Handmade Christmas Decorations: Miniature Button Tree Ornaments

I still have a few simple ornaments that we hang on the tree every year that I made when I was a child (thank you to my grandmother for saving them and giving them to me xox) and so I love making ornaments with Immy that I hope some day she will treasure for her own family tree. These miniature button trees are easy for preschoolers and older children and only take a few minutes to make, plus they have the added benefit of including room for a little mathematical learning and fine motor skill development – win!

Button Christmas Tree Ornament Craft for kids

Miniature Button Tree Ornaments Tutorial

For each tree ornament you will need:

  • One thin pipe cleaner
  • A small thread-able bead or bell
  • A series of buttons that get progressively smaller in your chosen colours

homemade button Christmas trees

To make:

1. Sort your buttons from largest to smallest.

2. Fold the pipe cleaner in half to find the midway point.

3. Thread the bell (or bead) onto the pipecleaner until it sits at the midway point.

4. Starting with the largest button, thread each end of the pipe cleaner through opposite holes on the button (this will be the trickiest part for young children but Immy only took a few tries to manage it). Push the button so that it sits on top of the bell. Repeat for each button, working from largest to smallest to create the miniature tree shape.

homemade button Christmas trees

5. Once all of your buttons are in place, twist the remaining ends of the pipe cleaner together and fashion into a hook shape to hang in the branches of your tree :) Oh, and you might like to use a permanent marker to record the year they were made on the underside of the biggest button.

Button Christmas Decorations: Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make

Do you make ornaments with your child/ren or have homemade ornaments from your own childhood?

Even more ornaments kids can make:


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  1. These are super cute. I think I will try them with my girls. Martha Stewart had instructions for snowmen and reindeer ornaments made from buttons in her magazine a few years ago. They turned out really awesome, but I think yours are probably easier for the preschool set.

  2. TOO cute. I think even I could manage these…

  3. These trees are lovely.
    We will make some too!
    Unfortunately I don`t have any decoration or artwork left from my childhood.. but my daughter will have loads! Every year I put one handmade decoration into a special box what I´m mgoing to give her when she is grown up.

  4. They are so lovely.

  5. I love them!
    This year we decorated our tree with lots of origami. I did most of them, my 3-year old folded a piece of paper the way she felt an origami should be and friends gave us a few. They are all together in the tree and my girl loves to tell the story of each one of them…

  6. What a great idea, love it!! I just made matchbox advent calendar for my daughter and found your blog looking for some more crafty ideas ;)

  7. Yes!! I love getting out our ornaments every year and we still have some that I made with I was a kid. Now we have some that our daughter has made. We make ornaments every year, pipe cleaner snowflakes etc. Today we started making a felt christmas tree (idea on pinterest: I spent time cutting out the felt circles, and then later my daughter will string them. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

    I like this idea for pipe cleaner button ornaments too. We will definitely make those too. I just pinned it so I don’t forget :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Genius! My girls love buttons, this is a great idea! So many colour variations we could make too.

  9. Oooh too cute and easy enough to adapt to our purple and gold ornament colours for our big pink tree :)

  10. Love this idea! We will be making them for sure. I’ve been making some beaded angels with the kids’ names on them for our Christmas tree this year and we’ll be making some snowflakes ornaments with pegs before Christmas too.

  11. Oh Christie,
    these are so cute, and even I can do them!!
    Seriously, this is the greatest little idea…that I can use with Mr Grandson 4 and help Miss Granddaughter 2 (if she’ll let me!!) Love that!
    I am passing over the Christmas decorations I have had for each grandchild (15,12,10,4,and 2) to them now, as we are not having our big tree anymore -that’s been passed down to our daughter’s family- and each child is being given their box of decorations from every year of their birth. Some have a photo in them, others just their name and a date. It is my hope they will keep these and treasure them as you have with those from your grandmother.
    Love Denyse X

  12. Gorgeous! Love them!

  13. I love your site! I am going to make these with my 3 year old for Xmas gifts! Great ideas. I cannot wait to read your other posts. I am a Dietitian who writes about child nutrition (picky eating, making home made baby food, family recipes, etc). Enjoy.

  14. These look great. Will have to give it a try

  15. Genine Stubbings says:

    We have spent the day making these, my son was home sick and we decided these would be nice to make for everyone in his class so we now have 28 + a couple of extra ones his brother made for friends at Kindy. They are going to jingle all the way to school:-)

  16. i think instead of using pipe cleaners you should use like a thin rope, string or something like that :):):):):)


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