How to Make a Santa Cam Ornament

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Are you tired of finding funny ideas for your Elf on the Shelf every day? Learn how to make a DIY Santa Cam Christmas ornament that’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

Elf on the Shelf has been everywhere for a few years now. If you’re like me and you’re getting tired of trying to come up with new capers for your Elf on the Shelf to get into, I have a fun alternative to the Elf on the Shelf that you’re going to love.

It’s the Santa Cam ornament. You hang this cute Christmas ornament on your tree and tell the kiddos that sends live video to Santa’s workshop so he 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 plastic ornament, a washer that I scavenged from around the house and some paint pens.

Best of all, with a Santa Camera ornament, you don’t have to find a new place to put it every day! All you have to do is hand the ornament on your Christmas tree, tell your kids the story and you’re set for the season! If you have young kids, be sure to hang it higher on the tree so they can’t reach it.

I think our DIY Santa Cam ornament came out really good and might be just the thing kids walking the line on the naughty/nice list need to keep them on the straight and narrow. At the very least, this homemade Christmas ornament is good for some family fun.

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

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

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

How to Make The Most Adorable Santa Cam Christmas Ornament

Learn how to make a DIY Santa Cam Christmas ornament as an alternative to Elf on the Shelf.
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


  • Clear flat ball ornament
  • Black craft paint
  • ½” to 1” washer
  • Ribbon or ornament hook
  • Red paint pen
  • White paint pen


  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks


  • First, remove the hanger/cap portion of your ornament, set it aside and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of black paint inside the ornament.
    Black paint squeezed into a clear, flat, round Christmas ornament
  • Cover the end 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 opening side down and allow excess paint to drip out for several hours.
    Clear ornament with black paint inside upside down in a blue plastic cup
  • Secure the washer to the center of ornament with hot glue so it stays put.
    Hot gluing the washer to the Santa Cam ornament
  • Add a red “button” with a paint pen, or you can also use a sticker or other item that resembles a button as well.
    Red button on Santa Cam ornament made with a red paint pen
  • 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 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

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