How to Make Dog Ornaments

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Have you ever looked at your Christmas tree and thought it could use a little more personal touch, especially for those of us obsessed with our furry friends? Every year, millions of pet owners search for ways to incorporate their beloved animals into their holiday traditions.

How to Make Dog Ornaments

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to make dog ornaments that not only beautify your tree but also serve as a heartwarming reminder of your pet’s place in your family. Whether you’re a crafting novice or a DIY expert, we’ll guide you through the steps to create personalized ornaments that celebrate your four-legged friends.

Understanding Dog Ornaments: A Celebration of Canine Companions

Historical Context of Dog Ornaments

Dog ornaments have a rich history that dates back to ancient times when humans first started domesticating dogs. These ornaments were not only decorative but also held significant cultural and sentimental value, symbolizing protection, loyalty, and companionship. Through the ages, the tradition of creating and gifting dog ornaments has evolved, reflecting the deep bond between humans and their canine partners. Today, they are a popular way to celebrate the joy and love our furry friends bring into our lives, especially during the holiday season.

Types of Dog Ornaments

There’s a wide variety of dog ornaments available, catering to all tastes and preferences. These range from traditional Christmas tree decorations, such as baubles and tree toppers featuring dog motifs, to more permanent displays like figurines and sculptures that celebrate a particular breed. Personalized dog ornaments have also gained popularity, allowing pet owners to capture their dog’s likeness or even include their names, making the holiday season even more special and personalized.

Benefits of Creating Dog Ornaments

How to Make Dog Ornaments

Creating dog ornaments offers numerous benefits, not least of which is the sentimental value it adds to your holiday decorations. Handmade ornaments can serve as a cherished reminder of a pet’s presence in your life, immortalizing special moments and milestones. They also make for unique and heartfelt gifts for fellow pet lovers, showing thoughtfulness and care. Additionally, the process of creating these ornaments allows for creative expression and can be a therapeutic activity, providing a meaningful way to celebrate the bond between you and your furry companion.

Gathering Inspiration for Your Dog Ornament Design

The first step in creating a personalized dog ornament is to draw inspiration from your dog’s unique characteristics and the vast array of ornament themes available. This ensures that the ornament you create not only captures the essence of your pet but also integrates seamlessly with your holiday decor.

Identifying Your Dog’s Breed and Personality Traits

Begin by considering your dog’s breed characteristics and personality traits. Is your furry friend playful and energetic or more laid back? Reflecting these traits in your ornament design will make it truly personal and special.

Popular Dog Ornament Themes

Next, explore popular dog ornament themes to find one that resonates with you. These can range from holiday-themed designs, like Santa hats and Christmas trees, to breed-specific ornaments that celebrate the unique qualities of your dog’s breed. Including elements that reflect your dog’s hobbies, such as a ball for a retriever or a frisbee for a shepherd, can add a fun and playful touch.

Browsing Online Galleries and Craft Stores

How to Make Dog Ornaments

For visual inspiration, browse online galleries, social media, and craft stores. These resources are treasure troves of creative ideas and can help you visualize different designs and materials that you might want to incorporate into your own ornaments. Seeing what others have created can spark your imagination and lead you to design an ornament that perfectly captures the spirit of your pet.

How to Make Dog Ornaments: Creative Methods and Techniques

Creating dog ornaments can be a delightful project that combines your love for your pet with the joy of crafting. Below, you’ll find guidance on how to make the eight types of ornaments mentioned earlier, along with tips to enhance your creativity.

Custom Illustrated Ornaments

Here are steps for creating custom illustrated dog ornaments:

  1. Select a Photo: Begin by choosing a photo of your pet that captures their personality and spirit. Look for one that highlights a memorable posture or expression.
  2. Prepare Your Medium: If you possess artistic skills, sketch your pet’s image onto a small canvas or heavyweight art paper specifically designed for ornaments. Ensure it’s the appropriate size for your Christmas tree.
  3. Use Tracing Tools for Accuracy: For those less confident in freehand drawing, employ a lightbox or tracing paper to accurately transfer your pet’s likeness onto your chosen medium.
  4. Choose Your Art Materials: Decide on your art materials. Opt for watercolors for a soft, ethereal effect, acrylics for bold and vibrant colors, or colored pencils for detailed and precise work.
  5. Seal Your Artwork: Once your artwork is complete, apply a clear acrylic sealer spray. This step is crucial for protecting your painting and ensuring its longevity.
  6. Prepare for Display: Mount your completed artwork onto a durable backing such as wood or thick cardstock. This ensures it can hang on the tree or elsewhere safely.
  7. Add a Hanging Mechanism: Attach a loop or ribbon at the back for easy hanging. Be creative and choose something that complements your design or use festive colors.
  8. Display with Pride: Hang your custom illustrated dog ornament on your holiday tree or in a special place in your home to celebrate your pet’s role in your life during the festive season.

Breed-Specific Ornaments

  1. Research Your Dog’s Breed: Start by gathering detailed information about your dog’s breed to understand its unique physical characteristics. Look into aspects like coat patterns, ear shape, and stature. This will aid in creating a more accurate representation.
  2. Choose Polymer Clay: Select high-quality polymer clay for crafting your ornament. Polymer clay is versatile and can be easily molded to match the specific details of your dog’s breed.
  3. Sculpt the Ornament: Using the clay, sculpt your dog’s breed shape, focusing on distinctive features that make your pet unique. Pay attention to elements like the snout, tail, and fur texture.
  4. Bake the Clay: Follow the polymer clay’s baking instructions carefully to harden your sculpture. This usually involves baking it in an oven at a specified temperature for a particular duration.
  5. Paint Your Creation: Once cooled, paint your ornament to match the color pattern and special markings of your dog’s breed. Use acrylic paints for a durable and vivid finish.
  6. Apply a Glossy Finish: After the paint has dried, apply a clear gloss sealer to protect the paint and give your ornament a shiny, finished look. This step enhances the ornament’s durability, ensuring it lasts for many holiday seasons to come.
  7. Add Hanging Hardware: Finally, attach a loop or hook to your ornament, making it ready to hang on the Christmas tree or wherever you wish to display this heartfelt tribute to your furry friend.

Photo Frame Ornaments

Creating photo frame ornaments to celebrate your beloved pet can be a simple and enjoyable process. Here are step-by-step instructions to make your own:

  1. Select a Frame: Begin by selecting a small, lightweight frame ornament from a craft store. Alternatively, you can create your own frame using cardboard. Make sure it is of appropriate size to hang on your Christmas tree without weighing down the branches.
  2. Decorate Your Frame: Personalize the frame with holiday themes using paint, glitter, or other decorative elements. This is a great opportunity to get creative and give your ornament a festive look.
  3. Choose a Photo: Pick a cherished photograph of your dog that captures a special moment or their personality. Ensure the photo fits the frame size, and trim it if necessary.
  4. Insert the Photo: Carefully place the photo inside the frame. If you’re making the frame yourself from cardboard, secure the photo with clear adhesive or tape.
  5. Add Personal Touches: Consider attaching a small charm or decoration to the frame that represents something unique about your dog, such as a tiny bone, paw print, or a heart.
  6. Prepare for Hanging: Attach a loop or ribbon to the top of the frame. Choose something that complements the frame’s design and ensures the ornament can be easily hung on the Christmas tree.
  7. Display with Pride: Hang your photo frame ornament on your holiday tree or in a special place in your home to celebrate your pet’s role in your life during the festive season.
How to Make Dog Ornaments

By following these steps, you’ll create a meaningful and personalized ornament that highlights the joy your dog brings to your life.

