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DIY Glass Photo Ornament Tutorial

I’ve been making these DIY Glass Photo Ornaments for quite some time. These Christmas ornaments make the perfect keepsake or gift.

DIY Glass Photo Ornament, a tutorial featured by top US life and style blog, Fynes Designs:DIY personalized Glass Photo Ornaments. Make the perfect keepsake or gift! | Photo Ornaments by popular Canada DIY blog, Fynes Designs: Pinterest image of a glass photo ornament.

I had to share this DIY Glass Photo Ornament Tutorial with you so you know how EASY it is to get the photo inside the ornament.

Watch this quick video to learn how to make your own photo ornaments

Follow this simple step by step photo guide to making your own personalized glass photo ornament…

DIY Photo Ornaments

Materials Needed for your DIY Glass Photo Ornament:

  • 1 photo (relative in the size to the ornament you’ve chosen),
  • 1 glass bulb,
  • a stick (I like a long paintbrush so I have a soft tip),
  • fishing line,
  • double-sided tape,
  • ribbon
  • cardstock (with the date printed or stamped)
DIY Glass Photo Ornament, a tutorial featured by top US life and style blog, Fynes Designs:DIY personalized Glass Photo Ornaments. Make the perfect keepsake or gift! |Photo Ornaments by popular Canada DIY blog, Fynes Designs: collage image of a woman making DIY photo ornaments.

Instructions to Make your DIY Glass Photo Ornament

  1. Find a drinking glass that your ornament will sit into (you want it to sit in about 1/4 of the way, a smaller circle is better than one too big), use this as a template for your circle. If you have another means of circle cutting, a large ornament will need a 3″ circle.
  2. Cut two circles, one from your photo and the other from the cardstock. Add names, dates, or sentiments to the paper circle, with your printer or stamps
  3. Apply strips of (acid-free) double-sided tape to the photo. Cut a long piece of fishing line and fold it in half. Stick the looped end along the centre of the photo.
  4. Sandwich the fishing line between the two paper circles.
  5. Gently roll the photo into a tube (photo on the outside of the roll), and slide it into the ornament. Be sure there are no sharp points of glass that the photo will get scratched by.
  6. Hold onto the fishing line and run the stick back and forth over the photo to flatten it out, be careful not to dent or scratch the picture. *make sure you hold the line, getting it back out is NO fun (tape it to the outside of the bulb if need be.
  7. You will find two small holes in the cover of the ornament, where the wire runs through the cap. Poke the ends of your fishing line through the holes (one in each side), slip the cap back onto the ornament, and tie off the fishing line. I like to knot the strings multiple times to ensure it will not come undone.
  8. Complete your ornament with the ribbon of choice or simply add a hanger.
DIY Glass Photo Ornament, a tutorial featured by top US life and style blog, Fynes Designs:DIY personalized Glass Photo Ornaments. Make the perfect keepsake or gift!

Gift, or hang your DIY Glass Photo Ornament for all to see!

DIY Glass Photo Ornament, a tutorial featured by top US life and style blog, Fynes Designs: Photo Glass Ornament tutorial, easily done, makes a great #gift or keepsake |Photo Ornaments by popular Canada DIY blog, Fynes Designs: image of DIY photo ornaments.

It’s safe to say this may be the only glass ornament craft I ever share… they are incredibly hard to photograph!

Collected and Curated holiday print collection
How to get a photo on the inside of an ornament |Photo Ornaments by popular Canada DIY blog, Fynes Designs: Pinterest image of a photo ornament.
DIY Glass Photo Ornament, a tutorial featured by top US life and style blog, Fynes Designs:You won't believe how easy it is to get the photo inside the ornament. A MUST see tutorial! |Photo Ornaments by popular Canada DIY blog, Fynes Designs: collage image of photo ornaments.

What do you think, will you give this DIY glass photo ornament a try?  You know Grandma, or a close friend would love to receive one!

DIY Glass Photo Ornament, a tutorial featured by top US life and style blog, Fynes Designs: Easy DIY photo ornaments. Great tutorial with step by step photos. |Photo Ornaments by popular Canada DIY blog, Fynes Designs: Pinterest image of a photo ornament.

Try These Other Photos Ornaments

Have you made photo ornaments before? Let me know in a comment below!

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    1. Nancy Shnzermom says:

      i dont know how to straighten out the picture..using q tip but no luck

    2. I could not find the video, however, I am going to do my best to make this ornament. I am now a g-grandma and this will make the most precious Christmas gift. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. You can pic them up at Michaels, Walmart or the dollar store! Happy crafting!

    2. Patti Jung says:

      I get my bulbs from A.C. moore if I am in a pinch and need them fast. They always seem to have something I can make work. If I have time to wait for shipping and all, I use Consumer Crafts. They have always given me good prices, frequent sales, and reasonable shipping.

  1. I LOVE the ornaments Virginia!! I’m going to attempt to make some too! Thanks for the tutorial.

  2. I can’t get my picture to uncurl do you have any suggestions??

    1. Hi Tiffany, Use a Q-tip to poke at the center of the photo, it shouldn’t damage the photo so you can give it a bit more push. The thinner the photo paper and cardstock the better. I hope this method helps. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great idea–and best of all, CHEAP! 🙂 I definitely want to try it. Thanks so much for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  4. What a genius idea I’m going to try this thanks Virginia for sharing your idea with everyone.

