Before we begin, check out the beautiful, natural sunlight on this not-so-shabby DIY nautical wreath from my earlier post. The sunshine made it look surreal.
Okay, this DIY is stupid easy. I did it while pacing around the house, playing soccer with the dog’s toys to distract her from eating the tree, and watching something mindless on Bravo. Probably Housewives, much to Ray’s dismay. Did I mention this craft is mindless?
This began because my crafty coworker was having an ornament swap and in an attempt to be social, I agreed to go. Which meant I inherently signed up to make two dozen ornaments. And I was stoked with the end result, so it seemed silly not to do them for our house too. And made not only ornaments, but also candles, because candles rock and we don’t have a fireplace.
Here are your materials. Glass ornaments. Pick whatever size you like, but please use glass. Yes, glass bulbs can and most likely will break due to asshole animals that swat them from the tree, but they’re so elegant and authentic looking. Mason jars if you want to make matching candles. Foam blocks and wooden dowels (or chopsticks) for a homemade drying rack. Art sponges. And pick your paint. Ray and I like anything white and have greys and blues in our house, so went with green and blue. Sorry, red. The specific paint I used is Martha Stewart Pearl Acryllic in Hummingbird (green), Mother of Pearl (white), and Aquarium (blue). There are other options in Martha Stewart glass paints: translucent ones that would look gorgeous, even sparkly ones if that’s your thing. I’m serious here: I painted 8 dozen ornaments and needed only three paint bottles as shown below. And I think I was heavy handed with it. It goes a long way. Which I wish I had known ahead of time before taking stock in the same color paints. If you like Hummingbird and Aquarium, let me know! Or if you can think of any other glass crafts that need painting…
Space your drying rack like you’re making Christmas cookies on a baking sheet.
And begin your paint job. Huge warning: do not make the same mistake I made. And even after I made it, I continued to do the same thing, because I’m an idiot. Do not put your finger inside the bulbs. There are glass shards! I found it easiest to get a good grip on the bulb as shown below for the painting process, but please beware of the glass shards. That being said, let the painting commence. Sponge it on as thick or as thin as you like.
Another heads up, you get messy. The foam bricks “shed” little foamy pieces everywhere that kind of look like snowflakes across your kitchen island. And floor. And on occasion in the paint. And you get some paint on things. Like your manicure. And your kitchen island. And kitchen floor when a bulb breaks and you cry. Not like that happened.
Let your first round dry overnight before removing from the racks and then it’s time for round two, three, and beyond. I think beach glass varies from blue to green, so made solid blue, solid green, blue-greens, and green-blues for variety.
Let them dry. If there are any you’re not happy with, you can easily wash off the paint and repaint anywhere from immediately to two days out. I was slightly obsessive about the foam bits that got in my paint, making the paint look lumpy. I think a good solution to this would be to leave the plastic wrap on the foam blocks throughout the craft. Keep the foam bits to a minimum. But seriously, you can wash it off and retry. I never baked the ornaments or waited the 26-something day period to let them totally air dry. They’re basically dry after a day or two and easy enough to handle.
Put your caps back on and if you like jute, wrap it a few times around the cap and knot it off. And go to town on the tree! I know store-bought ornaments are pretty inexpensive, but so are these and these are things you created. So please give it a shot.
Anyway, I loved how these came out so much (and I had and still have so much extra paint on hand), that I decided to make candle holders. Pick any old glass jar you like, sponge paint your favorite colors, dry on your makeshift drying rack, wrap with jute, plop in a tealight, and there you go.
Ready for it? Like Emeril, bam!
So that’s it, really. I’d show you a photo of our tree, but there are so few bulbs on it because two little creatures have made it their life goal to knock them down, so now it’s oddly top-heavy if you know what I mean. The bottom three feet of the tree are bare. Assholes.
Anyway, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!