Paw Print Ornaments

Creating a paw print ornament is a heartwarming way to cherish your dog’s presence during the holiday season. This tactile ornament not only captures the size and shape of your dog’s paw but also serves as a tangible reminder of your pet. Follow these detailed steps to create a memorable paw print ornament:

  1. Purchase a Clay Impression Kit: Start by acquiring a non-toxic, moldable clay impression kit from your local craft or hobby store. These kits are specifically designed for making keepsakes and should include everything you need.
  2. Prepare Your Workspace: Lay down newspaper or a plastic sheet to keep your work area clean. Have a small bowl of water and a clean towel handy to wash your dog’s paw and dry your hands as needed.
  3. Clean Your Dog’s Paw: Ensure your dog’s paw is free of dirt and debris. Use a gentle pet-safe wipe or a damp cloth to clean the paw thoroughly. Then, dry it completely to ensure a clean impression in the clay.
  4. Knead the Clay: Before rolling it out, knead the clay provided in the kit according to the instructions. This makes the clay more pliable and easier to work with, ensuring a smoother surface for the paw print.
  5. Roll Out the Clay: On a clean surface, roll out the clay to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch works well. Make sure the circle or shape you create is large enough to accommodate your dog’s paw size with some space around the edges.
  6. Make the Paw Print Impression: Gently but firmly press your dog’s paw into the rolled-out clay. Ensure even pressure is applied to all parts of the paw to capture all the details of the print. If the first attempt doesn’t look right, you can knead and roll the clay out again and retry.
  7. Create a Hanging Hole: Using a straw or a small circular object, make a hole near the top edge of the ornament for hanging. Make sure the hole is big enough for a ribbon or hook, but not so close to the edge that the clay might break.
  8. Follow Kit Instructions for Setting or Baking: Depending on your clay kit’s specifications, either allow the clay to air dry or bake it in the oven to set the impression. Follow the provided times and temperatures closely to avoid cracking.
  9. Personalize Your Ornament: After the paw print has set and cooled, you can personalize it with paint. Acrylic paints work well for this. Write your dog’s name, the year, or any other details you’d like on the ornament. Allow the paint to dry completely.
  10. Seal the Ornament: Apply a clear sealant spray or a brush-on sealer to protect the paint and clay. This step enhances the ornament’s durability and ensures the paw print and personalization last for years to come.
  11. Thread a Hanging Mechanism: Once everything is dry, thread a festive ribbon, string, or metal hook through the hole you created. This allows you to hang the ornament easily on your Christmas tree or anywhere else in your home.

By following these steps, you’ll create a personalized paw print ornament that captures a moment in time of your dog’s life, making a perfect keepsake or gift that you can treasure for many holiday seasons.

Name and Year Ornaments

Creating an ornament that features your dog’s name and the current year is a beautiful way to commemorate your pet during the holiday season. Here are step-by-step instructions to craft this special ornament:

  1. Select Your Base Material: Choose a base for your ornament such as wood, metal, or ceramic. Each material offers a unique aesthetic, so select one that matches your holiday decor or personal preference.
  2. Gather Supplies: You will need paint (acrylic paint works well for all the suggested materials), clear sealant, brushes, and stencils (if you prefer not to freehand the lettering). Also, consider any decorative elements you’d like to add, such as faux gems, glitter, or ribbon for hanging.
  3. Paint the Base: Start by applying a base coat of paint to your ornament. This could be a traditional holiday color or something that complements your decor. Allow it to dry completely.
  4. Stencil or Freehand Name and Year: Using stencils or a steady freehand, paint your dog’s name and the year onto the ornament. If you’re feeling artistic, add decorative touches around the edges, such as paw prints, bones, holiday motifs, or anything else that symbolizes your pet’s personality.
  5. Add Decorative Touches: Once the name and year are in place, embellish the ornament with any additional designs or decorations you like. This could include painting small designs, attaching charms, or applying glitter to certain areas.
  6. Apply a Clear Sealant: To ensure the longevity of your ornament, apply a clear sealant over the entire surface once all paint has dried. This step protects the paint from chipping and the ornament from wear over time.
  7. Attach a Hanging Mechanism: Finally, add a ribbon, twine, or metal hook to your ornament for easy display. Choose a color or material that complements the overall design of your ornament.
  8. Display Your Ornament: Hang your newly crafted name and year ornament on your Christmas tree or another special place in your home. It serves as a heartfelt reminder of your dog’s presence in your life during the holiday season and beyond.

By following these instructions, you’ll create a personalized and meaningful ornament that celebrates your beloved dog, adding a touch of warmth and fond memories to your holiday decorations.

