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Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday DIY: Simple Filled and Painted Ornaments Tutorial

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to making ball ornaments this year! It's just so simple and there are so many variations!

You can fill glass ball ornaments with yarn, twine, feathers, fake snow, pine needles and random craft supplies. You can also fill them with paint! It's so easy to do.All you need is a clear ornament and your favorite acrylic paint.I'm really loving Martha Stewart's paint line. It is full of so many gorgeous colors and shades.

Squirt about a teaspoon of paint directly into the ornament. 


Slowly swirl it around until it coats the inside.


Use a plastic bottle or paper cup to store the ornament upside down. Leave it there overnight so that all the excess paint runs out.


Add the metal cap and voila! A lovely painted ornament in any shade you choose! You can use acrylic paint to add details to the outside, or leave it blank.

Update: Here are a couple of additional tips based on questions and comments over the past year:
  • Be sure to start with a small amount of paint. If it doesn't coat the inside entirely, you can add more as you go. Adding too much at the start may slow the drying process.
  • Leave the painted ornament upside down for at least 24 hours to let all the paint run out.
  • Having the paint drip out will make the opening of the ornament messy -- clean it with a baby wipe or paper towel. Or once its dry, sand the paint enough so the metal cap can be put back in its place

I also tried filling with Martha Stewart's flocking powder. It leaves a nice, cotton candy-like texture.


I used some varnish to coat the inside of the ornament first...to give the flocking powder something to stick to.



Let it dry for 15 minutes, not completely, just enough to get sticky. Then coat the inside with the flocking powder. 



Using the same varnish to coat another ornament, I poured some candy sprinkles inside! These would be great stocking stuffers for kids..just make sure they don't try to eat them! You could seal the metal top with some glue on the inside if you're worried about that ;)



Update: For the ornaments using varnish, be careful only to use a small amount. The flocking powder ornament especially requires just enough varnish to make the inside of the glass tacky to the touch. Any more will be too wet and cause clumping. 

I got a little carried away with the paint selection. I tried glitter, satin, high gloss and pearl. Each makes a different, yet gorgeous effect.

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What are you filling your ornaments with this year?

74 comments:

  1. Your DIY ideas are adorable, I love the flower cone!

    I'm starting a new wedding blog, The Handmade Wedding, along with my husband, and we're looking for DIY contributors for the blog. It's set to launch on New Years Day.

    If your interested, check out some details here:
    http://weddingshandmade.blogspot.com/p/submit-wedding.html

    We'd love to work with you! :]

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  2. You have been sharing the most wonderful ornament tutorials! I love that blue, and the orange -- fabulous!

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  3. thank you! :) when I first saw Martha Stewart's paint selections, I about died! So many gorgeous shades!!

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  4. Thank you for sharing these easy decoration tutorials! I like the candy sprinkle ball the best! And also the painted pearl.
    This year I am in a mood of self made Christmas decoration items, but haven´t got further than making crochet snowflakes for my gifts and risking to end up with none for myself right before Christmas eve, so I thought these ornaments from your post would be a good idea to make :-)

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  5. Ohh, I love those ideas and I totally want to make them too. Sending it over to my friend right now:) Muah, sweetie.

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  6. These are super cute! You are talented with awesome creations!

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  7. I love the candy sprinkles! did they go bad though or will they last and not get moldy? I love it though!

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    Replies
    1. If you dont want to use candy sprinkles, i would think you could use glass seed beads.

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    2. Mine have not gone bad, but the seed beads are also a good idea :)

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  8. ive been trying to make an "ornamenterrerium" but i haven't been able to find the same basic clear ornaments with a removable top that you used here. any suggestions? ive tried rite aid, duane reade, a small christmas dedicated shop, bed bath and beyond, home depot..

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    Replies
    1. Craft shops like a.c. more, Micheals, Hobby Lobby.

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    2. I bought mine at Walmart and Michaels

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  9. You should try the fingernail polish one if you like to do ornaments. Get bottled water works best and pour in a bowl then get nail polish pour some in bowl then another color and use a toothpick and swirl it around or make a star or shape then dip ornament in it dries very quick and very neat. You can even do it on your finger nails seeing you have cool nails. Ha ha try and enjoy I'm having a blast trying it

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  10. love them!!!! btw....how did you do your nails?? i love them!!

