By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Create your own vintage style glass ball ornaments that look like they’ve been used for many a Christmas past–The beautiful mottled finish gives them the look of retro-style “Shiny-Brite” ornaments of the 1940-50s that have been weathered with time.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- Clear Glass Ball Ornaments.
- Acrylic Craft Paint, Various Colors. (Make sure your paint is fresh, and still nice and thin–Old, thick paint will not work for this project.)
- White Acrylic Craft Paint.
- Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Paint.
- Elmer’s Glue-All.
- Stampendous Fun Flock .16 oz. Cotton Ball White.
- Martha Stewart Glitter Coarse Crystal 1.5oz.
- Stampendous Empty Bottle Spray & Splatter 2 oz.
- Small paintbrushes.
- Hairdryer (optional).
To begin, remove the metal caps from all of the glass balls and set aside. Squeeze a puddle of your choice of color of acrylic paint into the bottom of your glass ball. You want a sizeable amount–more is better than less. Begin rotating the ball around to coat the entire inside of the ball with paint.
When it is covered, turn the ball upside down and let the excess paint drip out–I placed mine on top of the open paint container so the extra went back inside. (Then wiped the paint that got on the outside of the ornament with a damp paper towel.) When the majority of the paint is back into the container, you can prop the balls up in a disposable cup, so they are sitting with the opening facing down, and let the remaining little bit of paint drip into the bottom as they dry. An egg carton might work well to hold much smaller balls. You can also make “nests” out of crumpled newspaper to hold the balls with the opening down as they dry. Depending on the humidity of your climate, this may take several hours to all night to dry. You can speed up the drying process by using a hairdryer to send hot air down inside of the ornaments.
When the paint inside the ornaments is completely dry, place a stick carefully inside the neck of the ornament to hold it as you paint. Using your spray bottle filled with water, lightly mist the outside of the ornament, making sure you have bigger droplets in some places, to create some visual interest in your final result.
While the glass is still wet, lightly spray the ornament with the Looking Glass paint. Use small puffs of spray at a bit of distance, rather than trying to heavily coat the ball–You are not looking to make a heavy coat of paint that covers up the color, just a light mist to give the whole ball some gloss. You can make the silver paint heavier in some areas, but be sure to let the color shine through over most of the ball. Let the paint on the ball dry for a minute, then carefully blot the water off of the ball with a paper towel.
Let the balls dry.
Using your white acrylic paint, paint “snow” onto the top of the balls. Keep it a little streaky, for a more vintage look. Let dry.
In a small container, or on a piece of paper, mix equal amounts of flocking powder and glitter. Using a small paintbrush and Elmer’s glue, paint over the top of your white paint “snow,” and sprinkle with glitter/flocking powder mixture. Tap off extra–let dry. Use a small, clean paintbrush to remove excess glitter/flocking powder off of your ornament.
It’s very hard to capture in a photograph how pretty these ornaments are; they reflect the light beautifully, and the glitter gives them a pretty sparkle. Make some of these charming ornaments to give your Christmas tree a bit of retro nostalgia of Christmases past.