Asbjoern Andersen


Sound is a fantastic tool for creating and heightening that special Christmas atmosphere in your projects – and here’s some good news:

With this guide, you can easily create your own Christmas sound effects, using just what you already have in your house. It’s quick, free, and a lot of fun.

To make this hands-on guide, I asked my sound-designing friends for ideas, consulted the excellent Guide To Sound Effects and did some of my own experimenting in the studio.

Thanks to everyone who’s helped out – and without further ado, I give you:

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS SOUND EFFECTS


fireplace sfx

1: A cozy fireplace

Let’s start out with the warming, cozy Christmas fireplace: To create the sound effect of a crackling fire, there are several ways to do it: Slowly squeeze a bag of potato chips, or crumple a piece of cellophane. For the larger cracks and pops, slowly twist some bubble wrap, or break some matches.

 



Ice SFX

2: Icy Sounds

Here’s how you create some great ice-cracking sounds: First off, freeze some water in an ice cube tray. Once it’s frozen, twisting and bending the frozen tray will give you some brilliant cracking and creaking sounds.

 
 


magic sfx

3: Magic

To sprinkle your projects with a bit of Christmas magic, there’s one particularly effective tool for that: Wind chimes. They give out a great, recognizable sound to use when something magical happens and you want to take the Christmas spirit to 11. It’s also a great sound for wintry ambiences. If you don’t have any wind chimes handy, here are several clever ways you can easily create your own.

 


kissing sfx

4: Mistletoe kissing

For kissing under the mistletoe, here’s a recipe for creating a kissing sound from Mary Schoals: You’ll need a glass of water, your lips, and your forearm. Take a sip of water and wet your lips. Then, make out with the underside of your forearm, the part with very little hair–letting your mouth make sloppy kissing sounds.
If you’ve got an “assistant” at hand, you may be able to think of other ways of achieving a kissing sound.

 


Need some ready-made Christmas sound effects?
Here's the Christmas Sound Effects Bundle:
 
  • Get ready for Christmas with this X-Mas audio package featuring sleighbell loops, bells, swoosh, oneshots, twinkle and christmas ornament sound effects. With different mix-outs in a total of 175 sound files.

    Includes sounds like:

    04 Oneshots FX
    21 Sleighbell Loops
    14 Swoosh Sounds
    10 X-Mas Bell Theme Sounds (81 total)
    09 X-Mas Oneshots
    10 X-Mas Ornament Bell Sounds
    10 X-Mas Ornament FX Sounds
    05 Sleighbell Sounds
    04 X-Mas Swoosh
    17 X-Mas Twinkle Sounds

    Add to cart
'Christmas Sound Effects Bundle' by AudionFX isn't waiting until after Black Friday to pull out the tree. Since popular music has a funny way of crossing hemispheres, this library features the instrument synonymous with Christmas: sleighbells.

With over 170 Christmas sounds and one-shots as well as other ringing, twinkling bells, this collection will help you complete your yuletide soundscape, conjuring up images of falling snow and hot cocoa, or a day on the beach with a fruity cocktail if you're in balmy Queensland.

For a little Christmas cheer, have a listen to the aptly-named 'Christmas Sound Effects Bundle'.

 

christmas ornaments sfx

5: Ornaments

Dangle and shake metallic jewlery like earrings or similar for a ringing sound. Do you have a chandelier or similarly glass-equipped lamps or decorations in your house? They’ll make a great source for some glittery sounds too.

 


gift sfx

6: Presents

For the sound of presents being handled, sound designer Stuart Ankers suggests that you use a shoe box and fill it with various objects such as plastic toys, DVD cases, coins etc. Then shake the box with various degrees of excitement! For the sound of gift wrapping: Tear, glide, rub together and crumple old newspapers – or preferably magazines that have a slightly thicker paper quality – for some really useful sounds.

 


santa sfx

7: Santa in the chimney

For the sound of Santa squeezing himself through the chimney, try rubbing a balloon in sync with any visuals showing Santa’s wiggling efforts. Experiment with the various squeaks and creaks you get out of it. If Santa becomes stuck and manages to get free, add the almost-mandatory sound of a cork popping for a cartoony effect.

 


skiing sfx

8: Skiing

A simple way to make a skiing sound is simply to rub a sheet of paper across a table or desk. For a harsher, icier sound, you can rub polystyrene against a concrete surface.

