Give an eco-gift this season idea 14: Skip the Big Box store and make homemade ornaments

By Nikki Golden
During the holiday season, it’s always nice to create traditions that get the whole family involved. Homemade ornaments will be memories that last a lifetime. Clear glass ornaments can be turn into a decoration in a large variety of ways. Filling them with beads or painting the outside are two ways you can go. What I find the easiest, though, is creating a tie-dyed look. 

You will need:
  • Clear glass ornaments with removable tops, which can be found at any of the major craft supply stores. You will have a choice of sizes.
  • Paints. For each ornament you will need three to four different colors. I like to always include a metallic silver or gold in my color choice. I like using regular acrylic paint because it washes off of hands easily. Try to pick up eco- or soy-based paints.
  • Small disposable cups. These will be used to allow the extra paint to drip out.
  • Ribbon. This is an optional finishing touch. You probably don’t want to use ribbon much thicker than 2".

1. Remove the metal clasp at the top of the ornament. By this point, you will have chosen the three or four colors you will be using in this ornament. If you’re using a metallic paint, start with that one. After shaking the paint to mix the color, you’re going to squeeze a drizzle of that paint into the ornament and then turn the ornament as it snakes down the side. Don’t worry about squeezing in too much paint because you will be turning it over to remove the excess. Drizzle in this color along several sides of the ornament before using the next color. 

2. Once you’ve used squeezed in all the colors you’re using for that ornament, turn the ornament on its side and turn it, so that the colors mix and all parts of the glass are covered from the inside. At this point, if you need to add more paint to cover the inside, you can choose the color to use and add it.

3. Once all sides of the ornament are covered in paint, take the ornament and turn it upside down into the small disposable cup and leave it as you finish the rest of the ornaments.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for all your ornaments.

5. You can turn your ornaments periodically to keep the patterns changing inside. You also can rest the side of your ornament on the opening of the disposable cup, but make sure that cup is on newspaper because paint might still be dripping out.

6. Leave ornaments draining overnight.

7. Once the ornaments are dry, you can put replace the removable top and tie a bow using ribbon around the top of the ornament.

Voila! Now enjoy using these to decorate your tree.

Nikki Golden is a full-time association marketing manager and a part-time crafty wannabe. You can find her on Twitter @lucy1375 and on Pinterest @nikki_golden.

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