How to Make Festive Hand Painted Ornaments

Hand painted ornaments can make your holiday brighter and much more personal. They're very easy to make; a little time and creativity is all that's needed to paint ornaments that will become treasured family heirlooms.

Choosing Supplies
You'll need to pick up some clear glass ornaments, which are available in different sizes at craft stores. Be sure to save the box the bulbs came in. You'll need it for storage and it's a helpful drying rack for your project. You'll also need some paint (any acrylic should do, or you can use translucent glass paint), some glitter and glitter glue as well.

Painting the Ornaments
The first thing you'll need to do is wash out the inside of the glass bulbs. Do so by carefully removing the top where the hook is attached. Rinse the inside with rubbing alcohol and let it dry thoroughly before starting to paint. Once the bulbs are dry, you can begin by slowly pouring paint into the top of a bulb. Rotate the bulb so that the paint trickles down and coats all sides. You can mix colors as you desire or add in some glitter for a "frosted" effect. Be careful not to put too much paint in at a time. Only about a dime-sized amount should collect on the bottom, which you can pour out before letting the paint dry.

Once you are done painting the inside of the bulbs, you'll want to let them rest upright, so put them back in the box. A cardboard drink tray from a coffee shop or an empty egg carton will work just as well. It will take a while for the paint to dry, so make sure you leave the top off, and do not disturb them. Once the paint is dry, you can use the glitter glue to draw your favorite holiday icons on the outside of the ornaments. Snowflakes and snowmen are particularly easy.

That's all there is to making your very own festive painted glass ornaments. Once you've got the basics down, you can experiment with swirled paint colors or translucents to create unique effects. If you're experienced at painting glass, you can try stained-glass designs on the outside of the glass balls, but be sure to wear latex or cotton gloves to keep the oils from your fingers from getting on the glass.

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