Making homemade Christmas ornaments with your children is a great way to spend time together, while practicing critical learning skills. These adorable button snowman ornaments are a great way to help your littles build fine motor skills and coordination while practicing sorting and measuring. And DIY Christmas ornaments make great gifts for the special people in their lives.
My girls and I love to make homemade Christmas gifts for teachers, friends, and relatives alike. These cute snowman crafts always put a smile on the recipients’ faces, not just at Christmas but throughout the winter months. With just a few items you may already have around your house, you can make your own button snowman ornaments for gift-giving all winter long.
How to Make Button Snowman Ornaments – Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments
What you’ll need for stacked button snowman ornaments:
- Assorted 12-inch chenille stems (crafting pipe cleaners) (1 12-inch length AND 1 6-inch length per snowman)
- Assorted white buttons from approx. 1/2 inch through 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch diameter (about 15-20 per snowman)
- Assorted black buttons from 1/2 inch through 1 to 1 1/2 inch diameter (about 5 per snowman)
- Assorted scraps of ribbon, approx. 4-6 inches long (1 per snowman)
- Fine tip or extra-fine-tip permanent markers in black and red
- (Optional) Fine tip or extra-fine-tip permanent marker in a different color (for buttons)
Step-by-step tutorial for these cute snowman homemade Christmas ornaments:
1. Sort your buttons by color and shape.
If you have a very large old button jar, you can have your kids sift through with you to find any white ones and/or black ones with holes going straight through. Because we had several multi-compartment containers, I labeled the sections by button size, and had the girls practice measuring the buttons’ diameter as they sorted them. Since Essie had just been learning to measure with a ruler in school when we first made these, this was great practice for her.
Be forewarned, though, that – as we found when we sorted through our large collection of whitish buttons – older “white” buttons often yellow with time, and will make your snowman look “dirty.” Semi-translucent “white” buttons don’t work well, either.
2. Choose a flat button (any color) for the base.
Using a button that rests flat on a surface gives the recipient the option of putting their snowman on a desk or table, vs. just hanging it on a tree. (As you can see here, it doesn’t even have to be a round button!).
Gently fold a 12-inch chenille stem roughly in half, and slide the button onto the stem by pushing its ends through opposite holes in the button.
3. Make two stacks of white buttons: one for the body, one for the head.
Depending on how large your largest buttons are, you’ll probably use 15-20 total buttons between the two stacks. One stack should make a larger looking “ball” shape – that’s the body. The other should look like a somewhat smaller “ball” and contain fewer buttons – that’s your head.
(Note: If you have a piece of felt, cloth napkin, or dishtowel, lay it out on your work surface before you begin. This will help keep your buttons from sliding around or rolling away, especially in the next step.)
4. Starting with the bottom of the larger stack, slide your buttons onto the chenille ends, one at a time, in order.
To make this easier, I gently tipped each stack of buttons over (see how, in the Step 2 photo, the larger stack is tipped away from me?). This way, we could grab the bottom button from the pile without messing up the order of the others.
As you go, keep an eye on how the shape of your snowman looks. If anything appears not-quite-right, feel free to swap out a larger or smaller button into each “ball” of snow as needed.
By the time you’re done with the white buttons, you should have something that looks like this:
5. Next make your hat and add it onto the stack.
For the hat, you’ll want 5 or 6 buttons total: one larger (1 inch or slightly larger diameter) black button, 3-4 smaller (half-inch, give or take – all same size) black buttons, and one of a size in between those. Stack them up first, just like you did with the white “balls,” and adjust until you get a look you like. Then add them on top of the stack of white buttons.
When you have all the buttons on and are pleased with how it looks, twist the two ends together close to the top of the hat to secure your buttons in place. Then bend the remaining tails into a loop and secure the ends to each other at the top, being careful not to leave any sharp ends poking out. This will make your ornament easy to hang on the tree.
5. Once you’re done adding buttons, you can draw on the face and add arms.
Unless your kiddo has a steady hand, adding the face is a job best left for grownups. Carefully, on the edge of one face button, place two large black dots for eyes with your black Sharpie. On the next button down, add a black dot for a nose, Then, on the button below that, add a small red smile for the mouth.
Once you’ve added the face and it’s had a chance to dry, take a 6-inch chenille stem (cut a longer one in half if you need to), and twist it AROUND the central stem you stacked the buttons on, a few buttons below the snowman’s “neck.” Twist it completely around the central stem once so it’s secure, and leave the ends coming out of either side. Twist the tips of the ends into tiny loops like hands (this will lessen the chances of anyone getting poked by a sharp end), and you’re done with the arms!
6. Finally, add a scarf.
Choose a scrap of ribbon (anywhere from 3-5 inches long works well) and tie it securely around your snowman’s neck. (I like to make the knot off to one side a bit.)
7. (Optional) Add buttons down the front.
You can, of course, use the same black marker you used for eyes and nose to make a little row of buttons down the front of your snowman. But Kimmie and Essie really wanted to use a bronze metallic marker to make some bronze-y buttons down the front of their snowmen when we were making them for these photos. So that’s what they did:
You can now give your stacked button snowman ornaments as gifts. OR you can use your snowman button ornaments as desktop decorations, or hang them on your Christmas tree, or arrange a bunch of them on your holiday backdrop of choice. Here I used several pinecone “trees” as a backdrop, on top of white netting and white polyester fiberfill.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
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