DIY Santa Cam Ornament

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Stop worrying about finding creative ideas for your Elf on the Shelf every day. My DIY Santa Cam Ornament is the perfect solution… it’s easy for parents and fun for kids.

Cute Santa Camera Christmas ornament that can be used as an alternative to Elf on the Shelf

If you’re tired of trying to come up with new capers for your Elf on the Shelf to get into, I have a fun alternative you’ll love. It’s the Santa Cam Ornament.

While it’s not a real camera, you can hang this cute Christmas ornament on your tree and tell the kids that it sends live video to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. Christmas Elves monitor the video so Santa can keep his naughty and nice list up to date all the time.

It’s a super affordable alternative to Elf on the Shelf too. I made this fun DIY Santa Cam with a simple clear ornament, a washer that I scavenged from around the house and some paint pens I already had.

If you think a Santa Camera looks like the perfect way to keep your kiddos on their best behavior this Christmas season, then be sure to keep scrolling to learn how to make a Santa Cam below!

Supplies

  • Clear disc ornaments
  • ½” to 1” washers
  • Ribbon or ornament hooks

Tools

  • Red paint pen
  • White paint pen
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Black craft paint
  • Disposable cups

By the Numbers: How to Make Santa Camera Ornaments

Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to make your own Santa Cam Ornament so your kids will know Santa’s watching!

Step 1: Squeeze Black Paint into Ornament

The first step is to remove the hanger/cap portion of your ornament, set it aside and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of black paint inside of your ornament.

Black paint being squeezed into a clear, flat, round Christmas ornament.

Step 2: Shake Paint and Dry

Cover the end of your clear ornaments with tape and then your finger. Shake vigorously and roll to coat the inside completely with paint. Add more paint if needed.

Once it’s evenly coated, push the ornament into a plastic cup with the opening side down and allow excess paint to drip out for several hours. Touch up any bare spots with black paint.

Clear ornament with black paint inside upside down in a blue plastic cup.

Step 3: Make Camera Lens

Next, you want to use your hot glue gun to attach the washer to the center of the front of the ornament so it looks like the Santa Cam lens.

Hot gluing a washer to the front of the Santa Cam ornament.

Step 4: Paint a Red Dot

Add a red dot with a paint pen that will be the camera button, or you can also use a sticker or other item that resembles a button as well.

Red button painted on a Santa Cam ornament with a red paint pen.

Step 5: Paint Santa’s Camera

Use a white paint pen to write “Santa’s Camera” in a pretty scrolly writing, then allow the ornament to dry completely.

Santa's Camera written on front of the Santa Cam ornament with a white paint pen.

Step 6: Hang on Christmas Tree

Replace the ornament cap on the top of the ornament and attach a ribbon, string or hook for hanging. This DIY Santa Cam Ornaments makes the perfect addition to your tree.

Finished Santa Cam ornament on a table next to an artificial Christmas tree branch.

Tips for Making Your Santa Cam Ornament

Answers to all of your questions about making easy Santa Cam Ornaments, including tips and variations.

Use a Cricut machine

A lot of people are using Cricut cutting machines to make the words out of vinyl for this ornament rather than painting it on. If you don’t have good handwriting and you have a Cricut machine, there are tons of Santa Cam SVG files you can use.

Make a Grinch Cam

Another cute variation on this Christmas craft is to make a Grinch Cam. Instead of black paint, use sparkly green paint. And instead of the words “Santa’s Camera”, paint the words “Grinch Camera” onto your ornament.

Make a more realistic camera lens

If you want your camera to look more realistic, you can use a mini camera lens instead of a washer.

More DIY ornaments for your Christmas tree

If you enjoyed making these adorable Santa cam ornaments, here are some more homemade Christmas ornaments to make!

Buy instead of DIY

If you’re more of the type to purchase your Christmas ornaments, you can also purchase a Santa Cam Ornament on Etsy or Amazon.

DIY Santa Cam ornament with artificial Christmas tree branches on a wood table

DIY Santa Cam Ornament

Learn how to make a DIY Santa Cam Christmas ornament as an alternative to Elf on the Shelf in this fun craft for the holiday season.
5 from 4 votes
Print (no photos)
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Drying Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 1 Ornament

Supplies

Tools

  • Red paint pen
  • White paint pen
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Black craft paint
  • Disposable cups

Instructions

  • The first thing you want to do is remove the hanger/cap portion of your ornament, set it aside and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of black paint inside of the ornament.
    Black paint being squeezed into a clear, flat, round Christmas ornament.
  • Cover the end with tape then your finger. Shake the ornament and roll it to coat the whole inside with paint. Add more paint if needed. Set the ornament in a plastic cup with the opening side down and allow excess paint to drip out for several hours. Touch up any bare spots when it dries.
    Clear ornament with black paint inside upside down in a blue plastic cup.
  • Hot glue the washer to the center of ornament (it should look like the camera lens).
    Hot gluing a washer to the front of the Santa Cam ornament.
  • Add a red “button” with a paint pen, or you can also use a sticker or anything that looks like a button.
    Red button painted on a Santa Cam ornament with a red paint pen.
  • Use a white paint pen to write “Santa’s Camera” in a pretty handwriting, then allow the ornament to dry completely.
    Santa's Camera written on front of the Santa Cam ornament with a white paint pen.
  • Replace your ornament cap and attach a ribbon, string or hook to hang on your tree.
    Finished Santa Cam ornament on a table next to an artificial Christmas tree branch.

More Fun Christmas Craft Ideas

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