 


sleighbells sfx

9: Sleigh Bells

You’ll of course get the best sound with the real deal – but if you’re low on bells, try this: Dangle a bunch of keys for the basic sound. For added effect, try dangling some metallic jewlerly (note: it might get slightly scratched, so beware) in sync with the key dangling for some more ringing. If you’ve got a sturdy metal chain with lots of links, you can also try beating/stroking/stepping on this while it’s laying tangled in a pile on the ground for some more ringing.

 

Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • Various automatic guns firing single shots and bursts in different environments such as big open area, forest road, container camp and more.

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  • Foley Essential Bodyfalls Play Track 197 sounds included $24

    Essential Bodyfalls offers high quality, detailed and ready to use bodyfalls on a variety of surfaces (dirt, gravel, sand, concrete, metal, grass and wood) with different intensities and variations.

    Great if you need to cover all your bodyfall needs with one library or to add variety to your arsenal (I know you are sick of those Sound Ideas falls).

    Recorded with a Sennheiser MKH 416 @ 24 Bits and 96 KHz.

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  • This library contains a number of guns, AK4, AK5, AK47, MP5, Walther PPK and Sig Sauer, being fired in a number of acoustically different indoor locations, a big stone hall, a cafeteria, a catacomb-like area, and a long corridor.

    Add to cart
  • ‘Magic Elements’ is a detailed collection of designed & source sounds of organic elements, actions, characters, items, spells & atmospheres in the realm of Magic.


    DESIGNED:

    In the designed section you will find 326 carefully crafted sounds.
    Volume 1 of this magic saga is comprehensively focused on 6 elements:
    Earth, Ice, Fire, Air, Black, and Generic.

    Each element comes with a variety of spells, actions/movements such as whoosh, impacts, atmospheres, projectiles, along with many variations in intensity and speed.

    All these sounds are carefully designed, edited and meta-tagged.

    The ‘generic’ category contains handy neutral go-to sounds that are useful for any project.

    SOURCE:

    The source folder is packed with 444 useful sounds that cover a large spectrum; thoroughly edited and meta-tagged. They will support your creativity with materials such as choirs, dissonant metal, creatures, papers, debris, drones, cracks, textures, friction, LFE sub sweeteners,…

    What’s inside:

    • Impacts, Whoosh, Air Swirls,
    • Fireball, Deflagration, Flame Thrower, Deep Sub Whoosh
    • Aura, Energy Stone, Old Grimoire, Healing,
    • Earthquake, Constant Debris, Falling Rocks, Ground Friction,
    • Haunted Books,Laboratory, Magic Box, Potion
    • Huge Ground Opening, Eerie Drones,
    • Dark Choir, Ominous Creatures, Dark Dissonant Metal Scrape,
    • Iceberg Destruction, Ice Scrapes, LFE Sub Sweeteners,


    Choose how you want your sounds!
    2 DOWNLOAD OPTIONS INCLUDED:

    • GLUED (Multiple variations of the same sound glued in one file)

    • SEPARATED (Each variations of sound are separated in different files)

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  • Welcome to the sonic world of electromagnetic fields – sounds that are everywhere but rarely heard!

    This library consists of a collection of 82 sounds, with each sound ranging from 6 seconds in length up to almost 7 minutes, exploring the buzzing, clicking, and general weirdness that is found to be emitted in the electromagnetic fields of 21 devices. These include a washing machine, guitar effects pedal, Ford Focus, and a factory Security System.

    These recordings range from a variety of straight buzzes and hums to sounds the morph and change over time. They are be great for something as simple as adding a hum to a refrigerator, to creating more complex soundscapes for your sci-fi projects, or to use as samples for music. This collection has been put together using little-to-no processing so as to give you sounds that can be manipulated however you may need.

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santa sleigh sfx

10: Sleigh Ride

For the sound of the sleigh moving through the snow, sound designer Kini Kay suggests you use a combination of flour and corn starch and take a block of wood and rub it around according to picture. For the sound of reindeer hooves, try beating two potatoes in a 3-beat rhythm in a pan filled with the flour and corn starch mixture above. You can experiment with adding sand, rice, and crushed crackers to alter the effect. Sprinkle with sleighbell sounds and make some huffs and puffs with your mouth to simulate those hardworking reindeer’s breathing.