Memorial Ornaments

Creating a memorial ornament is a heartfelt tribute to a pet who has passed away. This delicate project involves encapsulating memories in a way that is both respectful and beautiful. Here are step-by-step instructions to create a memorial ornament that honors your beloved pet’s memory:

  1. Select a Transparent Ornament: Choose a clear, fillable ornament ball. These are typically made from glass or durable plastic and can be opened to place items inside.
  2. Gather Sentimental Items: Find a small, meaningful item that belonged to or reminds you of your pet. This could be a small portion of their ashes (if you have chosen cremation), a tuft of fur, a favorite tiny toy, or even a note written to your pet expressing your love and memories.
  3. Prepare Your Ornament: Carefully open the transparent ornament and gently place the item inside. If you’re inserting ashes, you might use a small funnel to avoid spills. For fur or other solid items, tweezers can help position the item inside the ornament without damage.
  4. Personalize the Exterior: Using permanent markers or paint pens, delicately write your pet’s name on the outside of the ornament. You can also add the dates of their birth and passing, if desired. Embellish the ornament with symbols that resonate with your memories of your pet, such as angel wings, paw prints, or a halo, to visually represent their spirit.
  5. Seal the Ornament: If your ornament opens, consider sealing it with a strong adhesive to keep the contents secure. This step is especially important if the ornament will be kept for many years or hung in an area where it could accidentally be knocked down.
  6. Add Finishing Touches: Tie a ribbon or string through the top loop of the ornament for hanging. You may also want to add decorative elements like beads, feathers, or charms to the ribbon for an added personal touch that reflects your pet’s personality.
  7. Find a Place of Honor: Choose a special spot for your memorial ornament. This could be on your Christmas tree, where it can be seen and remembered during the holiday season, or in a permanent place in your home where it serves as a constant reminder of your pet’s love and presence in your life.
How to Make Dog Ornaments

By following these steps, you create not just a decoration, but a cherished keepsake that captures the essence of your beloved pet. This memorial ornament serves as a beautiful symbol of the bond you shared and keeps their spirit close, especially during times of reflection and remembrance.

Hand-Painted Ceramic Ornaments

Creating hand-painted ceramic ornaments is a delightful way to personalize your holiday decor with a tribute to your dog. Follow these detailed steps to craft your masterpiece:

  1. Purchase Plain Ceramic Ornaments: Begin by selecting plain ceramic ornaments from your local craft or hobby store. Choose shapes and sizes that appeal to you and offer enough surface area for painting.
  2. Gather Your Painting Supplies: You will need ceramic paints, a variety of brush sizes including fine-tipped brushes for detail work, and pencils for sketching your design. Ensure you also have a clear sealant spray to protect your finished work.
  3. Sketch Your Design: Lightly sketch your design on the ceramic ornament using a pencil. This could be anything from your dog’s portrait, paw prints, favorite toys, or scenes from memorable walks. The sketch serves as a guide, so keep it simple and adjust as needed.
  4. Begin Painting: Using your ceramic paints, start filling in your design. Apply a base coat if necessary and allow it to dry before adding colors and details. For intricate patterns or scenes, use fine-tipped brushes to achieve precision.
  5. Add Creative Details: Reflect your dog’s personality in the ornament by adding specific details or scenes that are meaningful to your pet’s life. This could include their favorite spot in the park, a beloved blanket, or even their best canine friend.
  6. Bake the Ornament (If Required): Depending on the type of ceramic paint used, you may need to bake the ornament to set the design. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions carefully for temperature and timing to ensure the best outcome.
  7. Apply a Clear Sealant: Once the paint is dry and, if required, baked and cooled, apply a clear sealant spray to protect your design. This will ensure the ornament withstands the test of time and retains its beauty for future holiday seasons.
  8. Ready for Display: After the sealant has dried completely, your hand-painted ceramic ornament is ready to be displayed. Add a ribbon or hook to the top, and find the perfect spot on your Christmas tree or around your home to celebrate your dog’s role in your life.
How to Make Dog Ornaments

By following these steps, you’ll create a unique and personalized ornament that captures the essence of your beloved pet, adding a special touch to your holiday celebrations.

