Not gonna lie, putting up my Christmas tree was pretty painful this year. Not only are we having the 1st holiday since mom passed, she was also the one who made my Disney Christmas tree happen.
How did I come up with the idea to use Playsets as Christmas ornaments? How did we hang them on our tree? Did it save us a ton of money? Scroll down to read all about it and for a materials list.
So a few years ago, probably 5 or so, I decided I wanted a Disney themed Christmas tree and surprise, I got one, although in an unexpected way! When I look at my cartoon character ornaments it still makes me super happy. My Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum ornament makes me smile.
When hanging Ariel or Elsa on my tree it makes me want to break out in song! This is the story about the year I decided that I was going to make my Disney tree happen!
So back when I was just dreaming about my Disney tree there was one big problem with creating a tree with ALL of my favorite characters. Have you ever looked at the price of Christmas ornaments?!
They are not cheap unless you are getting someone’s hand-me down ornaments, and no one EVER hands down Disney ornaments.
I looked at the price of Disney ornaments at the Disney Store, Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Even on sale they are pricy and I knew it would take me years to build the tree of my dreams. *sigh*
Even worse than that ornaments are terribly fragile in general. Even before I had kids I had cats that thought my Christmas tree was the best jungle gym ever! Surprisingly my cat knocked over the tree much more when he was young and pretty small. As he got older and quite chubby he learned to sleep on the low branches close to the “trunk”.
As an old chubby kitty he would actually only knock off a few ornaments, probably playing, but would leave the rest of the tree fairly undisturbed, but by this time there was new players in town. My old kitty Tweak wasn’t wreaking the havoc that my 2 children were! I had an 8 year old and a 4 year old and they touched everything!
Of course they would want to play with all the coolest looking ornaments and they always seem to be the most fragile. Since I had had multiple cats for the last 15 years many of my ornaments were plastic, but I still had a few super cool ones that wouldn’t tolerate anything less than the most delicate treatment.
How could I spend a mint on Disney ornaments when I couldn’t keep my kids from breaking my best ornaments? I had avoided purchasing any Disney ornaments while I thought this over. My epiphany came one day while at the Disney outlet store.
We love the Disney Outlet Store in Hershey, Pa. If you have never been to a Disney Outlet Store you should definitely check and see if there is one near you. You can buy many of the things they have on shopDisney.com but stuff goes on super duper sale a lot more at the actual store and you don’t have to pay for shipping.
We had probably gone twice and seen the 5 character playsets at $10 a piece if you bought 3 of them. That is 15 Disney characters for around $30. I’m just going to put the link to Disney ornaments here for comparison…
Not only are the ornaments pretty expensive but some of them are pretty fragile as well. I decided right then that I would rather buy a bunch of these playsets and make them into ornaments. Then if my kids stole them off the tree I wouldn’t be as irritated or scared they would break them or hurt themselves.
As it goes I went from going to school full-time to working full-time and the transition was hard and kids take a ton of energy to keep up with. I did not end up making the Disney tree of my dreams this year but someone special had listened to what I wanted and hatched a plan.
My mom started searching in stores and online for the best deals on Disney playsets. I’m sure she spent a pretty penny, but saved so much by buying toys than if she had have bought these character ornaments individually, and they are so cute!
After mom bought a bunch of playsets she asked Billy my significant other to help with how to hang the characters. He bought something very similar to this and twisted them in by hand, for hours! He did a gazillion of these ornaments that year. How was this still a surprise? Well he is nocturnal by nature so he had all night to work on these and I never even gave it a 2nd thought.
He pre-drilled the ornaments, eye-balling them to try and get the eye-screw in the correct place to make them balance once hung. He said that the pre-drilled holes are so tiny if it doesn’t hang right you can just take out the eye-screw and place it somewhere different. It isn’t very noticeable if you want to move the eye-screw to a different location later.
When I opened my Christmas presents and found so many family friendly Disney Christmas ornaments I was ecstatic! I thanked them both so much because I know this was a labor of love and they both put in so much time to do this because they knew it would make me so happy.
I have so many fun character ornaments unless I were to get a giant 8 ft tree I can’t fit all my ornaments on at one time. I end up rotating different ornaments for different years and I’ve only included pictures of the ones we have up this year.
One thing to consider is a lot of these ornaments have bases because they were made to stand. They are also a little heavier than many traditional ornaments, but that is often the trade-off if you are wanting something sturdy instead of delicate.
Am I done collecting ornaments for my Disney (and Pixar) Christmas Tree? Of course not! The kids favorite things change all the time and I love adding to the rotation of characters. New movies come out all the time! These are some of the new characters on my wish list.
We all love Winnie the Pooh! These characters are from my own childhood and we still watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh often.
Characters from the Movie Coco – https://amzn.to/3nC1Jem This movie about losing family members and keeping them in your heart hits home as of late. Coco is one of our family favorites.
Disney Junior Characters – https://amzn.to/38jLKLB My youngest likes all of these but Puppy Dog Pals was her 1st favorite and now she is moving on to Sophia the 1st, which my oldest also loved when she was little.
Onward Playset – https://amzn.to/3nzr74t Some of the big ones might be more challenging to hang but I’m sure your kids won’t be sad about getting extra toys that you don’t feel like hanging on your tree, win win!
I love my sturdy DIY Disney Christmas ornaments and I wanted to share because I think many other families would love this idea. Let me know if you also love Disney around Christmas and what your family does to add a little magic to your holiday season.
So, would you be willing to put in the work to save yourself money on your Disney Christmas tree? Are you going to raid your kids toy box right now to look for potential Christmas tree ornaments?
Best holiday wishes!