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DIY College-Themed Christmas Ornaments

From mascots to cheerleading elves

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Christmas tree ornaments are a wonderful way to preserve memories, whether it's a souvenir from a family vacation or a varsity letter you hang from your tree. So why not commemorate your kid's freshman year. Here's a round of possibilities, from a cheerleading elf to a stuffed mascot.

1. A Collegiate Advent Calendar

Photo by Jackie Burrell
This hang-able advent calendar boasts little pockets of treats - mascot bookmarks, a campus bookstore gift card and more. It's an easy project that requires little more than paper, ribbon and, of course, treats. Use it to count down to Christmas Eve ... or finals.

2. Vintage Paper Dolls

Victorian paper dolls
Photo by Jackie Burrell
Looking for a new DIY ornament idea? These hilarious, college-themed paper dolls add a twist to the old-fashioned concept of Victorian paper craft. The results - 19th century-era girls in University of Texas cowboy boots, for example - look great dangling from a tree in that first apartment.

3. Glossy Mascots

UGA ornaments
Photo by Jackie Burrell
These easy, handmade decorations can reflect any theme you choose, from the glorious bulldogs of the University of Georgia to the Ramblin' Wrecks of Georgia Tech - or anything else for that matter. Who'd have thought wooden disks, photos and a dash of high-gloss varnish could yield something so fun?

4. University Snow Globe

Photo by Jackie Burrell
Snow in Georgia? Well, it's certainly snowing on Georgia Tech's iconic tower in this fun, easy craft project. Turn any college landmark and mascot into the centerpiece of a snow globe using styrofoam, photographs, tiny trees and the globe itself, which can be found in craft stores.

5. Cheerleader Ornaments

Christmas ornaments
Photo by Jackie Burrell

This little cheerleader ornament was inspired by a Family Fun magazine craft project from years ago. It uses wooden beads, pipe cleaners, embroidery floss and felt, but where the original "Pipe Cleaner People" project made goofy little people and Halloween witches, this one wears a campus cheerleading uniform and totes a pompom.

6. A Twist on the Glass Ball Theme

Christmas crafts
Photo by Jackie Burrell

Your college kid's mascot, university logo or even a graduation picture and colorful sprinkles fill a clear glass ball ornament in this simple, inexpensive project for the family tree.

7. Then-and-Now Ornaments

Photo ornaments
Photo by Jackie Burrell

These photo ornaments capture that incredible passage of time, with a baby photo on one side, and a graduation portrait on the other. Ready-made ornament frames tend to be very heavy - and one-sided. Instead, use a photo pendant frame, available from craft stores with jewelry making supplies, such as www.photojewelrymaking.com. These lightweight metal frames come in all sizes (including some designed specifically for ornaments), with a loop on the top for a necklace chain or, in our case, an ornament hook.

8. Stuffed Fabric Mascot

Mascot ornaments
Photo by Jackie Burrell

Whether it's an Oski, a Banana Slug or Alabama's ferocious Crimson Tide elephant, every campus has a mascot plastered on T-shirts, scarves and even fabric by the yard. That makes it easy to make your own stuffed little ornaments, with beaded or embroidered embellishments.

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