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  11. @Amanda I painted a white base then used nail art polish (comes with a tiny brush) to add the dots, stripes and cupcake icing :)

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  12. These are so gorgeous. i love, love, love the one with the sprinkles.

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  13. I absolutely LOVE the rainbow sprinkles ornament! It's really adorable.

    www.flourishandfancy.com

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  14. I just love these ideas! I'm your newest follower :) Sharing this on my FB Page!

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  15. Aaah, I LOVE these! All of them but especially the candy sprinkle one- what a fantastic idea!!

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  16. Where can you find clear glass silver tops balls? I have been looking everywhere

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  17. Thanks everyone! @cassieb- I found the clear ornaments at Michaels craft store. They had a bunch in the aisle near the woven baskets and vases. They dont normally stock so many but since it's the holidays it's several shelves of different shapeas and sizes :)

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  18. So pretty! Did you have any trouble with the paint not sticking to the glass? I tried this (with a different brand of paint) and ended up with streaks/cracks as the paint dried.

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    Replies
    1. You can also swirl some alcohol inside the glass ball before adding the paint. Just make sure you let it dry before beginning. It helps to clean/prep the glass for use.

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  19. I think the trick is to not use too much paint. It takes some patience to let it slowly make it's way around, but it'll keep from clumping and dragging it with it (leaving streaks and holes)

    :)

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  20. Such cute ideas! Also, your nails are totally cute.

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  21. CUTE ideas!!! I made 2 different ornaments using these clear bulbs with my students this year. We put legos in one and foil basket filler in the other. Just a couple other ideas.

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  22. Such a great tutorial! I honestly never knew it was quite so simple to make these. Next year is going to be so much fun with the little one! Thanks for sharing.

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  23. I had a hard time getting acrylic paint to stick to the inside of the ornament. Any suggestions? Also I found all my clear ornaments with silver tops at hobby lobby. And during the holiday season they are usually 50% off

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  24. congrats on finding such a great deal!

    I used martha stewart paints which are pretty versatile. If the paint is sticking well, you might try adding a glass conditioner first. I believe martha stewart has some in her collection, or you can just look near the other paints. They work well for working with enamel based paints and should work fine for the acrylic

    good luck!

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  25. What a great idea. I might have a go at making some with my little girl. (4yrs old) It might be a laugh.

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  26. Im gonna need some of these. These are the main materials i need.

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  27. Gorgeous! I have to know the exact method you used for the glittery blue ornament in the last picture. It's perfect! Also, what is it you have in the background in the first 3 pictures to create that white, shimmery effect? Is it a tree's branches wrapped with lights?

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    Replies
    1. the glittery blue effect was simple! I just used Martha Stewart's glitter paint. I really love her paint collection -- have you seen her colored chalkboard paints?

      The back drop is just a small strand of holiday lights I taped to a wall :)

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  28. Oriental Trading is a great place to purchase ornaments. Just purchased 60 for $20.

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  29. Im doing a "sweets" theme on my new tree this year and these would be perfect..just need to know did you get the varnish from Michaels? And is it Anitas brand? I have pinned this on interest to keep it handy for reference i just want to are sure i get the right stuff.

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    Replies
    1. i did get the varnish from Michael's and it's called Anitas. I believe it was in the same aisle across from the paints, on a lower shelf :)

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    2. Do you need to use the varish if you are using plastic ornaments? I am trying to make these with my students for Christmas, our classroom theme is sweet shop. Blessings

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  30. If you add more than one color of acrylic paint it will create a swirl affect. I personally like red, yellow, and blue because they mix in some places to create the secondary colors.

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    Replies
    1. That'd be really cute, too! I swirled pink and blue when I painted inside some vases

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    2. Back "in the day", before you could find purple ornaments everywhere instead of just Bronner's & the expensive stores, I made some with different colors and swirled them..
      I just took them out last night and they still look great... they have to be at least 15 years old. They are some of my favorites.

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  31. I HAVE to do the candy filled one LOVE it!!

