Scrap Fabric Handmade Christmas Tree Photo Ornaments

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It is beginning to look a little like a colorful Christmas when you use scrap fabric to make photo frame tree ornaments. 

This year, I want our Christmas tree to be filled with bright and cheery color. I decided to turn a few of the fabric scraps I saved from past projects into colorful scrap fabric photo ornaments.

I like to see the smiling faces of all the people I love around me over the holidays and this is a decorative way to do it.  Making them, pretty much – costs nothing but some time.

I save scraps of everything – as you never know when they may come in handy.  All the supplies needed to make these are from scraps or parts of other items. The cardboard I used is from an empty tablet of paper.

The acetate to protect the photo in the ornament – is cut from a clear lid on a box of holiday cards.  Ribbon, buttons, and embellishments – all just little pieces of bits and bobs.

Handmade-Christmas-Ornaments made using scrap fabric
Handmade Christmas Ornaments-made from fabric scraps

This double frame has photos of my girls in it when they were little. XO  I threaded a shank style button over the ribbon hanger as an embellishment.

Scrap-Fabric-Photo-Christmas Ornament

This small square with a beaded dangle has a photo of my mom in it. She passed away about 2 years ago. I figured that since she made so many of the ornaments that I hang on my tree, it was only fitting for her to be in an ornament herself.

Scrap-Fabric-Photo-Christmas Ornament Tutorial

This frame of my cute hubby when he was a little kid sporting a string tie has a shank style button threaded over the ribbon hanger.

supplies needed:

  • Scrap fabric
  • Cardboard – I used the cardboard from the bottom of a tablet of paper
  • Clear acetate sheet – you can buy them at a copy shop, but I cut up the clear top from a box of holidays cards
  • Felt to coordinate with fabric
  • 10 –inch piece of ribbon
  • Photos
  • Spray glue
  • Scotch tape – use the good kind so it  will hold
  • Ruler, pencil, scissors, craft knife
  • Optional:  items to embellish – buttons, earrings, ribbons, beads.
How-to-make-a-Photo-Christmas Tree-Ornament

1.  Using a ruler, draw out your shape. I simply marked off a 3-inch wide square and 3” x 4” rectangles.  I made a 1-inch border around the opening for each frame.  Once you have it drawn, cut cardboard out with craft knife.

Christmas-Photo Ornament Tutorial

2. Cut out fabric and felt to size. The front fabric should be large enough to wrap around the back of the cardboard. The acetate and photo should be a bit lager than center opening.

The felt – a bit smaller than your cardboard.  The photo above shows the order of how the ornament parts are layered.

Handmade Christmas ornament Fabric-Photo-Tutorial

3.  Place ornament on a big scrap piece of paper to use as a spray glue station/area. 

Spray the back of the fabric and front of the cardboard. Let it get tacky and attach the fabric to the front of the cardboard, making sure to center it.

Use your fingers to smooth fabric around edges and to the back.

Christmas-Craft-Tutorials with scrap fabric

4. Snip the corners with scissors as shown, wrap fabric to back and press with your fingers.  The spray glue on the fabric will adhere it.

Handmade Christmas Ornament-Tutorials

5. Using a craft knife, mark an “X” in the center opening. Fold flaps to back and smooth with fingers.

Christmas-Ornament DIY Idea with scrap fabric

6.  Place acetate over opening and use scotch tape to hold in place.  Do the same for the photo.

For ribbon hanger  – create a loop and tape ends to the back of photo.  Burnish all the tape with your fingers to make sure it adheres well.

7.  Spray one side of felt with glue, let it get tacky. Place over back. Smooth with your fingers.


An alternative to the felt back – you could cover another piece of cardboard with scrap fabric and sandwich it with the front and photo.

For the Photo Ornament Embellishments:

-Hot glue a button, vintage earring, or bow on.

-Thread a shank style button over ribbon hanger.

-Hand a bead from the bottom. Make a hole in the frame using a awl. To make a dangle – instructions can be found on my post – How to make Jeweled Paper Clips.   Use a jewelry making jump ring to attach it.

To see a few other types of photo ornaments I have made, you can read about them in these posts.

Use-up-scrap-fabric, even-the-smallest-pieces-to-make-these-colorful-handmade photo-Christmas-tree-ornaments.

Perhaps you’ve had your fill of Christmas ornaments but might you want to check out my gallery of other Christmas projects?

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  1. These would also be great to hang on a wall or bulletin board as a different way of displaying photos

  2. Every year after Christmas I say I am going to buy frames. Either I can’t find them or I don’t have the money. This is a great example to use what you have and get what you want!

  3. I absolutely love this idea! My husband and I have opted out of gifts with the family this year (due to an unexpected expense) but something like this could be perfect! I already have most of this at home – except the acetate but I figure I could spare a sheet protector in my recipe binder and cut it up). Thank you!

  4. What a darling, sentimental way to decorate the tree! I just LOVE the pictures in the double frame of your girls. What cuties!!! I hope you share this at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS. Link goes live Wednesday at 8:00 pm! Very fun post!