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Naturally Educational » 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Winter » Christmas Tree Ornament – On Pins and Needles!

Christmas Tree Ornament – On Pins and Needles!

Every year, my daughter makes homemade ornaments for our tree and for family and friends.  This year, my toddler joined the tradition with the simple glass globes.  I’ll be sharing last year’s beaded snowflakes later this week.  This year, we made a whole Christmas Tree!

We used a kit purchased from Oriental Trading but these are materials you can easily find nearby if you are short of time or prefer not to order.  I just find that sometimes it is less expensive to buy a kit than to purchase all the materials separately.


  • 8 gold safety pins, large (1.5″)
  • 5 gold safety pins, small (1.25″)
  • assorted shiny beads, mostly green (if you are following the pattern from Oriental Trading, you’ll need 31 green, 7 gold, 5 silver, 5 purple, 3 blue, 3 red)
  • 1 gold star bead
  • 3 green chenille stems


1. The 8 large safety pins form the bottom of the tree.  You can really bead them in any order and the pattern from Oriental Trading is designed to create the appearance of a random design.  The key is to use 2-3 green beads on each pin and not place two other color beads (silver, purple, blue, and red) on top of each other on the pin or in the same position on adjacent pins. If you wish to follow the exact pattern shown here it is:

Pin 1: G, G, P, G

Pin 2: G, S, G, G

Pin 3: R, G, G, B

Pin 4: G, P, G, R

Pin 5: G, G, S, G

Pin 6: B, G, G, P

Pin 7: G, S, G, G

Pin 8: G, G, P, G

2. Thread the chenille stem through the heads of the completed large safety pins, using the gold beads as spacers (so, pin, gold bead, pin, gold bead, etc.).

3. Bead the 5 smaller safety pins in the same manner, this time with three beads each, two of which should be green.  Again, the pattern in the kit is:

Pin 1: S, G, G

Pin 2: G, B, G

Pin 3: G, G, R

Pin 4: P, G, G

Pin 5: G, S, G

4. Use a chenille stem to connect and thread the smaller pins with the larger pins in this way: head of small pin, bottoms of two larger pins, head of small pin, bottoms of two larger pins, head of small pin, bottoms of two larger pins, head of small pin, bottoms of two larger pins, head of small pin.

5. Thread the final chenille stem through the bottoms of the smaller pins, twist, add the star, and twist again to form the loop for hanging the ornament. This might also make a nice lapel pin for an adult friend.

A Christmas Tree Book:

The Beautiful Christmas Tree: A heartwarming story about a man who appreciates the beauty in the meaningful. The fashionable denizens of gentrified neighborhood consider Mr. Crockett odd because he buys the most run-down house, cleans his own windows, and buys a barely thriving stick of a tree one Christmas. As that tree thrives and the beautiful songbirds roost, first one young boy, and then the rest of the community, comes to appreciate the quiet dignity of Mr. Crockett and his nurturing spirit. The illustrations are warm and captivating, not saccharine. And the seasonal message is subtle, not preachy. This is a beautiful selection for multicultural audiences that touches on themes of generosity, kindness, and tolerance, without any overt religious message.

Educational Connections:

(These are primarily connected with the book. Many of these questions are on a higher level than the picture-book itself. With young children, reading the book and doing an activity should be sufficient and older children may consider the questions.)

  • Ecology: Plant your own evergreen if possible. Questions to consider: What are the environmental implications of buying a real tree, a live tree to be re-planted, or a plastic tree? Which will your family choose and why?  How does Mr. Crockett care for the young sapling in the winter?
  • Ecology: Make a bird feeder and feed the birds this winter. Question to consider: Why does Mr. Crockett feed the birds in the winter?
  • Culture / Traditions: Go caroling with a playgroup or scout troop.  Consider caroling at a home for the elderly–they will love seeing the kids and the kids will become more accustomed to being in the company of people from other generations.  As the kids get older, they might play instruments, perform skits, play board games, or read to the residents and learn about their lives.  Questions to consider: Do you have a tight-knit community? Is there anyone who is usually left out of community celebrations because he or she is different or ill or elderly?  Is there a way to make that person feel more included?  To what extent do both David and Mr. Crockett benefit from their relationship?

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), Ecology, Featured, History and Culture, Home Arts, Winter · Tags: , , , ,

11 Responses to "Christmas Tree Ornament – On Pins and Needles!"

  1. Nice book. Love the ornament! My daughter would definetly want to do this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Janelle says:

    That’s a pretty fancy tree! Another book I haven’t heard of before that I will need to add to my list.

  3. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    This is so pretty. I love the star at the top. The book looks wonderful. Please stop by and link this post to Read.Explore.Learn.

  4. Rebecca says:

    love this. We will do this right away

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