Charming Animal Cracker Ornaments

by Brenda Hyde

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These whimsical little ornaments are easy to make as a project with the kids or on your own for holiday decorating. Because they are so inexpensive you can create rustic trees for your entry ways and porches, use them as package toppers for your gifts, give them to teachers, or package up a small artificial tree and a couple dozen ornaments as a special pre-holiday gift for someone that is homebound! Use inexpensive animal crackers and paint you have on hand for an extra frugal project.

You'll need:

  • Animal Crackers
  • Acrylic paint in shades of gray, tan and brown
  • Acrylic paint in red or blue
  • small flat paintbrush
  • small stencil brush
  • small round paintbrush
  • toothbrush
  • small piece of screen
  • hot glue gun
  • glossy clear acrylic spray/sealer
  • jute string

Using the gray color and the flat paintbrush, paint each animal cracker and allow it to dry. Take your lighter tan/beige color and using the stencil brush make an up and down stamping motion on the cracker to make it look mottled or sponge painted. Cover most of the gray. Dip the tip of the toothbrush lightly in the darker brown paint and brush downward ON the screen held over the crackers. (You will be able to do more than one at a time if you position them correctly.) Wait for all the crackers to dry and then using the small round paint brush paint hearts or other folk art type symbols on each cracker and allow them to dry again. Spray each ornament with the acrylic sealer. When dry, cut a 4-inch piece of jute for each ornament, looping it and gluing it to the back of the cracker.

You can vary the colors, but try to keep it in shades that compliment each other. (the darkest one to splatter, and a dark color to paint the hearts) You can use raffia or thin ribbon as hangers if you wish. A neat idea is to use the same technique on plastic ball or heart ornaments. The steps are the same, and you can decorate an entire tree with them! Use torn country themed cotton as garland and for bows as accents on the tree. With the same technique you can completely change the look by using bold primary colors!

Brenda is a wife, mom to three, and a freelance writer living in Michigan. For more old-fashioned crafts, recipes and gardening visit her at

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