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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Marbled Glass Ornaments

Every year I tell myself to pick up some fancy ornaments the day after Christmas. But of course the last thing I want to do the day after is brave the crowds. Then I saw a segment on decorating glass ornaments with paint on "The Chew" that looked really easy. I got a set of six ornaments at Michaels for $4.99 (regular price: $5.99) and dug some acrylic paint out from the garage. (Chloe's inherited a big box of leftover paint from her fifth-grade teacher.)

Glass ball ornament
Acrylic paint

*The guy on "The Chew" said to squeeze some glaze into the bottom of the glass ornament and then add the acrylic paint. I didn't have any glaze and couldn't find any at Michaels but read online that glaze is a medium used to thin out paint. I figured it's just so the paint would move around easier when you swirl it. I used the thinner acrylic paint ($.059 variety) as the glaze and the thicker Ceramcoat as the paint.

Some tips:
  • Even though it sounds restrictive, try to limit your kids to two or three colors. I selected red and antique white, because I wanted the ornaments to look like peppermint candy.
  • If you want to create vertical stripes, tip your paint from the bottom of the ornament to the opening. Then rotate the ornament about a quarter turn sideways so it spreads out a little and doesn't look like a harsh stripe.
  • Try not to use too much paint at the beginning. Otherwise, you'll end up with one big blob of color at the bottom of your ornament. And once that coats the bottom, anything you add on top will not show through that initial color.
  • You can reuse the excess paint that drips out of the ornament. I ended up with a pretty pink that went well with my peppermint theme.
  • Don't stick a chopstick in the paint to create the marble effect. I found out the hard way that this just results in the chopstick scraping paint away from the glass. Luckily, my paint was still wet so I just shook the ornament and the paint covered up my mistake. In fact, the shaking created pleasant pink parts.   

At about a dollar an ornament, this project would be a great activity that doubles as a favor for a kids holiday party. The only catch is that the paint takes days to dry so your guest will have to continue drying them at home or you can deliver them a few days later.


  1. Beautiful! Well done ~ thank you for such clear instructions!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Feel free to share photos of your ornaments.