay your triangles out onto some old papers that can be painted on. (Hello, Ikea catalog. You continue to be good to me.) Throw some white acrylic paint onto a disposable surface, grab your foam brush, and lightly paint the tree triangles.
You don’t want to use so much paint that it starts to warp or wrinkle your chipboard. Let the paint dry completely, then flip over all the tree triangles and paint the backs. Let these dry completely as well.
With your white chipboard trees dry, it’s time to start stringing your ornaments. Grab your double sided permanent photo tape, and stick it on your trees.
Because you don’t need a ton of tape, you can apply it on the edge so half will go on one side of the triangle, and half will go on the other after folding it over.
You can lay out your tape however you want, but I found it most effective to do all the edges (folding the tape over the sides) and down the middle. (Shown in a highly visually effective diagram in red on this photo.)
Next, cut about 2” worth of white string, clear fishing line, or whatever you are planning on using for the ornament hook. Fold the string in half, and stick the ends onto the tape on the tip of your tree so a loop sticks out the top.
Next, apply a glue dot on one side of your tree at the point where you want the base color of your tree to transition to the white snowy tip. Stick the end of your white floss onto part of the glue dot (try not to cover the whole thing up, because you’ll need to stick two other ends of floss onto this piece as well), then start wrapping parallel to your tree base.
Wrap around and around, taking care to check both sides to make sure your floss is aligned, even, and straight. Try not to touch any exposed tape on the base of the tree if you can. Periodically, every four or five wraps, press the wrapped floss onto the tape beneath it to secure it in place.
You can wrap the floss quite tightly together here, or you can leave spaces. With the white floss, I found it more efficient (and equally pretty) to leave the slightest gaps between floss wraps.
When you get near the tip of your tree, continue wrapping and maintaining your flat, even lines. Wrap all the way up to the tip of the tree, even though it might be hard to see because it’s painted white, and your floss is white, and you’ve attached white string/floss there in a loop already.
Once you hit the tip, begin backtracking in your wrapping down the tree. Only go about an inch or so down, then pause for a second.
You’ll want to secure this second layer of floss. Do this by attaching a length of your photo tape down the tree, over your floss, and onto the bare base of the tree. Flip your triangle over, and apply tape down this side of your triangle as well.
With your two new pieces of tape attached to your first layer of floss, continue wrapping downward toward the base of your tree.
When you get to your starting point (e.g., the glue dot), attach your floss to the glue dot and cut it.
You’re done with the top of your tree. Looks good!
I hope you still have a little stickiness left on your glue dot, because this is where you’re going to attach the start of your tree’s base color of floss. Attach it, then wrap in the same way toward the base of your tree.
When you reach the base of your tree, pause for a minute. Again, you’ll want to secure the second layer of floss with some photo tape. Lay two pieces of photo tape from the very top of your base color (press the end of the tape underneath the last white floss wrap, if you can), around the base of the tree, and up the opposite side to the top of the base color on that side. Do this two or three times along your base color.
Then continue wrapping your base color, this time from the very bottom of your tree upward toward the transition point.
When you get to the transition point, you should have a bit of base tape exposed. Cut your floss to end ever so slightly after the far side of this tape.
Attach the end of your floss to the tape (each of the six strands, if possible), and press any ends underneath the wrapped floss.
Done! It looks wonderful.
These simple string trees are awesome because they are so inherently minimalist-modern, with their slim triangular shape and color blocking.
They look Scandinavian as well, due to the coloring and simple style.
I love the white tree tops combined with other “earthy” colors at the base. This is a nice way to vary the natural colors of other Scandinavian style ornaments without going too crazy.
These would make a great homemade Christmas gift idea, too.
Here are some of the DIY Scandinavian ornaments, hanging in their natural habitat.
I can’t get enough of their modern, homey simplicity.