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Broken Christmas Ornament Art: Make Something From Those Trinkets That Broke

Published by Gilma Biagini

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Rather than throwing away those broken, worn down, ruined, or tired Christmas ornaments or decorations, recycle them into assemblage art pieces. So much can be created from these pieces, which could be displayed year-round. Here is an idea to try depending on what is available:


  • Broken Christmas ornaments
  • Christmas garland
  • 9×13 inch pre-primed canvas board
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Spray fixative
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint or sponge brushes
  • Gel medium
  • Scissors
  • Small containers of water
  • Glitter in a shaker
  • Scraps of Christmas wrapping paper


  1. Create a mottled background on the canvas board using the acrylic paint. This effect can be achieved using a pouncing method with the paint or sponge brush and very little water. Create a black border about one or one and half inches wide around the border of the canvas board. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step. You can speed drying time through use of a heat gun or hair dryer.
  2. Cut the scraps of wrapping paper into small squares, rectangles, circles, or any other shape that is appealing. Places these shapes in random places of the canvas board using the gel medium.
  3. Start randomly placing items on the canvas board using the hot glue gun. Try not to give too much thought about the placement of these items and let the piece assemble itself.
  4. Add garland as the final layer using the hot glue gun to affix it to bare areas of the canvas board, as well as on top of the assembled broken Christmas ornaments.
  5. Spray everything down with the fixative, shake on some glitter, and then spray it again to affix the glitter into place.


  • Rather than using scraps of wrapping paper (or in addition to using the scraps of wrapping paper), use old Christmas cards.
  • Rather than using a piece of canvas board, consider using an old cutting board or a scrap piece of wood.
  • Consider shaking glitter on to the acrylic paint before it dries completely, and then spray on some fixative to ensure proper adhesion.

This is a great project to work on with children because there are no strict guidelines to follow, plus it teaches them about recycling. This is also a great opportunity for an artistic play date! Consider asking your children to invite their friends over with their broken Christmas ornaments and decorations, scraps of wrapping paper, and old Christmas cards so there will be a larger variety of materials to choose from. This option will also futher enhance the learning experience for everyone involved.

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