Snowman sfx

11: Snowman-making

When you’re making a snowman, you’ll be rolling some big snow rolls to make up the body. To recreate the sound of this, fill a leather pouch or a balloon with corn starch, flour or salt. Then roll it between your hands as if you were rolling a sausage. For the squeaky sound of smaller patches of snow being added to a snowman, give the bag a few squeezes.

 


Snowball sfx

12: Snowball fighting

For a snowball being compacted-sound, squeeze a bag of salt / flour as with the snowman sound effects. For the inevitable snowball impact sound, punch the bag or a duvet. To sweeten the impact effect, also add the sound of you giving your chest a thump.

 


tree cutting sfx

13: Tree felling

For the chopping sounds, chop on a wooden cutting board with a knife. Watch your fingers, and consider adding some vegetables to add texture to the chopping (great for soup later on, too!). To make a a tree falling-sound, sound designer Stuart Ankers suggests using the sound of cellotape being stretched out and then slowing it right down. Experiment with different speeds and pitches, and eventually it should sound like a thick tree cracking and falling.

 


snow footstep

14: Walking in the snow

When you need to create that sound of Santa walking through the snow, here’s how: Use flour or corn starch in a pouch (or a balloon), or rock salt in an open/wide container such as a bowl, then “walk” around with your hands in it – or actually walk in it with your feet.

 


Winter wind sfx

15: Winter wind

Sound designer Sam Watson suggests that you try turning a touring bicycle upside down. Spin the tire and press a piece of stretched silk/parachute-pants/winter-parka against it – and out comes wind. For some extra howling, let the air out of a large ziploc bag (experiment with varying the degree of opening).

 


Hope you found this guide useful! Best of luck with your Holiday projects, and if you’ve got any more ideas for great Christmas sound effects, please share them in the comments below.

 

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NEED OUTSTANDING SOUND EFFECTS?
 
A Sound Effect features the world’s largest collection of independent sound effects
– a few wintry highlights
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  • Sports Bob Skeleton Play Track 82 sounds included, 24 mins total $29 $22

    Bob Skeleton library delivers exciting action sounds of  Two Men Bob and Skeleton heroes that go down the track with more than 100 kilometers/hour.

    The sounds of this library were taken from 9 spots along a track in Altenberg in the south of Germany. Each take is sorted and meta-tagged by recording spot and with this content you are able to assemble a complete run from start to finish or even to extend it by easily combining start sceneries, energetic passes in different speeds and noisy brakings down in the valley.

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    Two planks and two sticks, a simple yet effective way of transportation on snow. This release has various tracks, trails and off-trail skiing covered. Fast passbys, slow trekking, speeding down hill, falling down hill, climbing steep inclines, skidding stops and point of view skiing.

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  • Ice Designed Ice Play Track 48+ sounds included, 10 mins total $15 $10

    Designed Ice features creatively designed field recordings to create both exciting ice sound effects and evolving textures, that combine the natural sounds of ice with otherworldly and experimental digital post-processing.

    Designed Ice highlights:

    48 24bit / 96kHz WAV files / Meta-tagged (Soundminer)
    21 Elements
    17 Evolutions
    10 Source Recordings

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  • Ice Elements: Ice Play Track 1500 sounds included, 86 mins total $50

    Elements: Ice is a collection of ice sounds recorded and edited over the 2015/2016 winter by George Vlad. The library is made up of more than 1500 individual ice sounds including cracks, creaks, hits, impacts, smashes, drags, stomps, splashes and water under ice ambience. The sounds have been recorded over more than 4 months in Romania and Scotland at temperatures ranging between -25C/-13F and 5C/41F.

    The library's most obvious use is as Foley elements since it covers a wide variety of ice thicknesses and performances. As is the case with other libraries in the Elements series, these sounds can also be used for other purposes such as gore sweeteners, glass or wood cracks, bone breaks etc. Additionally, all files are recorded and mastered at 24/96 quality which makes them excellent sound design elements ripe for serious processing.

