Have you seen the viral book ornament video going around?! You know, the one that holds tiny books that look like confetti, representing all of the books you read this year?! It’s magical and not as hard to make as you may think.
Last year, I lost count of how many family and friends sent me the viral videos saying, “you should do this!!”
Honestly, what a beautiful way to document your reading through the year! This is one of those treasures that you get excited to look back on year after year.
I decided to take on the craft and have outlined the steps for you below with a free Google template for lining up your book covers!
I’ve also linked all the materials you’ll need via Amazon. If you choose to make this craft for yourself, I hope you’ll consider using my affiliate links for your material purchases.
Let’s get to it!
First, you’ll need these items:
- 4” plastic ornament – I bought these. I liked that the ornament opens in half, it makes adding the books much easier! This traditional style will also work, but you will need to scale down your book cover images slightly to fit through the top opening.
- Printer-friendly sticker sheets
- Foam sheets
Note: you can get all of these individually at your local craft store, but I chose to buy all of these items in packs so that I could have them for years to come.
Note: I will have read ~100 books by the end of the year, which is why I opted for the 4″ ornament. If your reading total was 75 books or less, I think a 3″ ornament would be perfect!
You’ll also need a pair of sharp scissors, some decorative ribbon, and maybe a hot glue gun (personal preference!)
You can get all of these items and see all of my other Amazon favorites in my Amazon Storefront!
The most tedious part will no doubt be prepping your book covers. Pour a glass of something tasty and get to work! You’ll want to create two images of each cover, one for each side of the foam “book.” This will ensure that each book can be seen, no matter the facing side.
Have no fear, I’ve got a template ready to go that will perfectly pattern your covers! Drop your email in the box below and your template will be waiting in your inbox by the time you finish reading this post!
I discovered that the quickest way to pull images is to go to your Goodreads page, specifically your yearly Reading Challenge if you have one. There, you’ll see a list of thumbnail images of all of the books you read this year! These images are already small and will require minimal adjustment when you paste into your template.
Start copying and pasting into your Google Slides template!
Once you’ve correctly sized the fist image, copy it and paste to make the duplicate. This will save you a little time by not having to resize the second image.
Once you’re done aligning your book covers, print them on your sticker paper and get cutting!
Note: As I cut, I kept the matching covers together. I did not cut the duplicate covers apart until right before I stuck them to the foam. This will keep you from having to find n100 matching pieces.
If you want to be extra efficient (or if you’re a teacher and already have one of these at home), you can *cut* this time drastically by using a paper slicer.
This tool has come in handy time and time again, even outside of teaching! I highly recommend having one at home for general use!
The next step is prepping your foam pieces. If you followed my book cover template, you’ll cut your foam into 6/8” x 1” pieces. (Again, that paper slicer is gold.) If you scaled your images down to accommodate a top-opening ornament, cut out one of the images and measure to find the size needed to cut.
Alternatively, you can place one sticker of each book cover onto the foam sheet and cut them out individually. Then, place the duplicate sticker on the back side.
Place book cover stickers on both sides of the foam and drop them inside of the ornament!
Once all of your books have been added to the ornament, close it up!
Next, it’s time to add a ribbon to make a hanging loop. I can’t stand when an ornament hangs sideways because the ribbon has been threaded straight through the ornament. Here’s a trick to tying the ribbon in a way that will keep your ornament hanging flat. Fold the ribbon in half and thread the middle about an inch through the hole of the ornament. Then, loop the ends back through the middle section. After you’ve pulled it tight, you can tie the ends of the ribbon together to make a completed loop.
Dress it up by tying a bow with your ribbon. This is where you may want to use a drop of hot glue to keep the ribbon in place! (Note: if you plan to go back at a later date and add books read between now and the end of the year, you do not want to use glue yet.)
To go an extra step, add the year to your ornament with a small paint pen.
Note: As of writing this post, I have two months of reading left in 2022! I plan to add the books I read in November and December to the ornament in January.
Was this blog post helpful?! I’d love to know if you use these steps to commemorate your own reading.
Please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram and Facebook to show me your final product!
This was so helpful, thank you! I’m excited to not have to figure this all out from scratch.
I’m so happy to hear that!! Happy crafting!
This will be so helpful. I plan to make this ornament with a friend of mine. Thank you for putting this together.
I’m so glad it’s helpful!
Thank you for sharing! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 I appreciate it. Makes it so easy to follow along. Question – any issues with the plastic round ornaments not fitting together? Some reviews mentioned they didn’t work or were falling apart.
I haven’t had that problem, but I do plan to secure the ornament with a small drop of super glue once I’ve added November and December’s books.
Thank you so much for sharing! Just downloaded your template, but trying to figure out the exact size of each book. Thanks!
I’m so glad the template is helpful!
Thank you so much! I’m going to make these for each member of my book club, with all the books we read together this year.
Question: your template changes the ratio from the Goodreads images, making them a little wider than the original. Is there a reason for this?
Thanks again — this walkthrough is by far the most comprehensive I’ve found!
How fun! The template is a little wider that the Goodreads covers because I think it’s a little easier to see the titles, but your template is editable so you can always adjust! 🙂
Wonderful, thank you! I’m excited to get going on them!
Made the ornament for my book club girls. They loved it! Followed your guidelines and had no problems. Thank you so much.
So glad it was helpful, Nicole!
Ahhh this is so helpful! Thank you for the template, I am so stoked to make this!!
Hi. I’ve signed up to receive the template and it’s not in my inbox, not even the spam folder. I was wondering what size you made the boxes as I may be freestyling it myself. Thanks.
Question! I know the foam pieces are 6/8” x 1”. Is that what size the boxes are for the covers? Or is the foam slightly larger than the covers? I can’t wait to make these =)
I might be missing something obvious but I am having trouble resizing the book covers to fit into the template-it’s very fiddly, and some seem to size easier than others (meaning I have white space around some and not others) Any tips for how to keep the book covers consistently the same size?