Make beautiful DIY photo ornaments from your Christmas cards with this simple tutorial. This Christmas card craft is a great way to remember the holiday cards you send each year (or those you receive) by hanging them on the tree as plastic, durable ornaments that can be used year after year.
I love taking family Christmas photos, picking the perfect family picture, then choosing a Christmas card design to go with the photo each year.
There’s a lot of time and money that goes into my holiday cards every year, so I came up with a way to memorialize our family Christmas cards each year… by turning them into photo ornaments!
These DIY photo Christmas ornaments are made out of a hard, durable plastic that will last for many years.
Look complicated? It’s easy!
You can make these DIY photo ornaments in just minutes, and it really couldn’t be easier.
The secret ingredient is printable Shrinky Dinks!
I’m sharing the simple directions and make a set of photo ornaments for yourself or to give as gifts to grandma and grandpa, cousins, and more.
I buy my holiday cards each year from Minted, because I just love their high quality, beautiful cards.
Keep reading for a great deal from Minted on your cards this year!
Thank you to Minted for sponsoring this post. Post contains affiliate links, which means I get a very small percentage at no extra cost to you if a purchase is made. Thanks for your support!
DIY Photo Ornaments (Made from Christmas Cards)
- Photo Christmas cards (My cards came from Minted and I LOVE them!)
- Printable Shrinky Dinks
- Hot glue
- Thin ribbon
Scanning and printing your card
First you will need to scan the card that you would like to turn into an ornament.
My printer is also a scanner, so I scanned my family’s Christmas card and saved it.
When using Shrinky Dinks with an inkjet printer, it’s important that you make your photo or picture about 50% lighter.
When the printable Shrinky Dinks bake the design will get much darker, so this is why you must make your scan much lighter.
You can do this in Photoshop, Lightroom, or even using free editing software online.
I used PicMonkey and lightened my photo up.
After saving my lighter Christmas card photo, I imported it into Pages (you could use Word or anything else too) to fit two of my 5 x 7″cards in an 8.5 x 11″ format.
Next I printed the page onto the Shrinky Dinks for Inkjet on the best quality and glossy photo paper setting.
Once the page was printed, I cut around each ornament with scissors.
Next time I’m going to use a paper cutter because although I thought my cutting was good, you can see that the finished ornaments aren’t perfectly straight.
Not a huge deal, but easy to fix for next time.
Baking your photo ornaments
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Place your cut cards that printed onto Shrinky Dinks paper on top.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, then bake your DIY photo ornaments.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be watching the oven intently while they bake, and you might even have a mini heart attack as they curl and move, thinking that they are ruined.
Be patient! Eventually the photo cards will flatten out.
Leave them in the oven for about 30 seconds after they flatten, then carefully remove the baking sheet with a hot pad.
The photo ornaments should be pretty flat, but if they aren’t perfect, you can also use a spatula to gently press down on them right when they come out of the over to flatten them.
Just be careful because you don’t want to smear the ink.
Your Christmas cards will now be 1/3 the size that they were, and 9 times thicker!
Aren’t they pretty amazing?
Adding a ribbon to your DIY photo ornaments
The last step is to cut small pieces of thin ribbon, then use hot glue to attach each one to the back of the Christmas card photo ornaments in a loop.
I made a few of these DIY photo ornaments with this year’s Christmas cards, and I plan on using some of our photo cards from each previous Christmas and turn those into photo ornaments too.
Whether you make these for your family Christmas tree or to give to relatives or even add to presents, they are a great way to remember family, and all of the joy and magic of the Christmas season.
Why I order my holiday cards from Minted
Minted sells such beautiful, high quality holiday cards, which is why I choose them each year for my family’s cards. Their holiday cards are designed from independent artists around the globe, and there is style to fit everyone!
The minted envelope is a favorite Minted feature. I uploaded my contacts into my Minted address book a few years ago.
This makes it easy to get FREE custom envelopes, styled to match my card design.
See how the pretty greenery on my envelopes matches my cards?
AND how my cards are beautifully addressed to my friends and family without me having to write anything?!
Such a time and stress saver!
You can even buy personalized stamps that match your cards and envelopes, which I love.