    Elements: Ice at a glance:

    • 89 .wav files ranging from 3 seconds to 8 minutes long; more than 1500 sounds in total
    • recorded and presented as 24 bit/96 kHz mono files
    • 1 hour and 26 minutes total length
    • 1.59 GB uncompressed size – 1.09 GB zip archive
    • recorded on Sound Devices 633 with Sennheiser MKH-8040 microphones and Sony PCM D100 with on-board mics and JrF hydrophones
    • comprehensive metadata compatible with Basehead and Soundminer

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  • Winter Footsteps One Play Track 1800+ sounds included
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $20

    If you're after high quality footsteps sounds on unique surfaces, this library is for you: ‘Footsteps One’ is the first library of the series aimed at providing exciting and unique footstep sounds for your next project. All the sounds were recorded in quiet remote locations in Northern Finland.

    Surfaces included:

    Forest Plain • Frozen Stairs • Grass • Gravel • Pine Needle Ground • Snow Deep • Snow Packed • Snow Scrapes • Wood Scrap

    Each surface comes with walk, scuff and stomp sounds with a lot of variations. Also included is bonus material like frozen stairs walk and snowscrapes recorded at various lengths.

    You get the sounds in two formats: 96 KHz 24 bit and in 44.1 KHz 16 bit, for more convenient ways of utilizing the sounds in games and other media.

    Don’t forget to check out the ‘Footsteps Bundle’ which gives you both of the libraries with a special bundle discount price!

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  • Environments Footsteps Snow Play Track 45 sounds included, 25 mins total $54

    A footstep library built from long walks in cold and snowy conditions. Recorded in a remote, deserted Swedish forest, miles away from the nearest road.

    Different types of snow and boots were recorded as well as different paces:

    • Crusty
    • Thin/hard packed
    • Deep
    • Frozen stairs and porches
    • Stomps/scuffs
    • Sneakers
    • Leather boots
    • Kamiks

    Each track is easy to edit into multiple single footsteps for sweetening your tracks with real snow.

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  • Destruction & Impact frostbite Play Track 843 sounds included, 49+ mins total $28 $14

    In the winter of 2013-2014, both the Northeast and the Northwest were slammed with snow, ice, wind, and blizzards. The SkewSound team braved the frigid cold and recorded what we could: footsteps, compression, breaking ice, body falls, and much more.

    Our content was obtained during storms and their aftermath in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Salem, MA. The frostbite SFX library contains some great impact sweeteners and sounds unique to winter temperatures. You won’t be disappointed!

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  • Foley Frozen Footsteps Play Track 2400 sounds included $49

    Prepare for shivers! Frozen Footsteps is a huge library of winter footstep & foley sounds recorded on 8 expressive and cold surfaces in real -20 °C (and below) temperatures.

    Containing over 2400 sounds in 81 files, Frozen Footsteps foley sfx library is created for game and film sound design. If your game needs winter footstep sounds, or you are missing some authentic source material to take your studio foley tracks to the next level, this is the library for you.

    All surfaces were recorded in real movement with multiple walking and running velocities. Frozen Footsteps library includes also real jumping and landings sounds. Jumping sounds are often missing from other foley libraries, but are extremely useful for creating character movement sounds for games. This package gets you covered.

    7 surfaces were recorded during two freezing winter nights in a quiet rural area in Finland. Everything from ground to trees was totally frozen and covered in frost. However, snow hadn’t fallen yet. This special moment allowed recording footsteps on unique surfaces that are usually under snowpack. To make the package complete, the frozen snow sounds were recorded later, with real crusty snow. In freezing temperatures, as well.

    All sounds were carefully edited in iZotope RX and Pro Tools 12 removing the background and clothing noise. This was quite a task, but it was worth it. This makes the sounds extremely clear, versatile, and easy to use.

    Library highlights:- 8 frozen surfaces
    – 2400+ sounds in 81 sound clips
    – Sneak, walk, run, jump, slide, scuffs, and more
    – 96 kHz, 24-bit stereo WAV files
    – 1.20 GB
    – Carefully edited & noise-free
    – Soundminer & BWAV metadata

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  • Ice Ice Cold Play Track 98 sounds included, 05min 35sec mins total $34.90

    Need crunchy, creaking, crackling sounds of ice cubes? This library delivers 98 sounds of ice creaking, ice cubes clinking and squeaking, ice moving, melting ice, and many other really cold sound effects in 24bit / 96 kHz quality.

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  • Environments Ice Skating Play Track 1000+ sounds included $39 $31

    'Ice Skating' is a very comprehensive library of 1000 audio files from the realm of ice skating.

