How to paint on glass Christmas balls

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to paint on glass Christmas balls
Hand-painted ornaments will add sentimental value to your tree. (Getty Thinkstock)

Painting on glass Christmas balls is a creative way for your whole family to make their own personalised Christmas ornaments. You can make this a family tradition, where family members design and paint their own Christmas ornaments; then after a few years, you will have a tree filled with sentimental holiday ornaments. You do not have to have any special artistic skills to create original Christmas ornaments, and it only takes a few basic supplies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Clear glass-ball ornaments
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Light-coloured permanent markers
  • Acrylic paints
  • Small artist or craft paint brushes
  • Empty egg carton
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • Cellophane tape (optional)
  • Small stencils (optional)

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  1. 1

    Remove the metal hanger and cap from the top of the glass-ball ornament.

  2. 2

    Clean the outside surface of the glass-ball ornament by rubbing it with a cotton ball dipped into regular rubbing alcohol. This will clean off any oily residue or dust, and it will allow the paint to stick better.

  3. 3

    Draw or trace a design onto the glass-ball ornament by using a light-coloured permanent marker. You can draw a simple Christmas tree, a star or even a Santa face. You can draw one simple design on each side, or draw an entire winter scene. The choices are limited only by your artistic skills. Alternately, you can purchase small stencils, and tape them to the side of the glass-ball ornament, or simply hold them in place while you trace the design.

  4. 4

    Use acrylic paints to fill in the design. If you will need to use multiple colours of paint, such as ornaments on a green Christmas tree, allow the paint to dry before adding other colours on top of it.

  5. 5

    Place the completed ornament, or one that needs to dry in between coats of different-coloured paints, into an empty egg carton to keep it from rolling. Allow at least 24 hours for the paint to completely dry.

  6. 6

    Brush or spray on a coat of polyurethane sealer. You will need two or three coats, so allow the paint to dry according to the directions on the sealer before adding another coat.

  7. 7

    Replace the metal hanger and cap onto your one-of-a-kind Christmas ornament. Add an ornament hanger or a ribbon, and hang it on your tree.

Tips and warnings

  • You can push shredded paper through the opening of your glass-ball ornament with a pencil to give it the look of snow inside it.
  • You can use old, solid-coloured ornaments and paint over them in white before adding a new painted design.

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