Handmade Christmas Star Ornament With Surprise Inside

When decorating my Christmas tree each year I always like to make a few new unique handmade Christmas ornaments.

Paper Star Christmas Ornament to Make  Name on ornament says Mandy.

This year I made one using scrapbook paper that has a surprise gift inside. Make a few, one for each family member as well as to give as gifts to friends.


On Christmas morning all the presents don’t have to be under the tree, they can also be hung from the tree… This star is an ornament, but it is also a gift in itself!

It’s made by sewing together paper with a small gift or money sandwiched inside. If you don’t have a sewing machine, no problem, you can use glue instead to make the ornament.

Brown paper star ornament that is glittered and had the name Kelly on it.

When I was growing up, my mom used to place money or lottery tickets in change-purse ornaments and hung them on the tree after my siblings and I went to bed on Christmas eve.

On Christmas morning, we always enjoyed searching the tree to find the one with our name on it.

Since I don’t have the change-purse ornaments anymore, these paper stars take their place.

You can start a new tradition for your family and make them every year for each family member. It is fun to go on a hunt around the tree to have one last gift to open after all the presents under the tree have been opened.

Handmade Christmas Star Ornament with Surprise gift inside

Once they find theirs, they can rip it open to find a small present inside. I have placed jewelry and money in the ones that I made, but anything small will work.

Handmade Christmas Star Ornament with Surprise gift inside

Adding some glitter and a few jingle bells transforms the paper star into a festive decoration. You can add a gift tag to write the recipient’s name on or…

Glitter star ornament made using scrapbook paper card stock.

…use a marker and write the name right on the star before adding glitter.

Christmas star paper ornament to make using scrapbook paper. It gets ripped open on Christmas morning to find a small gift inside.

I also made one using scrapbook paper and put a silver bead over the ornament hook.

various types of paper that can be used to make the star Christmas ornaments.

The ornament can be made using any type of paper that fits your style… kraft paper, gift wrap, leftover wallpaper, sheet music, maps and even the paper from a lunch bag.

How to Make a Christmas Star Ornament That Has a Surprise Gift Inside

Handmade Christmas Star Ornament supples needed

supplies needed:

  • Kraft paper or any decorative paper
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Star template – *link below*
  • Scissors
  • Glitter and tray
  • Spray glue
  • Paper hole punch
  • Ornament hanger
  • Jingle bells and/or beads
  • Optional: Glue for No-Sew version
Handmade Christmas Star Ornament template that you can use to make to fill with a small gift to hang on a Christmas tree.

*Free printable star and label template:

Handmade Christmas Tree Star Ornament Surprise Gift Package

Cutting out the star template on paper.
  1. Save the star printable on your computer and print out star and label printable to make a template. Cut out.
Cardboard star cut out to use as tracing pattern.

2. If making more than one ornament, trace the shapes onto a piece of cardboard. This will hold up to repetitive tracing.

3. Layer two pieces of paper together, trace the star template on top and cut through both layers.

Sewing the star.

4. Using any color thread you like, sew the star shape together using a long stitch. Don’t sew closed, leave two sides open so you can place the gift inside.

Gift wrapped package that goes into star ornament before being sewn closed.

5. Wrap the small gift with tissue paper and ribbon.

Placing surprise gift inside star before sewing closed.

6. Place inside the opening on the star.

Filled star.

7. Sew star closed.  Back stitch where you start and end to hold the stitches in place. Don’t worry if your stitches are not perfect. When you add the glitter it will hide any imperfections.

Two sewn stars on worktable.

8. Use a paper hole punch to make a hole in one point on the star.

Sprinkling glitter on one star ornament.

9. Go outside and spray both sides of the star with spray glue. Bring back inside and hold over a tray.  Sprinkle glitter all over the star and shake excess into the tray.  This keeps glitter from getting all over everything and allows you to pour the excess back into the jar.

Glittered paper star Christmas ornament hanging on tree.

10. Place a bead or jingle bells over an ornament hook. Place end of hook through punched hole in star and hang.

Variation for Non-Sewers

Gluing star ornament closed instead of sewing.

Instead of using a sewing machine, use glue. It will work, but it will just take some patience as you will have to wait for it to dry before you can place the small gift inside.

Scrapbook paper star ornament with silver bead hanging from Christmas tree.

More Creative Christmas Ornaments to Make:

Now that your Christmas tree is festively decorated, are there any more Christmas decorating projects in your near future?

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  1. I have made these ornaments before but I was taught to put stuffing (fiberfill) in them. We used them year after year. It’s such a cool idea to actually put presents inside them.

  2. REBECCA PLATT says:

    OK. These are just two cute. But where did you get the pinecone scrapbook paper. I’ve not seen it anywhere.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rebecca –

      I have had the scrapbook paper for a few years. It came in a tablet collection of Christmas patterns from Martha Stewart Crafts. It was sold at Michaels. They still may have it. One side is the pinecones, the other side has a green background also, but has white Christmas trees.

  3. I LOVE your ornaments. Such a cute idea. Made with fabric and a little stuffing would be cute ornaments. Gives me an idea for holiday crafting with the grandkids. Oooh, I can’t wait. Thank you for this post!