    It encompasses a broad variety of sounds using different skating techniques and features many ice skating activities such as hockey games, figure skating, free skating and more.

    Most of the recordings have been made in an outdoor setting to reduce reverberations.

    Almost all of the sounds were recorded using a M/S technique with AKG C-414 and Rode Nt5, and Sound Devices mixPre.

    This library presents unique focused sounds that have been edited meticulously making them easier to integrate in any audiovisual project or interactive program.

    The rare distinctive quality of these recordings also allows them to be a base for
    any sound experimentation through a creative process; and can be layered with other sounds or treated in order to produce interesting sound design.

    A couple of Ambiences are also included in the library. These are ORTF stereo recordings of outdoors/indoors skating.

    Like every other sound library from Articulated Sounds, the files are embedded with metadatas (Soundminer/iXML/XMP/BWAV/ID3).

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  • Ice Ice Tension Play Track 206 sounds included $54

    A collection of 206 ice tension, creaking, and breaking sounds, recorded in a dense pine tree forest in Sweden.

    Ice Tension includes:

    • Very long tension creaking sounds
    • Multiple breaking sounds
    • Ice impacts on ice
    • Ice impacts into ice water

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  • Ice Icy Snow 2 HD Play Track 453 sounds included $35 $26.25

    Icy Snow 2 HD is a followup to Icy Snow HD.  This collection contains even more icy snow cracks, impacts, scrapes, debris and footsteps.  The weather produced a foot of snow covered in a 1/2 inch of ice.  Pretty unique sounds!  And it comes in two formats: “Individual Clips” & “Consolidated Tracks”.

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  • Animals & Creatures Dino – Roars & Growls Play Track 74 sounds included
    Rated 4.00 out of 5
    $15

    The terrifying sounds of re-imagined dinosaurs that are ready for the hunt and hankering for your Jeep tires!

    This library has 74 sounds of pterodactyls, velociraptors, brachiosaurus, and – of course – the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex, with multiple growls and roars (processed and raw) from each terrible reptile.

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  • Paper Books Alive Play Track 434 sounds included $24.99 $12.49

    Books Alive is a collection of 434 carefully recorded and mastered book sound effects.
    Turning pages, set downs, pick ups, drops, opens, closes, flipping pages, handling, sliding across and more!

    All audio files have been recorded at superb 192KHZ 24BIT, multiple mic positions to capture
    all the wonderful details such as cracking book bindings, handling of fabric and leather covers etc
    All files come with rich and detailed Soundminer’s metadata.

    Recoded books: (also embedded into notes section of metadata)

    BOOK 0 XS Paperback, 506 pages, thin recycled paper
    BOOK 1 S Paperback, 62pages, med-thick silk paper
    BOOK 2 M Hardback thick gloss finish, 508 pages, thin recycled paper
    BOOK 3 L Paperback, 206pages, old, thin carbon-paper like pages
    BOOK 4 XL Hardback thick fabric finish, 900 pages, thick uncoated pages
    BOOK 5 XXL Paperback, 860pages, med-thick uncoated pages
    BOOK 6 3XL Hardback thick fabric finish, 1800 pages, thin papyrus-like pages
    BOOK 7 4XL Hardback thick leather finish, 650 pages, thick, coated silk pages
    BOOK 8 5XL Hardback thick faux leather finish, 850 pages, thin coated, gloss, silk pages

    RECORDED WITH: Sound Devices MixPre 6 + Sennheiser MKH 8060
    EDITED AND MASTERED WITH: Pro Tools, iZotope RX (mildly).

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  • Materials & Texture Glacier Ice Play Track 300+ sounds included
    Rated 5.00 out of 5
    $40

    Glacier Ice is a library containing over 300 high quality sounds of ice cracking, breaking, shattering in various sizes of blocks – recorded entirely in the Italian Alps over the course of two winters.

    The library contains sounds of all dimensions, from ice cubes being dropped in a drink to a designed iceberg collapsing.

    The majority of the material was recorded at 192 KHz with a Sanken CO100K and a stereo pair of Sennheiser MKH8040, making this library greatly flexible for pitch shifting and all sorts of heavy processing.

    A small section recorded at 96KHz features sounds recorded exclusively with contact microphones placed directly on the surface of a frozen water stream.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
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