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How to Make Marbelized Christmas Ornaments

I call these handmade Christmas ornaments marbelized for lack of a better descriptive term, although the term tie-dyed does also come to mind.  Although using the traditional Christmas colors is certainly a possibility, you may tailor this craft project to fit your own personal taste or the taste of whomever you are making these ornaments for.  For this demonstration I chose pastel pink, pastel purple, and black because I like this combination.  This is what you will need for this little Christmas craft project:

  • clear glass Christmas balls
  • acrylic paint of at least two different colors (I actually prefer to use three colors.)
  • disposable cups

First, remove the cap from the Christmas ball and be sure to put it where you can find it later.

ornament 1

Next, choose one color of paint to begin with and squirt a fair amount of paint into the opening of the ornament, being careful to let it run down the inside of the ornament.  You can actually squirt a lot more paint than I did the picture below to begin with.  I was being a little conservative here. 

ornament 2

Add more colors of paint so that you have several streaks of paint around the ball.  I think three is the perfect number of colors to use because you still have a nice variegated effect without the colors getting too muddied.

ornament 3

Now, begin to rotate the ball in your hand to allow the paint to travel further down and around the ball.  ornament 4

At this point, you will need to squirt more paint into the ball to fill in any gaps.  However, you do not want to add too much paint, so it is actually best to try to allow the paint to run into the gaps as much as possible.  

ornament 5

After the inside of your Christmas ball is completely coated with paint, turn the ornament upside down and place it over the mouth of a disposable cup.  This will allow all the extra paint to drain from the ball.  It will take at least twenty-four hours for the paint to drain and dry, so allow plenty of time for this.

ornament 6

After your Christmas ornament has drained and dried (don’t you love alliteration?  I do!), place the cap back on it and hang it on your tree or give it to your favorite teacher.  Or your mother-in-law.  Or your neighbor. 

I have made these ornaments with great success with my sixth grade girls in our Wednesday night Bible class at church.  Sixth grade girls, like many adults, sometimes lack patience and restraint, so the only word of warning I can give is DON’T USE TOO MUCH PAINT!  If you do, your Christmas ornament will probably a.) never dry and b.) turn a very unlovely nondescript shade of <a combination of WAAAAAY too many colors>.  The only other way that I have found you can mess this up is by using the metallic acrylic paint.  I actually did that a few nights ago, and when I got up the next morning and looked at my ornaments, expecting to see all manner of metallic loveliness, what I saw instead was a Christmas ball with great empty patches on it where the paint had run off.  That was not the effect I was hoping for.

This is so far my favorite homemade ornament to make, although I will admit that I have not attempted this with Lulu and Louise.  What’s your favorite? 


3 Responses

  1. I made some paper wreath ornaments this year and oh my lands! I’m not crafty at all, but these babies turned out beautifully!

    I’ve not tried to make the glass ornaments yet, but my kids have and they LOVE making them.

  2. I’ve made those before, after the first ones drained into the containers I poured the remaining paint that would flow into another clear ornament and the results I liked even better than the first ornaments.

  3. I have a post about this very same craft. I think the post is listed above as it was automatically generated.
    In my experience however, I did use either metallic silver or gold paint with two matte colors and the results were fabulous.
    We never had the patience to wait for the colors to mingle, and sometimes we shook our ornaments. As a result, I have one ornament that looks like the waves are crashing on a rocky beach.

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