Honeydew It Yourself Friday~ Colorful Christmas Ornaments

It’s almost the weekend!  Woo!  I may be taking a little roadtrip this weekend to DC to visit a dear friend, but I’m terrified of the Christmas shopping traffic.  Ech.  We’ll see how I feel.  What do you have going on?

In my search for this year’s Christmas spirit, I am going to share a little project I did with a girlfriend this week.  Today’s HDIY tutorial comes from the December issue of Martha Stewart Living. I have not been able to find an image from the magazine or any text for this.  I read the December issue on my iPad and watched the little video, but I have to say it left a lot to figure out on your own. So I thought I would do a post to take a little guesswork out of the process!


A cocktail

A friend or your kids (I recommend doing this with older kids.  Ones who can refill your cocktail)

Clear glass ornaments

acrylic or craft paint in your choice of colors.  I recommend picking at least one metallic.  We did gold and I loved how it turned out

high gloss medium- I used Martha Stewart brand

foamcore- I used half a sheet for about 24 ornments

bamboo skewers

wire cutters or really good scissors

squirt bottles- mustard style and/or flip top (see note below)

spray paint in assorted colors for the ornament tops

NOTE: For the bottles, Martha recommends using flip top bottles {the kind where a little spout fits in the middle of the lid, and the middle flips up} and squirt top bottles {mustard style} but I could not find the flip top so just used squirt top.  I will make some recommendations for this change during the appropriate step.  By the way, when shopping for the bottles at Michael’s crafts, I was {finally} able to find a bucket of 18 of them in the cake decorating area. {and I got them for 50% off!}

Get your work area ready.  Create the drying rack.  Cut each bamboo skewer in half using the wire cutters.  These work much better than scissors.  Use what you have.  Poke these through your piece of foamcore from the back, spacing evenly to create a grid of skewers

Take the lids off of all your squirt bottles and pour in your colors.  Depending on how many ornaments you are making and how big they are, you will need at least 1-2 tablespoons worth of paint {after you mix in the medium} per ornament.  I made the mistake of not mixing enough paint at the beginning and it took me a lot of time to keep mixing the paint I needed.

Now you want to mix in your medium.  Here is the trick.  You want to mix in enough medium so that the paint becomes viscous enough to move around the inside of the ornament, but not too much that it makes the paint really transparent {unless you want a clear, glassy effect, which I will go over in the next step}.  If you are using 1/3 of an acrylic paint bottle, I would use about 1 tablespoon of medium.  No need to actually measure, just eyeball it- you can always add more paint {see left image below}.  Shake the bottle to mix, but let the bottle sit for a minute to let the air bubbles come out of the paint before you use it.

You can create speckled, striped, solid or translucent solid colored ornaments.  I will spell out directions for each below.

Speckled: Turn the squirt bottle upside dow with your finger over the top to get paint up near the spout.  Turn the bottle over and give it a slight squeeze {not hard!} to make sure air is getting through.  Place the inside of the tip in your ornament, holding the bottle at a 45 degree angle.  Squeeze hard a few times, turning the ornament as you squeeze to disperse the paint around the inside.  It should look like the image above right.  If you want to keep the ornament speckled, place this upside down on one of the skewers on the drying rack and let it dry overnight.  The next day, you can pour a coordinating paint into your ornament and disperse it around the inside to cover the rest of the glass.

Streaked: Follow the same directions to create the speckles as stated above.  Instead of letting the paint dry overnight, you can immediately pour a chosen color in on top of the ornament.  Turn the ornament to disperse the second layer of paint.  Try not to use too much or you could create a huge mess on the drying rack which will drip on the floor.  1-2 tablespoons of paint will be enough if you’ve mixed in the medium properly.  Turn the ornament over onto the drying rack.  As it dries, it will mix with the first layer of paint and create a streaked look {see the very first image at the top of this post}

Stripes:  This one is a little tricky, and I wish I had taken better pictures {they didn’t turn out for this one}.  Turn your bottle over into the ornament. Sqeeze enough paint out, aiming near the neck or the top of the ornament, to let the paint drip down to the bottom.  Don’t use too much or you will have a ton of paint at the bottom which will mess up the pattern once you turn it over. Use one color in several spots.  Switch to another color and do the same.  Squeeze slowly to fill in all the areas on the side, but don’t overdo the paint!  Fill in all the areas not covered on the glass.  Turn the ornament over onto the drying rack as strait as possible and stripes will form!

Solid or Solid Translucent:  For the solid, just use one color paint and swirl around the inside to coat evenly.  For solid translucent {see below}, just mix more of the gloss medium with less paint .  When you swirl this in the ornament, it will be much easier to cover the glass as it is more viscous.  So be careful how much paint you use- it will drip out on the drying rack easier {I know I sound redundant, but I was surprised at how much actually came out}.



Let your ornaments dry overnight.  I recommend setting them near some kind of air source- I had them near my electric fireplace to help dry them out.



Meanwhile, you want to spraypaint the ornament lids.  Choose coordinating colors.  I wanted bright, playful ornaments this year.



Once your ornaments have dried, you can assemble them all with their lids.  I will admit mine were not 100% dry, but I needed my surface space back.  Now that they have been on the tree for the better part of the week, they are completely dry.

The finished products!

I hope you enjoy making this project as much as I did.  I am so happy with tthem, and I have gotten so many compliments on our tree this year!  I would love to see what ornaments you are making and the crafts you are up to this season!

Happy Planning!