How to Make Clear Christmas Ornaments With Paint Inside

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Why settle for store-bought 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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Not an expert at Christmas crafts? No worries here! This easy-to-follow tutorial will walk you step by step from prepping the glass ball Christmas ornaments to the paint swirl and more. So get ready to use this easy DIY to create painted Christmas ornaments that are so much better than the pricey baubles you bought last year.

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Things You'll Need

  • Acrylic paints

  • Thin paintbrushes

  • Toothpicks or craft sticks

  • Paper cups

  • An egg carton

  • Ball-shaped clear glass Christmas ornaments

  • Plastic tablecloth, garbage bag or heavy-duty cardboard

Getting your supplies ready

1. Prepare your maker-space

Cover the entire surface with a plastic tablecloth, plastic garbage bag or thick scrap cardboard. 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, inexpensive paint brushes (you can find these at most craft stores) or 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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2. Get the glass Christmas ornaments ready

Set your budget-friendly glass Christmas ornaments on the table in shallow discardable bowls or 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 ornaments, and they won't break if they fall from the Christmas tree.

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Tip

You don't need to splurge on pricey globes for this Christmas craft. Dollar store plastic ball ornaments or reused glass ball ornaments will do!

3. Choose the paint colors

To create your own marbled swirl-painted ornaments, choose two to four colors of acrylic paint that work well together. If you're a novice crafter, start small with two colors. Not sure which hues to choose? Shades such as dark green and burgundy, red and gold or cobalt blue and silver are ho-ho-ho holiday options to explore.

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Paint the ornaments

1. Prepare the acrylic paint

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 a paintbrush, toothpick or craft stick.

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2. Pour the paint

Remove the ornament cap. Slowly pour a little of one paint color into the bottom of the ornament, then rotate it in different 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.

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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 glass ornaments as you'd like, using different color combinations for different Christmas balls.

Tip

Red, blue and yellow are the primary colors. When these hues mix together, they'll turn into brilliant purples, oranges and greens. This means that you might get an unexpected pop of color!

3. Let gravity work its magic

Position each painted ornament in an egg carton or on top of 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 that's leftover from the acrylic pour should come out of the ornament.

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Tip

Cover the surface under the ornaments with heavy-duty scrap cardboard to catch the leftover acrylic paint.

4. Let the paint dry

Turn it right-side up in the egg carton and allow it to dry overnight before replacing the cap that holds the ornament hanger. The drying time may take longer if your clear Christmas ornaments have extra paint inside. Once they're dry, the glass ornaments are ready to hang on the Christmas tree.

That's it! Your newly crafted DIY holiday decor is now a cute Christmas keepsake that you can hang on the tree year after year after year after…well, you get the picture.

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