How to Make Old Fashioned Christmas Ornaments

by Kelly Sundstrom ; Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Fresh oranges
  • Whole cloves
  • Satin ribbon, 1-inch wide
  • Scissors
  • Popcorn
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Nylon thread
  • Needle

When you decorate your tree during the Christmas holidays, you do not have to buy generic Christmas ornaments from a department store. Instead, you can make ornaments just like people would have done hundreds of years ago out of basic food ingredients. For example, you can create old-fashioned ornaments using fresh oranges, popcorn and cranberries. This can make your tree look festive and traditional, while using materials that you have around the kitchen.

Orange Clove Pomanders

Step 1

Place a fresh orange onto a flat surface. If you do not have a fresh orange, you can also use fresh tangerines, lemons or limes.

Step 2

Insert whole cloves into the orange, covering the entire surface. Push the cloves into the orange, pushing the pointed end in first. Continue pushing until you reach the bud of the clove. You can arrange the cloves randomly, or you can create a decorative pattern with the cloves.

Step 3

Cut a length of ribbon to measure 18 inches long. Lay the ribbon out flat, horizontally.

Step 4

Place the prepared orange into the center of the ribbon, then bring the ribbon up on either side. Tie the ribbon into a knot at the top of the orange.

Step 5

Twist the ribbon ends around each other so that the ribbon can be wrapped perpendicularly around the orange. Tie the ribbon into another knot. You can tie the loose ends onto a tree branch or doorknob during the holidays. Orange clove pomanders can even be used for years after they have dried out.

Popcorn Cranberry Garland

Step 1

Thread a needle with 24 inches of nylon thread. Nylon thread is more durable than cotton thread, and will allow you to hang up the garland without fear of breakage. Knot the end.

Step 2

Insert the needle into a piece of unflavored and unsalted popcorn. Push the needle completely through the popcorn, and pull the popcorn down to the knot as you would a bead on a string. If you use large, full pieces of popcorn, the garland will look more decorative.

Step 3

Insert the needle through a whole, fresh cranberry, and push the cranberry down to the end of the thread. The cranberry will rest on top of the popcorn. Repeat this process, alternating popcorn and cranberries, until the entire thread is full. Knot the end of the thread, and hang the garland on your tree.


  • If you live in a dry environment, the oranges and cranberries will dry out while on display. If you live in a humid environment, you can hang the oranges and cranberries outdoors until they are dry, then display them. Discard any fruits that present areas of mold.

Photo Credits

  • Aleksandra Ozimek/Demand Media