Styrofoam Ornaments for Kids to Make

Don’t you just love a simple Christmas craft that looks gorgeous?  We made these beautiful styrofoam ornaments using basic supplies we had around the house.  They were so easy to make, and I think they turned out beautifully!

You can do this craft with children of any age, from toddler right up through teenager.  I had a lot of fun creating these myself!

styrofoam meat tray ornaments - happy hooligans

Ok, let’s get down to business!  You’re going to love how easy this is, how simple the material list is!

simple styrofoam stars - material list


Here’s what you’ll need to make our styrofoam ornaments:

  • Styrofoam meat tray (always run your trays through the dishwasher (bottom rack) to sterilize them)
  • Acrylic craft paint  (colours of your choice)
  • Glitter glue in a co-ordinating colour
  • golf tee or sharp white pencil crayon (both work well, but the golf tee is easier to control)
  • ribbon or thread for hanging

styrofoam ornament - meat tray carved with golf tee


How to make your ornaments:

  1. Cut festive shapes out of your styrofoam meat tray.  (cookie cutters are good to trace for this kind of thing or you can just wing it and go free-hand).
  2. With your white pencil or golf tee, make designs all over the front of your ornament.  Get creative and have some fun with it!  Squiggles, swirls, wavy lines and dots are all great.

If you’re working with a younger crowd, you may want to provide some simpler tools for “carving” with.  A play-dough pizza cutter, a straight ruler, and the handle of a paint brush all make interesting designs, and they may be easier for little hands to hold and cutter, straight ruler and paintbrush handle for styrofoam ornament carving

In the next photo you’ll see a simple but really cute design that I made using only the play dough pizza cutter and a golf tee.

pizza cutter and golf tee to decorate styrofoam ornament

 3. Give your ornament a coat of paint.   Be sure to paint the edges of the ornament (which I forgot to do for the purple heart), and wiggle your paintbrush to get the paint into all of the carved dots and crevices.  You can have some fun at this point by flipping it over and doing some stamping to take off any excess paint.

one coat of paint on the styrofoam ornament

Let your ornament dry.  (a hairdryer is a very handy thing to keep in the craft room if you want to speed up the drying process)

4.  Now the magic begins!  Squirt on a generous blog of glitter glue and using a paint brush, spread that around your ornament and work it into your carvings.  You want the glitter to kind of accumulate in the carvings a bit so that your design “pops”.  Note: I only have purple and blue glitter glue so I painted the ornaments with colours would allow the coloured glitter to stand out.  I used the purple glitter glue on the purple heart and pink star, and I used the blue glitter glue on the green trees.straight ruler and golf tee to decorate this styrofoam ornament

And that, my friends, is all there is to it!

Poke a hole through the top with your golf tee or pencil crayon, and loop some ribbon or metallic thread through so you can hang this little gem on your Christmas tree!

Now, wasn’t that easy?  And fun?  And aren’t they going to look fantastic on your Christmas tree?

simple styrofoam ornaments


Want to see more of our easy, affordable Christmas crafts?

Pop over to my Happy Hooligans Christmas Craft pinboard.  You’ll find loads of them there!


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  1. Deb says

    Love these – what a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing. Think I will try them ith my olay group next year as we are aready finished this year.

  2. Dominika says

    wow this is so beautiful ! you can also roll ink on your creation before you painted and glitter and press into paper you can have Christmas cards and also do a printmaking

    • happyhooligans says

      That’s a great idea, Dominika! We tried some stampig with them, and it worked really well. Homemade wrapping paper would be great!

  3. Kathleen says

    Again, what a GREAT idea!!! You are amazing, I love following you! And…I’m looking for Styrofoam trays now! Maybe, I just go shopping to have a couple, and then… yeah, we’ll have fun with this. My boys are gonna love it (me too ;-))

  4. Ginger Hembree says

    where else could I get the meat trays or white Styrofoam ? our meat trays come in black, and you have white here ?!

    • happyhooligans says

      You might ask around, Ginger. Perhaps check with your grocery store or a bake shop or a craft store? I’m not sure what part of the world you’re in, so I really can’t point you in the right direction except to suggest that you see if you can order them online if you can’t find them in your area.

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