Easy Marble Ornaments Tutorial

With Taylor having so many teachers to give gifts to each year, our Christmas budget can be blown very quickly. Quite some time ago, I started making swirled glass ornaments and packaging them in gift tins for coaches, teachers, and office exchanges. Depending on the number of ornaments you give and the size or price of the tin that you place them in, the cost per present can be under $5. So, if you’re interested in giving a cost effective gift this year, read on!

For this project you will need:
Acrylic paint in various colors
Clear glass ornaments
Dixie bathroom size cups
Gift tins or boxes
Step 1:
Before working with your ornament, you should remove the hanger and clean the inside of the bulb with vinegar. Swirling around a small amount of vinegar inside the bulb will help remove any dust, dirt, and glass particles that my have gotten trapped inside and will help the paint stick. Make sure that the ornament is completely dry before preceding to the next step. You can skip this step, however, if the bulb is too dirty, the paint will not adhere to the glass properly.
Step 2:

Next take the dry ornament and squirt a stream of acrylic paint inside the bulb. Do this several times, alternating desired colors and creating ‘stripes’ inside the ornament. Do not cover the entire bulb with paint – make sure that there is some glass peaking through!
Step 3:

Now rotate the ornament so that the paint begins covering all of the glass surface. You’ll notice that you’re already getting a marble effect!
Step 4:

After the inside of the bulb is coated in paint, drain the ornament upside down in a bathroom size Dixie cup. If you’re in a hurry, you can stop here. However, for more dramatic swirled effects, allow the paint to drain approximately 30 minutes (it may talk longer if you used a lot of paint or a shorter amount of time if you used less. I tend to use a lot of paint and 30 minutes allows for most of the paint to drip out, but is not completely gone) and begin rotating the bulb again. You can do this by resting the bulb on it’s side or right side up for several hours. Each time you rotate the bulb, you’ll get more swirling in that area.
For a soft marbleized look like the image on the left (where colors gently blend together into each other), rotate the bulb gradually until the ornament is dry.
However, for dramatic marbleization such as the photo on the right, make sharp rotations. I do this by making 180 degree turns after it has sat for several hours.
Step 5:
After the bulb has dried, replace the ornament top and package in a pretty gift box. Don’t forget to make a few extras for yourself to hang on your tree.

7 thoughts on “Easy Marble Ornaments Tutorial

  1. Kris

    That looks great! I’m going to have to give it a try for next year. My 3-year-old should be able to help to some extent, too. Hmm…maybe I’ll have to see if clear glass ornaments go on clearance next week!

  2. Melissa

    Those are soooo cute! I wish I would have known about this project earlier – they will make great teacher gifts for next Christmas tho. Thanks for the instructions!

  3. Kris

    Just an addendum – for anyone who is impatient with getting all the vinegar to dry out – I gave them a few hours to dry, but still had a drop or two left in the bulb. So I put the ornaments upright into muffin tins and baked them in the oven on the lowest setting (for my oven, that’s 170) for about 15 minutes. This didn’t hurt the glass at all but did dry out the remaining vinegar. Then I let them cool (until I could easily handle them without burning my fingers) before starting the painting.

  4. Mouse

    I just wanted to leave a note to tell you that I think this idea is just terrific! I will be giving this a go next year for sure 🙂

Comments are closed.