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Button-Covered Christmas Ornament to Make with a Preschooler

I love this ornament.

Like the jingly pom pom ball (that is my first favorite), this one came out really nicely. They were really similar ornaments, starting with a styrofoam ball and a lot of glue.

button ornament

We also worked on this one in short stages, and Grace was really involved.

That probably contributes to how much I enjoyed it.

Button buttonsOrnaments


  • Lots of buttons – We have a fabric outlet in the Harrisburg area that sells buttons by the pound. Over the years, I've amassed a several pound collection that I store in a big jar in our craft supplies. Grace and I raided the jar, choosing only fancy buttons with shanks on the back.
  • A styrofoam ball
  • Thick tacky glue
  • One straight pin
  • A length of ribbon for hanging


  1. Have your small helper press a button into the styrofoam ball and then remove it. It should've made a hole; fill that hole with glue.
  2. Press the button back into the glue-filled hole.
  3. Repeat with more buttons, covering about a quarter of the ornament. If you cover more than this, the buttons that are facing down are going to fall out because the glue hasn't dried yet.
  4. Set the ornament down with the buttons facing up. Leave it until the glue is dry.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until the ornament is covered with buttons to your satisfaction.
    button ornament for preschoolers
  6. Choose a spot to be the top of the ornament. Squeeze some glue into the spot and pin a length of glue on top. The pin and glue together should hold it securely even though the ornament will be heavy.
    Christmas ornament covered with buttons
  7. Done!

A note about crafting with a preschooler

We quickly realized that smaller buttons worked better than larger ones. The larger ones required repeated gluing, sometimes three or four times, until they stayed on the ball. The silver one below was the biggest and the hardest to stick. The little brightly colored buttons and the lighter weight metallic buttons were a breeze to work with.

button covered Christmas ornament

Grace's favorite part of this ornament was sorting the buttons. She made piles with all of the little colored pearly buttons, the silver buttons, the gold buttons, the white buttons, the flower buttons, and on and on. She liked the sorting.

Then she put all of her buttons into a bowl and pretended to eat them for breakfast.

Such is crafting with a 3-year-old.

If I was making this ornament by myself, I would've fit the buttons together like a puzzle so that there was almost no styrofoam showing through.

Christmas ornament covered with buttons

Grace didn't care about styrofoam showing through.

But how cute is that flower-shaped button? I love that one.

After the ornament was finished and dry, I tried going back and adding glittery paint to the styrofoam spaces, but that didn't improve the ornament. You couldn't even see them, so I quit after a couple of spots.

The finished ornament is too heavy for Grace's little tree, so it's hanging on her door knob with the jingly pom pom ornament.

Looking for more ornaments to make with a preschooler? I've compiled all of our ornaments crafts on this page.

© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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