How to Make Clear Christmas Ornaments With Paint Inside

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You can make your own Christmas ornaments.
Image Credit: Kseniia Ivanova/iStock/GettyImages

Why settle for storebought Christmas ornaments when you can make your own one-of-a-kind masterpieces instead? Transparent Christmas ornaments in glass or plastic serve as the "canvas" for your art creations. Add a little acrylic craft paint in assorted colors to the inside of each ornament, swirl them around a bit, and voila, instant art pieces.

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Getting Your Supplies Ready

It's easiest to get into the flow for your ornament project if the supplies are ready to go on your project table. Cover the table with a plastic tablecloth for best results; this way any spilled paint won't harm the table. Place bottles of inexpensive acrylic craft paint in assorted colors on the table, along with small, cheap paintbrushes or even toothpicks. Use small paper cups for each color, as they come in handy for adding a little water to thin the paints. The paint pours and spreads better with just a little water added.

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Set your inexpensive glass Christmas ornaments out on the table in shallow discardable bowls or even egg cartons; anything that keeps the ornaments from rolling works well, but keep in mind some paint may get on those materials as well. If you have pets or young children at home, clear plastic ornaments are a safer option than glass, and they won't break if they fall from the tree.

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Swirl Paint Inside the Ornaments

To create your own marbled swirl-painted ornaments, choose two to four colors that work well together for each ornament. Two colors is a great way to start, using holiday shades such as dark green or red and gold, or cobalt blue and silver. Pour a small amount of each of your chosen colors into its own shallow paper cup, then add just a few drops of water to thin the paint. Stir the water into the paint with an inexpensive paintbrush, toothpick or craft stick; S&S Worldwide notes that the goal is for the paint to be pourable like warm maple syrup, but not runny.

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Remove the cap that holds the ornament hanger on each ornament. Slowly pour a little of one paint color into an ornament, then rotate the ornament in various directions to spread the paint into swirls and waves. Add another color and repeat the process, covering different areas of the inside of the ornament. Continue with additional colors, or more of the original two colors, until the entire inside of the ornament has paint on it. Repeat the process with as many ornaments as you'd like, using different color combinations for different effects.

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Position each painted ornament in an egg carton or as Michaels recommends, atop a disposable paper cup with the ornament's opening facing down. This allows the excess paint to run out. After an hour or so, most of the excess should be out of the ornament. Turn it right-side up again in the egg carton and allow it to dry overnight before replacing the cap that holds the ornament hanger. Once they're dry, the ornaments are ready to hang on the Christmas tree. The ornaments can be reused year after year, just like any other ornaments in your collection.

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