  5. I have been doing this for years and both my sons have a separate tree decorated with the yearly ornaments,the grandkids lokk forward to the “new ” ornament each year

    1. That is SO great Roseanne! Thats what I hope for! When I was a kid we had engraved ornaments, we were so excited to find ours on the tree after it was decorated!

  6. Roseanne cota says:

    I have been doing this for years,(I use the wallet size school pictures)both my sons have a seperate tree just for the photo globes,each year the grandkids look forward to getting their ornament.Its become a tradition in this family..brings a lot of laughter on tree decorating day

  7. I’m so happy I found this! I have been looking all over for the best possible method for doing this and yours is the first that explains it the best. I’m doing one for each member of the family a picture of my grandpa who passed away in October from cancer. I tried a sample picture rolling it up to insert it in but when it’s in the glass, it seemed to not wanna straighten out. Will the card stock help with this problem?

    1. The bigger the bulb the easier it is to get the photo to straighten out, because it doesn’t have to roll so tightly (the loser you can roll the better). I don’t know if the cardstock makes a difference, I’ve never tried without. Using something with a soft end like a q-tip or paintbrush will let you apply a bit more pressure without damaging the photo. Good luck!

  8. I love this idea and made some today! My boyfriend and I are putting up our first Christmas tree this year and I wanted to start a tradition for our tree. I made 4 (one for each year we have been together). Hope to make more in the future as we grow older. It will be a cute reminder of how much we have changed over the years and if we add any new members to our family that year!

    1. So glad to hear Mel! I love looking back at ours, crazy how fast the kiddos grow!

  9. Lisa white says:

    Do you put the card stock on the back of the photo?

  10. I would like to print this , I don’t seem to be able to. Would someone please help me?

    Thank you.

  11. Instead of card stock, I sandwiched the fishing wire in between the back of the photo and a piece of green tissue paper. It was thin so it rolled and unrolled easily. I also had my students rip up tiny pieces of red tissue paper for inside the bulb as well as some white glitter (snow like ) which stuck to the inside of the glass. It came out colorful and beautiful! I cut up thin strips of clear transparencies (used for overheads) and they wrote a message (Merry Christmas, I love you mom and dad, etc. or 2014) with a Sharpie and put them inside the ornament. Very unique and awesome!

  12. I make these using transparent paper. The transparent paper rolls up and unrolls easily and you can see the picture on both sides.

  13. I tried this and it didn’t work at all…. and I’m pretty good at crafts. The picture wouldn’t unroll AT ALL and unfortunately I spent the last of my money getting these as Christmas gifts for everyone….so there goes Christmas.

    And it wasn’t the card stock, because I used regular paper that I printed out and cut…it doesn’t get much thinner than that.

    1. I’m so sorry that it didn’t work for you, I’ve never had a problem with making them. Another reader wrote to say that not all glass ornaments are created equal, some have smaller holes than others. Perhaps you could return what you bought and get ones with a larger hole. I hope you get it sorted out. Merry Christmas

  14. What size picture did you use? I have a 3.25 inch ornament and I’m not sure what size picture would be good!

    1. I started with a 4×6 photo, but just cut it down to the appropriate size.

  15. What a wonderful idea! I have all year to make these for relatives and friends for Christmas 2015. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I’ve made many of these in years past, but I printed my pictures on transparency paper, and cut the photo to the exact size of the ornament, and it just sits in the ornament all by itself! It isn’t quite as easy to see, but it is a cool effect!

  17. What size is your ornament?

    1. I’m not sure of the size, but can tell you not all the holes are the same size. Be sure to remove the top and check that your finger would fit in the hole before you buy!

  18. Pingback: Photo Ornaments
  19. What size do you use for the bulb?

    1. You can use which ever, bigger is better becasue you don’t have to roll the photo so tight.

  20. I would like to make one o these for each of my Cub Scouts, but use an individual photo on one side and a group photo on the other. Do you think that would work?? Also, when I bought the ornaments I ran into another woman who was purchasing them too. She said she had made them last year and was doing it again this year. She also said she laminated the photos she used and tried to explain how she went about making her ornaments, but I didn’t quite understand her explanation! What do you think? Could I use two photographs, back to back and would it help to laminate them? I was also thinking of putting fake snow in with the photos. Would that work?

    1. Sorry my response is coming so late. The only issue I see is that when you rolled it the photo would kind of crack and it may be hard to get it flatened back out.

  21. Stephanie Schuessler-Connors says:

    Virginia, Carol Duvall did this years ago on The Home Show, HGTV. i never tried it, but she put the photos onclear sturdy plastic – like the clear lids on Xmass card boxes. she rolled them to to put them in the ornaments and they just popped open to fill the inside. i believe she measures like You did ~ with a glass the diameter of the ornament.
    back then, she used a bleach solution inside the ornament to remove the “coloring” ~ much easier now to buy them at a craft store!
    how times have changed! for the easier!
    i think this year, i’ll make them!

    did You tape the fishing line down with the double stick tape? i know You said “stick it in between the stock and photo” but is it taped down?

    thank You for the ideas!

    1. Yes, you’re right, double sided tape works well! Good luck

  22. Judy McClendon says:

    I made one for my daughter she loves it, thank you for posting the instructions. Judy

      1. Hmmmm . . .clicked on what I thought was a little girl’s purse pattern. . .got this. . .. ?

  23. Question, what is the purpose of the fish line?

    1. To keep the photo from falling, it is suspended inside the bulb

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