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    Replies
    1. If you did a bunch in different sizes and hung them on a white tree, it'd be super cute!

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  32. These are incredible!! What Martha Stewart color is that first ornament? I love that color it looks like Tiffany Blue!

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    Replies
    1. its either "pool blue" or just simply "pool" in satin finish :)

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  33. Do you fill the ornament full of sprinkles or just enough to coat the outside?!

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    Replies
    1. just enough to cover the glass. it's very lightweight

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  34. Popping popcorn in the bulb in the microwave is a great one too!

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  35. I LOVE this! Definitely on my holiday to do list! Pinning!

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  36. I am going to feature the candy sprinkle photo in a round-up. It will go live in a couple of days. It will be a thumbnail of your image and a blurp (aka description of your brilliance) with a link leading back to your site for credit. If you do not want to be featured email me back.

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  37. I'm having a hard time getting the paint to dry! How long is it supposed to take? I am using Martha Stewart glass paint but it thins out so much after dripping out.

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  38. Such a great idea!! I love it~ By the way, I am having my 2 year blog anniversary giveaway. I am giving away a Deborah Lippmann nail polish and a golden star necklace. Come check it out!

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  39. When using the varnish, did you pour the excess out before putting the flocking powder or sprinkles?

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    Replies
    1. yes definitely! It should just be tacky on the inside. Especially for the flocking as it can get wet and clumpy pretty easily

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  40. Thanks so much for sharing - I LOVE it! We've linked up to you in our post "Clear Ornament Inspiration."
    http://youpinspireme.blogspot.ca/2012/12/clear-ornament-inspiration.html

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  41. I did this - and after letting the ornaments sit inverted overnight - there was still a bunch of excess paint dripping out! I tried to shake it out - but its so thick and slow dripping - not sure it is all out! So I guess I am not sure if it will actually dry inside? I am wondering if there is anyway to MAKE it dry - like Shellack? I am a little worried I have created paint bombs - because as we all know with kids and dog - ornaments do break from time to time.
    Also - the openings are quite messy/clotted with paint. I am not sure the silver opening will go back in well...did you have this issue?

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    Replies
    1. the openings, i wiped down with a baby wipe. if the paint is dry on the opening, you could sand it off before adding the cap back on.

      for drying it quicker -- if there was too much paint inside, it could take longer. keep letting it drain out on it's own. You can also try propping it in it's ornament tray and using a hair dryer on it's lowest setting. hold it a few inches away from the opening.

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  42. I just tried the sprinkles ornament and ended up with a brownish clump of broken down sprinkles on the inside.....what did I do wrong?

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    Replies
    1. its possible you had too much varnish on the inside so it got wet. When you coat it with the varnish, it should just be tacky to the touch :(

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  43. I attempted to do the sprinkle ornament, but was not able to get the glue to cover the entire inside of the ornament. I used a small paintbrush to swirl it around, but the paintbrush couldn't get to the middle. How did you get the varnish all over the ornament?

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  44. Loved seeing this idea! I actually did something very similar a few years back and gave them as gifts - very well received. A great base for draining the ornaments is an empty egg carton. It will hold several at a time. A cute ribbon tied onto the metal loop adds a nice touch. Thanks for sharing this - I love your creativity!

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  45. Hello! This tutorial is absolutely adorable. Could we feature a photo of it and link back to your site on a round up for Babble Home? You can email me for more info at Colleen@prettyprudent.com. Thanks!

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  46. Hi! I included your sprinkles tree ball in a speciall Christmas tree balls I just posted in my blog. You can check it here: 20 Bolas de Navidad que tú puedes hacer (it is in spanish though!). Great work :-)

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  47. These are so cute! I'm so doing them. And you're nails are really cute too!

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  48. Love your blog and this project - so creative and fun and I particularly love the sprinkles ornament! Just wanted to let you know I featured it in my roundup of glass ornament crafts here. Feel free to check it out if you want and hope you like it! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

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  49. which blue is that? I am trying to find the tiffany blue and can not...I like this shade

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  50. I really like this shade of blue. What is it called exactly?

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    Replies
    1. This one is Martha Stewart #32014 "Pool" blue :)

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