Figurine Ornaments

Crafting a figurine ornament of your dog is a wonderful way to capture their essence and add a personalized touch to your holiday decor. Follow these detailed steps to create a lasting memory of your furry friend:

  1. Choose Your Material: Decide whether to use polymer clay or a soft wood for sculpting or carving your ornament. Each material offers a unique texture and finish.
  1. Gather Reference Photos: Collect several photos of your dog from different angles to accurately capture their proportions and unique features.
  2. Sculpt or Carve Your Figurine: Using your chosen material, begin shaping the figure of your dog. For polymer clay, knead until soft and then mold to form your dog’s shape. If using wood, carefully carve out the silhouette and details of your dog with carving tools.
  3. Add Details and Textures: Focus on adding the finer details such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and fur texture. Use tools that allow for precision to enhance the likeness to your pet.
  4. Bake or Set Your Figurine (if using polymer clay): If you’ve chosen polymer clay, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to bake and set your figurine. Ensure it’s completely cooled before proceeding.
  5. Paint Your Ornament: Select paints that match your dog’s coat and other distinctive features. Carefully paint your figurine, allowing each color to dry before applying the next.
  6. Add Festive Elements: To infuse a holiday spirit, consider adding a playful pose or a holiday accessory like a Santa hat or a ribbon collar to your figurine.
  7. Apply a Sealant: Once the paint is dry, apply a clear sealant to protect the paint and the material of your figurine, ensuring it lasts for many holiday seasons to come.
  8. Attach Hanging Mechanism: Fix a small screw eye hook to the top of your figurine (or drill a tiny hole if necessary). Thread a decorative ribbon or hook through the eye to enable hanging.
  9. Find the Perfect Spot: Place your completed figurine ornament on your Christmas tree or in another special place in your home where it can be admired and cherished.
How to Make Dog Ornaments

By meticulously following these steps, you’ll craft a beautiful and endearing representation of your dog that captures their spirit and adds a personal touch to your holiday decorations.

By utilizing these methods and techniques of how to make dog ornaments, not only can you create beautiful, personalized ornaments of your beloved pet, but you also engage in a creative process that celebrates the unique bond you share. Each ornament becomes a cherished keepsake, enriching your holiday season with memories and the love of your furry family member.

Drawing Inspiration for Your Pet Ornaments

Pinterest: A Treasure Trove of Ideas

Pinterest is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to craft pet ornaments. By simply searching for “DIY pet ornaments” or “handmade dog ornaments,” you can find a plethora of images and tutorials that can spark your creativity. Create a dedicated board to save all your favorite ideas. Take note of common themes, materials, and techniques that catch your eye. The visual nature of Pinterest makes it easy to visualize the final product of your DIY project, helping you gather a broad range of ideas that can be tailored to your skill level and aesthetic preferences.

Amazon and Etsy: Exploring Commercial Creativity

Amazon and Etsy are fantastic platforms for researching pre-made pet ornaments. They offer a view into how professional artisans craft their products, providing insights into popular trends and styles. You might discover unique materials or painting techniques used in commercial ornaments that you can adapt for your DIY projects. Additionally, customer reviews can offer suggestions for improving durability and aesthetics, which can be incredibly useful when designing your ornaments.

Online Craft Forums and Blogs

Websites like Craftster or the DIY section of Reddit are goldmines for finding step-by-step guides, creative ideas, and problem-solving tips related to ornament crafting. Bloggers who specialize in DIY projects often share detailed posts about creating pet ornaments, including what worked, what didn’t, and how to make each project uniquely your own. Many of these sites allow for community interaction, where you can ask questions or share your own experiences for collective learning.

DIY Tips for Making Pet Ornaments

Start with Simple Designs

If you’re new to crafting ornaments, begin with simple designs that require fewer details and less intricate work. A silhouette of your dog’s breed or a basic paw print can be a great starting point. Simple designs are forgiving for beginners and can still result in beautiful ornaments that hold sentimental value.

Utilize Quality Materials

Investing in quality paints, sealants, and materials can make a significant difference in the outcome of your project. High-quality acrylic paints, for instance, will provide better coverage and a more vibrant finish on ceramic ornaments. Similarly, using a durable sealant will ensure your ornaments withstand the test of time and maintain their appearance over multiple holiday seasons.