  4. DIY Home Sweet Home says:

    I love this idea!! Would love for you to stop by and link this up to More The Merrier Monday.


  5. This is just so adorable! Pinned and sharing today!

  6. Atta Girl Amy says:

    What a clever way to package a gift! I’d love to find something like this hidden on my tree!

  7. Love the idea of the surprise inside the ornament! My kids will love this!

  8. Kristi Dominguez says:

    This is ADORABLE! I love the surprise inside. And, as weird as it sounds, I really enjoy sewing paper…it’s a nice change! Super cute patterns.

  9. Laura @ Inspiration for Moms says:

    I love this with the hidden gift inside! It’s like the ornament that keeps on giving! Genius!

  10. Oh my gosh this is simply gorgeous and I love all the elements you combined!

  11. Lindsay Eidahl says:

    Love this ornament. The kids would love to make these!

  12. Holly LaRock says:

    Such A GREAT idea! I am so going to use this idea!

  13. Diane these are just darling!!

  14. Lisa at celebrate creativity says:

    Diane, this is such an ingenious ornament. First it’s as cute as can be and second, I love the little gift inside.

    It’s almost too adorable to tear open but I love the idea.

    What a nice surprise.

  15. Kerryanne says:

    What fun!! I love this ornament and seeing the earrings inside has inspired me to have a secret ‘surprise’ gift on the tree for my own daughters. They will love this too!!

  16. kim jones says:

    These are amazing, I love this idea and want to do it asap!!!

  17. Mary Beth says:

    This is one of my favorite homemade ornaments ever! I am going to use your idea and make these for my family this year. Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. Love this ornament, it is so beautiful with all the sparkle!

  19. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Oh how great! I can make lot’s of them, but stuffed with tissue, just for ornaments my felines can’t shatter. And some that are for gals and some for guys (for unexpected drop by guests) and some for just for extras.

    Still afraid to try lights again. Sapphire Kitty not only took down the rope, but broke all the glass balls AND tore the lights down, but she also took all those tiny light bulbs out of those tiny sockets!!!

    This is the only way to go for me. Thank you so much!!!

  20. Richella Parham says:

    This is a GREAT idea! What a fun way to decorate and to wrap up a special little gift. Makes me think of the original lyrics to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: “Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree. . . .”

    Thanks for the great instructions!

  21. Thenmozhi says:

    very informative & different one…. i lke it
    I would like to share the information

  22. Stephanie says:

    What beautiful packaging for a surprise gift!

  23. I love this idea! My mom used to do the same thing, but she used plain white envelopes. Your stars are so much sweeter. I am definitely doing this. :) Thanks!

  24. Maryann @ Domestically Speaking says:

    What a sweet gift idea… love that hidden gift!

  25. I absolutely love this idea and plan on making them!!
    Thank you for this great idea and something new and different :)

  26. Absolutely love your idea of the ornament! I’m a bit confused though, when does the “tour” start? I’ve clicked on several of the bloggers you have linked but there is nothing about holiday ornaments. Would love to see more….

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Francy – Sorry I didn’t explain better how the tour works. Every day this month a blogger will post their ornament. Oct 1 – 31. So if today is Oct 18th, the blogger for Day 18 will post. I have just updated all the links up until today. To take the tour. Start with the Day 1 blogger and move on through the days in order. Any blogger listed after the current day will not have posted yet. At the end of the month, every blogger will have posted. I hope this makes sense. :-) Thanks for reading and taking the tour.

  27. Oh Diane! This is such a special ornament. I love the idea of making a game out of finding a tiny gift after the ornament has graced the tree for decoration. I’ll be making some of these this year! Thanks so much for sharing. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  28. I love this! Thank you for the great idea.

  29. Hi Diane,

    This is a great idea. Especially since most of my family, children, nieces and nephews are all older and all they want is money or gift cards. Makes it a little more special.

  30. This is such a good idea! I can imagine children or grandchildren searching for their name on the tree and anticipating opening their ornament on Christmas day. They also would look great as a package topper that contains a bonus gift.

  31. Very cute and original. I love this.

  32. I love this idea! Thank you for sharing it!

  33. Hi Diane!!! It’s been FOREVER since I’ve been in touch with you! I’ve not missed a blog post or reading your FB page, just absent in communication. THANK YOU so much for this darling and oh so creative idea for a small Christmas “something” packaged so beautifully and personally! I have six sisters to do gift giving for at Christmas. We’ve all agreed to limit our gifts to something small, but meaningful since there are so many of us. I found some pretty, dainty kind of “minimalistic” bracelets, on sale and I had a coupon, so I got six of them. How much fun it will be to make these ornaments and slip those little bracelets inside. You are ALWAYS on top of the most creative projects, Diane…I think I’ve told you that at least 20 times before but you keep suprising me! Have a wonderful week. :)

  34. What a great idea! I think I’m going to do this for my grandkids. They will love looking for the ornament with their name on it.

  35. Love your idea! This adds to the Christmas fun!

  36. Melissa Davis says:

    Love this !! So cute !

  37. Love this idea! Thank You Diane

  38. Norma Rolader says:

    I will have to do this for the kids this year even they are all grown including Grandson just turned 18 Thank you for the great idea God bless