Every year I try to fit a Christmas craft of some kind into the busy holiday season and this year I decided I would try to make some marbled Christmas ornaments. I had seen several ideas for this on Pinterest, so I tried a few different techniques. Keep reading to see which ones worked the best for me.
TRUE MARBLING TECHNIQUE
STEP ONE: GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES
You will need some clear ornaments. I chose to use plastic because everything in my house is plastic. It’s just easier for me. Next, you will need some paint. I used some of this acrylic paint in the photo, and I experimented with some other laytex paint which I will tell you about. I also used Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Marbling Medium.
STEP TWO: MIX AND MARBLE YOUR PAINT
You will need some throw away cups for this step. I had a cup for each color and then one to marble my colors together. I followed the instructions on the marbling medium and used about twice as much medium as paint. Then I used two colors and spooned them into a new cup and gave it a little swirl to marble the colors together.
STEP THREE: SPOON THE PAINT INTO THE ORNAMENT
You need enough paint to coat the entire inside surface. We used quite a bit of paint and just rolled the ornament around to allow the paint to coat the surface. I found that it was an important step to marble the paint before you add it to the ornament, because the paint really sticks to the surface. So, if I poured in a solid color, I couldn’t really marble it in the ornament because the solid color had already coated the surface. I did see some techniques on Pinterest where people would use a stick to sort of mix or marble their paint inside the ornament, but I still think marbling the paint before you put it in the ornament would give you more of a marbled effect.
STEP FOUR: DRAIN AND DRY
Like I said, it takes a fair amount of paint to coat the entire inside surface, so you will want to drain out the excess paint. I did several things. I placed them upside down on a paper plate and let the paint drain out. I tapped the opening on the edge of my cup to force the paint to drain. Finally, I used some individual Pringles snack cups and some egg cartons to place the ornaments in upside down. This held the ornaments up off the surface and allowed paint to drain and air to get into the ornament. This took several days of drying. You don’t want to put the top on if the paint is wet inside.
Here is how they turned out. We did three color combinations with this technique – blue and white, black and white, and red and white. The red we used was bright red and when marbled with white turned pinkish. I would recommend a deeper red and possibly gold instead of red and white if you don’t want pink ornaments.
ALTERNATE TECHNIQUE: BLOWN AND SHAKEN
On these ornaments, I used some acrylic paint and some metallic laytex paint. I use Modern Masters Metallic Paint for a lot of projects around the house and I thought I’d see what it would look like in an ornament. These are really my favorite ones.
STEP ONE: BLOW GOLD PAINT
Use a straw and dip it into gold paint, then blow some paint on the inside of the ornament. Don’t blow too hard or it will come back at you, but blow it in a few spots to sort of splatter the paint around the surface of the ornament.
STEP TWO: ADD PAINT
Next, drop another color or two of paint into the ornament. I experimented with my dark gray metallic paint and my red metallic paint, but my favorite was gold, white, and gray.
STEP THREE: SHAKE
Just cover the opening with a folded up paper towel or rag or whatever you are using and shake the ornament until you have covered the entire surface. This will mix the paint in a little bit different way than the true marbling technique above, but I loved it.
STEP FOUR: DRAIN AND DRY
I used the same drying techniques on these ornaments as I did on the ones above. I do think these took longer to dry. I’d give them several days.
Two other things to mention. Since these were gold, I painted the silver tops gold. Also, if you have seen my other posts on paint pouring projects where I mixed paint with Floetrol, I did try that technique and it did not work. The paint did not stick to the ornament. That technique works much better on a canvas or pumpkin than in an ornament.
See my other Christmas posts here.