How to Make Dog Ornaments

Personalize with Handwritten Details

For a truly personal touch, consider adding handwritten details to your ornaments, such as your dog’s name, adoption date, or a short, meaningful quote. Using a fine-tipped paint pen can help achieve legible and elegant script, making each ornament uniquely personal and even more special.

Test Techniques on Practice Pieces

Before applying a new technique or material to your actual ornament, test it out on a practice piece. Whether it’s trying out a new brushstroke with your paints or experimenting with baking polymer clay, preliminary trials can help prevent mistakes and allow you to adjust your approach for the best results on the final product.

Incorporate Holiday Themes with Moderation

While it’s tempting to go all out with holiday-themed decorations on your pet ornaments, moderation can often lead to a more tasteful and timeless design. Choose one or two holiday elements, like a small Santa hat or a holly sprig, to complement rather than overpower the main focus of your ornament – your beloved pet.

By taking inspiration from online platforms and following these DIY tips, you can create meaningful, personalized pet ornaments that not only enhance your holiday decor but also celebrate the cherished bond with your furry family members. Each crafted piece becomes a treasured keepsake, embodying the love and memories shared with your pet.

Frequenlty Asked Questions

Q: How Can I Make Dog Ornaments?

A: Making dog ornaments can be a fun and creative project! You can start by gathering materials like clay, felt, or even recycled materials. Choose a design that you like, whether it’s a simple silhouette or a more detailed sculpture.

Q: What Materials Do I Need to Make Dog Ornaments?

A: The materials you’ll need depend on the type of ornament you want to make. For clay ornaments, you’ll need clay and sculpting tools. For felt ornaments, you’ll need felt fabric, scissors, and glue. You can also use other materials like wood, fabric scraps, or even paper mache.

Q: Are There Any Specific Tools I Need to Make Dog Ornaments?

A: Basic sculpting tools like clay modeling tools or even household items like toothpicks can be handy for shaping clay ornaments. For felt ornaments, sharp scissors and a glue gun or fabric glue will suffice. If you’re using wood or other materials, appropriate cutting tools will be necessary.

Q: Can I Customize My Dog Ornaments?

A: Absolutely! That’s part of the fun. You can customize your dog ornaments by choosing different colors, patterns, or materials. You can also add embellishments like beads, sequins, or fabric paint to give your ornaments a unique touch.

Q: How Difficult Is It to Make Dog Ornaments?

A: The difficulty level can vary depending on your chosen materials and design complexity. Simple ornaments made from felt or paper might be easier for beginners, while sculpting detailed clay ornaments might require more practice and skill.

Q: Are There Any Tutorials or Guides Available for Making Dog Ornaments?

A: Yes, you can find plenty of tutorials and guides online that offer step-by-step instructions for making dog ornaments using various materials and techniques. Websites like Pinterest, YouTube, and crafting blogs are great places to start.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Make Dog Ornaments?

A: The time it takes to make dog ornaments depends on factors like the complexity of the design, the materials used, and your skill level. Simple ornaments might only take an hour or two to complete, while more intricate designs could take several hours or even days.

Q: Can I Sell the Dog Ornaments I Make?

A: If you’re making dog ornaments as a hobby, selling them could be a great way to share your creations with others and potentially make some extra income. Just make sure to price your ornaments fairly, considering the time and materials invested in each piece. If you plan to sell online or at craft fairs, be sure to check any regulations or permits required in your area.


In conclusion, mastering how to make dog ornaments is an enriching experience that combines creativity with the celebration of our four-legged companions. These personalized ornaments not only add a unique touch to your holiday decorations but also serve as perennial reminders of the love and joy pets bring into our lives.

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a novice looking to try your hand at something new, the process of creating these ornaments can be as rewarding as the final product. By drawing inspiration from various sources, using quality materials, and incorporating your personal touches, you can craft beautiful, meaningful decorations that capture the essence of your beloved pet.

Remember, each ornament you create is more than just a decoration; it’s a tribute to the special bond you share with your furry friend, making your holiday season all the more memorable.

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