How to Make Clear Christmas Ornaments With Paint Inside

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Add a splash of color to your holiday tree with custom-made decorations using inexpensive glass ball ornaments. By pouring acrylic paint into the delicate shapes, you can design ornaments with a swirled or marble look that coordinate with your seasonal decor. The technique is simple, which allows you to make a festive set of paint-embellished tree ornaments for yourself and others to give as gifts.

Things You'll Need

  • Round, clear glass tree ornaments
  • Newspaper, scrap paper or plastic sheet
  • 2 to 3 colors of acrylic paint
  • Ornament carton or drinking cup
  • Metallic sticker, self-adhesive gemstones or sequins
  • Glitter glue
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon

Cover your work surface with newspaper, scrap paper or a plastic sheet to protect it from paint splatters and spills.

Choose two to three different colors of acrylic paint. Pick colors that coordinate with your existing tree decorations or select holiday colors such as blue, silver and white or red, green and white.

Remove the ornament’s metal top and set it aside. Dribble 1 teaspoon of one color of paint into the ornament. Swirl it around the ball without coating the entire inner surface and pour the remainder out.

Nestle the ornament in the original carton or drinking cup to prevent it from rolling as the paint dries for 30 minutes. Once the first color is mostly dry, pour in 1 teaspoon of the second paint color. Swirl it onto the areas untouched by the first shade. Let the second color dry and repeat with a third color if desired.

Embellish the outside of the ornaments by placing a metallic sticker or a cluster of self-adhesive gems or sequins in the center of the glass ball. You also can add script, such as a loved one's name, with glitter glue or with a marker designed to dry on glass without smudging.

Place the metal top back on the ornament. Cut a 7-inch piece of ribbon that coordinates the paints inside the ornament. Push one end of the ribbon through the metal hanger at the top of the ornament and tie the two ends together to create a loop to hang the decoration.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you notice a lot of dust or debris inside the glass ornaments before painting, clean them by pouring 1 tbsp. of rubbing alcohol inside. Swirl it around, pour it out and allow the inside to dry.
  • Allow your children to create painted ornaments by using less-fragile clear balls made of plastic. Use the same process to dribble paint inside the ornament or let the kids paint the outside of the plastic balls instead.
  • If you run out of paint when creating a set of ornaments, you can still design colorful decorations by filling the globe with 1/8-inch thin strips of cardstock or ribbon. Remove the metal hanger, push the accents in through the hole and reattach the top to hang the decoration.
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