Top How Tos

» Primitive Christmas Ornaments

How Did I Do It? > Holidays & Celebrations > Primitive Christmas Ornaments
» Sponsors

Being from Pennsylvania, the history there is old and very full, and I loved learning about it. When I moved to Nebraska, one of the things that fascinated me there as well was the rich history that was part of the area by way of the pioneers. The history of this area is not as rich as that of other places but its full and interesting.

Part of that history was learning about the pioneer Christmas, and the way it was celebrated.
In pioneer homes the families cut their trees fresh, and a times it was a real trip to find one, particularly on the prairies.
Christmas trees were decorated with primitive ornaments.

Christmas trees were in fact decorated with ornaments as primitive as their lifestyles.

Things such as scraps of cloth, empty thread spools, stray buttons and small sewn stockings, gave them very simple, primitive but still charming accents. Some of them, were created by little children, using stitches that were slow and deliberate, and showed the childish crafting of the children of the time.

A Christmas tree in pioneer times was a luxury, and gifts beneath it, were even more of a luxury, sometimes nothing more than a stick of candy or a penny to buy some at the next town.

To decorate the trees, popcorn, being relatively inexpensive, or grown, was strung for garland, while cranberries, fairly rare and expensive, were not used for decorations, but rather to eat with the Christmas dinner

Small stockings such as these shown below were made of remnants of fabric, and backed by a bit of wool from an old coat or rug.

Round penny like fabric pieces were added and blanket stitched around, with a button or two added.
I found these ornaments about ten years ago in a cross stitch book and have saved the patterns since, because they were great ideas for some primitive christmas ornaments for your country or primitive decorating theme

These are easy and super fast to stitch and with a bit of imagination you can adapt them to make exactly the primitive christmas ornaments that you’d like to have.

Don’t forget the popcorn garland.


  1. cheryl weaver
    July 31, 2009

    Those are really cute! I love the prim look and anything hand stitched.

    Leave a reply
  2. Alyce Kennedy
    November 15, 2011

    Just found these! Thanks so much for sharing. I love them!

    Leave a reply
  3. Barbara H.
    January 16, 2012

    These are so cute!

    Leave a reply
  4. Jodi Smith
    January 20, 2012

    Always looking for new cross stitch patterns for Christmas ornaments. These are perfect. Thanks for sharing!

    Leave a reply
  5. Eve
    October 17, 2014

    Just came across this on Pinterest! I love them and will be making them for our tree this year! Thank you and I will re-pin it! 🙂

    Leave a reply
  6. Deborah
    November 5, 2014

    My Grandmother passed away two years ago at the age of a hundred and twelve and I was so blessed to receive her button tin. You can only imagine the buttons she has kept over the span of he lifetime. What a wonderful way to share them with family using them on these ornaments!

    Leave a reply
  7. Julie Current
    November 6, 2014

    These are adorable! I am going to try making some with my special needs students for a Christmas fundraiser. Thank you for the wonderful idea. 🙂

    Leave a reply

Leave a Comment

Add your picture!
Join Gravatar and upload your avatar. C'mon, it's free!