Snow Cap Christmas Ornaments - Embellishing Mercury Glass Balls with Paint and Glitter
Today I am dressing up some thrifted glass ball ornaments with a festive snow pattern. I like the brushed-on snow design of Shiny Brite ornaments from the 1950s, so that is the look I am going for. I would not attempt this on any ornaments that I considered particularly precious, but I think it's a fun upgrade for glass balls that are worn beyond a tasteful patina and need a refresh to continue their useful lives. One of the red ornaments I used disagreed with the paint/glue mixture, causing the color to bleed a little into the frost pattern turning it pink. I don't mind this for my display, but it would be a good idea to test the neck of the ornament under the cap first to see if there is any issue with colorfastness for the ornaments you are using. Ensure that your paintbrush is dry when you start, and that you are using a "multi-surface" white craft paint that lists glass on its use label.
- Plain Glass Ball Ornaments
- Flat Rounded Tip Paintbrush
- Multi Surface White Paint
- Undiluted Elmer's Glue-All or Aleene's Tacky Glue
- Fine Grain Milk Glass Glitter
- Knitting Needle or skewer and jar for drying
- Scrap Paper
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Let's get started!
Mix 1 part glue to two parts paint. On a piece of scrap paper, practice the following brushstroke:
Load the brush with paint, and remove the excess from each side by scraping it on the edge of a dish. Turn the brush 90 degrees onto its thin side. Press the brush down onto the paper, and paint a line about 1 1/2 inches long while lifting the brush to create a soft point at the end. It's a simple move, and once you do it a few times it becomes natural.
Remove the metal cap from the top of an ornament. Paint the frost mixture around the neck of the ornament leaving a small band at the very top for reattaching the cap. Once you have this white ring around the top, begin applying the practiced frost pattern, one brushstroke at a time. Start on the painted ring, press the brush down, and lift it up as you paint each point. Continue all the way around until there are no gaps remaining.
Hold the ornament over a bowl of the fine grain white glass glitter, and spoon it over the top. Shake of the excess.
Set the ornament on a knitting needle or skewer propped up in a jar until it is dry. Use a dry brush to dislodge any loose glitter, and then reattach the cap.