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:  
  • Game Audio Packs & Bundles Effective Trailer Pulses Play Track 67 sounds included, 63 mins total $24.99

    A strong set of pulsating elements and complex cinematic sequences featuring dynamic synth textures, evolving futuristic soundscapes, hybrid trailer pulses, and percussive sound design.

    This original library is from the personal collection of trailer music composer Federico Soler Fernández (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” – “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” – “Halloween 2018” – “The Predator 2018”)

    Add to cart
  • Human Quirboilly Play Track 538+ sounds included, 35 mins total $38

    Quirboilly (cuir bouilli) is in reference to the traditional state of leather before it was commonly worked to produce various components in armor.  When you need that extra close, intimate boost to your leather and metal clothing/material Foley, reach for this library. Excellent at grabbing the listener’s attention and really lighting up the brain, these sounds were designed to capture the nuance and detail of various leather textures and items, decorated with metallic accessories and fallalery.

    Each item was worked and re-worked in all manners of handling to pull out the crepitation and squeaks, course and fine grains, flops and rigids hits, and plenty of clanks and clacks of rivets, buckles, clasps, and other metal components knocking together. Beyond the many handling sounds, there are specific drops and light impact sounds of two different proximities. As impacts are quite commonly needed for Foley and creative designs, we were sure to capture them for these rich textured leather and metal items.

    Chock full of frequency content, take your drama, historic, medieval, armor, 80’s, rockumentary, and all other leather-and-metal-bound projects to the next level.

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  • TH Studio Production presents VANDRIA, an epic cinematic vocal library, featuring the voice of the singer Megi Angelova.

    Born in Bulgaria, Megi Angelova is a singer/songwriter based in London, UK. Coming from a background of musicians and artists she always has been fascinated by art and music which inspires her to look beyond the frames and to experiment with different styles of music, vocals, lyrics, musical instruments and sound effects .

    The library includes a version for the full Kontakt 5.8.1+, and a .wav version:

    17 Kontakt 5 instruments:
    • 2 Types Vocal Legato
    • 2 Types Vocal Legato Portamento
    • 2 Types Vocal Legato Sustain 
    • Vocal Music Phrases : Cm , C#m, G#m, Hm .
    • Vocal Whispers Phrases
    • Vandria Pad

    + WAV version

    Add to cart
  • City Life RAIN Play Track 54 sounds included $46 $35.70

    RAIN features various kind of RAIN AMBIENCES and EFFECTS from different parts of CITIES and FORESTS.
    In the forests, you’ll find sounds of RAIN FALLING ON DIRT, LEAVES and more.
    In addition to the sounds of CARS PASSING BY and RAINY TRAFFIC in cities, you’ll also find RAIN COMING OUT FROM PIPES, HITTING THE ASPHALT and various kinds of RAIN POURING ON ROOFS such as PORCHES and LARGE PARKING LOTS and more.
    And THUNDER!!

    Recorded @ 24bit 96kHz with ortf, spaced omni, XY and carefully edited.

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  • Mechanical Electric Lawn Mower Play Track 17 sounds included, 11 Minutes 23 Seconds mins total $10

    No gas? No problem! This little 192 kHz library of raw electric power gives you everything you need for basic electric lawn mower sounds from moving the mower, mowing grass and debris, different angles of isolated motor sounds without mowing, mowing from close perspective and from a distance, and bagging up freshly mowed grass.

    Get creative by using these sounds for other things besides mowing: The 192 kHz sample rate lets you play with octaves so you can turn this little mower into so much more – enjoy Electric Lawn Mower!

    Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

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 Bobsleighs and Skeleton Play Track 82 sounds included, 24 mins total $29

    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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  • City Life Christmas Play Track 165+ sounds included $17.40

    Christmas time. The time of the year everybody calms down and settles. The period is also dominated by a lot of festivities, shopping and winter actions.
    To bring you the christmas cheer, this library includes a broad variety of musical instruments, city ambiences, foleys and ready to use scenes.
    Merry christmas!

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  • Environments Christmas & Holiday Play Track 944 sounds included, 100 mins total $59 $49

    The elves have been busy in the Epic Stock Media sound effects workshop this holiday season. And just in time for Christmas, they’ve outdone themselves by crafting the shiny all new Christmas & Holiday Sound Effects Library.  It’s a complete collection of Christmas and winter holiday sound effects that’s perfect for YouTube videos, games, home videos, films, app games, podcasts, theatrical performances, explainer videos or any multi-media production.

    Professional or novice, sound engineer or hobbyist can save a stocking full of time and immediately boost the quality of any production. Sounds of Jingle Bells, sleigh bells, Santa Claus and character voiceovers, Christmas magic sounds, whooshes and transitions, Santa’s sleigh fly-bys, fire and fireplace sound, toys and wrapping presents, tree decorating and background loops. Over 900 sound effects, loops, source and designed sounds. Premixed and mastered, everything is ready to use out of the box.

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  • Environments Cross Country Skiing Play Track 76+ sounds included, 31 mins total $37

    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.

    Icey cold fast swishing skiis, stomping through deep snow or leisurely gliding through a beautiful winter landscape.

    Also includes some unique listening angles, single stomps & slides, and a couple of track preparation machines.

    Techniques: Stereo ORTF – Equipment used: Sennheiser MKH8040ST, RME UC(preamp) and Sony PCM D50(recorder).

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  • Drones & Moods Designed Ice Play Track 47+ sounds included, 10 mins total $10

    Designed Ice features 48 creative ice sound effects, creatively designed field recordings and evolving textures, that combine the natural sounds of ice with otherworldly and experimental digital post-processing.

    Video Trailer

    Video Walkthrough

    Designed Ice highlights:

    47 24bit / 96kHz WAV files / Meta-tagged (Soundminer)
    20 Elements
    17 Sequences
    10 Source Recordings

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  • Sports Downhill Skiing Play Track 37 sounds included, 13 minutes 08 seconds mins total $35

    Get ready to hit the slopes with this wintery gem of a sound library!

    Taken from many trips up and down the slopes in Upstate New York, this library gives you in your face gliding swishes, crunching carves, turns, stops, passbys from the left and right, falls, jumps, landings, poles poking and scraping the snow, chairlift machine sounds, bindings, and more!

    If you need authentic skiing sounds this library has you covered. Whether you need to create loops and insert carves in a video game or film project or if you need lengthy recordings of full trips from the top of the mountain to the bottom this library will give you it all. Enjoy Downhill Skiing!

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  • Environments Elements: Ice Play Track 1500 sounds included, 86 mins total $50 $45

    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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  • Foley Footsteps One Play Track 1800+ sounds included $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!

    Add to cart
  • 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
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    – 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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    Over 400 focused sound design accents of airy swooshes, subtle swipes, thin whooshes, and breathy fly-ins.

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  • Drones & Moods Atmosfear Play Track 50 sounds included, 31 mins total $10

    Featuring sounds taken from lo-fi instrumental recordings, harsh noise experiments and granular synthesis explorations, Atmosfear is a gritty soundscape collection geared towards the horror genre. With a distinctly unpolished production style to bring a rough edge to your scenario, these sounds can be used to invoke feelings of suspense, dread, tension, fear and doom into your characters and environments.

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  • Human Swordfighter Play Track 479 sounds included $25 $20

    Swordfighter is a robust package with sharp sounding swords, heaps of variations and all the extras you need to make a fight come alive. Build unique sword swings with various hits, swooshes, schings, different fighter vocals and impacts on various surfaces. All up there are 137 sword sounds, 93 surface impact sounds, 15 knife throwing sounds, 48 swooshes and 180 fighter vocals.

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