Monday, December 21, 2009

Glass Ornament Tutorial

(Sorry there are no new photos to accompany this tutorial... I was out of the raw materials!)

What you'll need:

~ Clear glass ornaments, any size, with light-weight, removable metal hanger. Most craft or hobby stores carry these, and they're very inexpensive. Just ask for the ornaments that you can decorate yourself.
~ Alcohol-based re-inkers (I used Adirondack brand, but Jaquard makes nice inks, too). Choose as many color as you want and at least one metallic additive (copper, silver or gold).
~ White (or black) liquid acrylic paint, or craft paint thinned with a little water.
~ Dixie cups, one for each ornament.

What to do:

~ Remove the metal hangers from the ornaments and set aside- do not discard!
~ Rinse the inside of the ornaments with hot water and allow to fully dry on a dish towel, or a paper towel.
~ Choose one color of ink (I like to start with the lighter colors, first) and drip (don't squeeze!!) a few drops inside the ornament. Turn the ornament so that the ink moves around, coating some of the inside but not the whole surface (otherwise, your ornament will only be one color). The ink will dry very quickly.
~ Choose another color and drip a couple more drops into the ornament. Turn to coat. You can do this with as many colors as you like, but I've found that more than three colors tends to muddy the pigments too much. Finally, choose one of the metallic inks and drop not more than one or two scant drips into the ornament- the metallic inks seem to spread more aggressively than the colored inks, so you only need the smallest bit of it! Allow to FULLY dry.
~ Once the alcohol inks are fully dry, squirt about one teaspoon to one tablespoon of white acrylic paint into the ornament and turn to completely coat the inside. (This is what will cause the colors of the ink to "pop". You can also use black for this step, as well.) Be careful not to get paint on the outside of the ornament and wipe up any that does.
~ When the inside of the ornament is coated with paint, upend the ornament into a Dixie cup and allow it to remain resting inside the top of the cup, hole pointed down into the cup, until dry. This could take several days to a week.
~ Once fully dry, replace metal hangers. The ornaments are now ready to hang. They can be stored easily in the box they are sold in.


Katherine McNeese said...

Thanks Judi!
simple yet elegant!
I can see doing these now for presents for next year.

Dawn said...

Thanks so much for the directions. Should be a fun project! Seems like glass ball ornaments should be used all year -- colored with pastels or your room decor and displayed in a bowl?

Thanks and your ornaments are so lovely!


Eva said...

Very interesting method! I was thinking how this was done, but never found out.

Peggy said...

Judi, Thanks so much. I think this will be perfect for next year's auction tree, and I will probably do some for my own tree as well.

elle said...

Judi, this is great. I luv spheres. I'm gonna make some bowls of balls for different rooms for different seasons. Thanks!

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial for this lovely project.