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Friday, November 30, 2012

Hand-Painted Christmas Ornaments

The year before last, my son made the coolest Christmas ornament in his fourth grade class, one that earned a prime spot on our family Christmas tree. I asked him how they made it, but he didn't seem to remember the details. Go figure; he was nine at the time. Well, the following Christmas, I decided to duplicate this ornament as a fun activity since the kids were getting out of school an entire week before Christmas. I bought a 20-pack of clear glass balls, smaller than the one he used though. Mine were about 1 5/8" in diameter as opposed to the 2 1/2" glass ball he had made. I also purchased bottles of acrylic paint in snow white, cherry red, and evergreen. For hooks, we used either some red and green plastic-covered paperclips or the brass-colored hangers we use on our tree. Of course, we could have tied a pretty bow at the top as a nice touch.

This ornament would make a great craft for students at their school's holiday party, scouts, or just playmates over for the day, and they make such neat presents for family members. I love how mess-free they can be, depending on the age of the children and the number of adults helping. My boys were able to do theirs with very little assistance at ages 6 and up. My two-year-old daughter needed tons of assistance. Okay, so she only thought she was doing anything as she helped me hold the paint bottle. My 5-year-old nephew needed help to ensure he didn't pour too much paint and needed some extra cleaning up on his fingers throughout the project, so hopefully this information will help you determine if this project would be right for your group. 

glass ball ornaments
acrylic paints in various colors
newspaper (to save your tabletop)
baby wipes or damp paper towels (in case of spills)

To paint your glass balls, first remove the top of the ornament. Then squirt a little paint right into the hole. Shake or roll the ball around carefully, depending on the look you are going for. The more you shake it, the more the colors will bleed together. Pour in just enough to coat the glass, but if you or, most likely, your child goes overboard, you can always carefully pour the excess paint from one ball into the next. We did this, and we loved the outcome of the second ball because those colors swirled together beautifully. 

Start with one color, then move on to the next color, pouring just a small amount and moving the ball around as you go. Keep going until you've covered every bit of the glass. It doesn't take much paint or time, and it's fun to watch. If you do get paint on the outside, just immediately wipe it off with a wet wipe, and it'll come off easily. Keep your fingers clean to avoid fingerprint smudges too.  

You can put the tops back on and immediately hang on a tree, but another option, which I've chosen to do with most of mine is to place them in a crystal candy dish to decorate our living room table.

I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.  


  1. This is a great project. It also works well with alcohol inks!

  2. These are so simple to make. You can really customize them by changing up the colors. Visiting from the Pin Me link party. Just pinned!

  3. I love DIYs! Keep them coming! Please check out my blog including my first giveaway!


  4. I'm so glad you shared this on the homemade holiday party.


  5. So cute, looks like marbles! A great idea to make ornaments in your favorite colors - and have them glossy on the outside. Thanks for linking up at the Cute Handmade Gifts Link-Up!

  6. I love these! I can't wait until my daughters are old enough to do projects like this!

  7. So pretty, Bonny! Thanks for linking up!

  8. You're right, yours turned out so cute! Definitely no ugly mixed colors! I don't know, I think I'm just paint challenged. I have so much trouble using paint! :(

    - Chloe

  9. This is quite easy and more valuable :) Can we paint on our tshirt like this?

  10. I acquired a set of free glasses online and also have gotten our glasses currently. It does not take same as We imaged.


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