This year, deck the halls with beautiful ball creations in medleys of rich colours and styles. Make your own holiday ornaments to add among your cherished oldies and to treasure for years to come. Decorating the home with impressive ornaments has never been easier to achieve, utilizing only a handful of basic craft supplies. Glass ball ornaments with sophistication from eclectic to elegant designs are painted with brilliant colours and magnificently decorated with copper leafing, rice paper, beads, tassels and ritzed up with glitz.
Aside from decorating a traditional Christmas tree, ball ornaments make distinguished decorations to beautify an entrance, a hallway, or to grace a mantel. Mixtures of solid colours or striped balls are simply splendid displayed in tall vases, large bowls or incorporated into a spectacular centerpiece.
If you live in a small space, decorating with ornaments is a fantastic way to add wonderment to your décor without incorporating a huge tree. Smaller glass versions are perfect to jazz up tabletop trees and to create stylist floral arrangements.
Preparing the base of the glass ornaments:
Prepare the glass surface for painting by washing the balls thoroughly with soap and water and wipe dry.
Attach a decorative string to the metal cap tips that come with the glass balls. It makes it easier to handle the balls while painting and practical to hang them for drying on an ornament stand or a coat rack with pegs.
Paint the surfaces of the glass balls with a soft bristle paintbrush using Vitrail paints in your choice of colours from emerald, red violet to turquoise blues. I used a rich palette of crimson, brown, and burnt amber. Since these are decorative items only, I used Vitrail solvent based paints because the colours are brilliant and they don’t need to be heat set. Once painted hang the balls to air-dry. They will dry within hours and be ready to decorate within a 48 hour period. Use a solvent base cleaner to clean your brushes well.
Eclectic paper collage; Painted glass balls are garlanded with assorted scraps of colourful and white rice papers. Use paper bits and pieces leftover from other holiday projects. Apply a coat of Mod Podge over the surface of the ball. Randomly apply and layer tiny paper pieces around the ball, leaving some areas exposed in order to see its colour. To secure the paper composition into place, apply a top coat of Mod Podge and let dry. Once dry apply a coat of sparkle glaze to make them glitter and glow.
Renaissance: Apply vertical stripes evenly spaced all around the ball with a fine point paintbrush using Porcelaine 150, Vermeil gold. For a majestic look apply rhinestones garnishes over the dried gold stripes using metal glue.
Baroque: Apply narrow painter’s tape to create two stripes on the bottom half of a glass ball. Apply adhesive sizing with soft paintbrush to the area between the tape stripes. Set the ball a side to allow the adhesive to become dry and tacky to the touch (15-60 minutes). Place and press copper leaf over the adhesive medium to adhere to the ball. Use a clean soft brush to secure the leafing into place and to remove excess pieces. Top off with a wire length fastened around the cap, bead the ends and add a tassel.
Old world: Apply adhesive sizing randomly around the ball and follow the leafing steps as above. The leafing will only stick to the areas where the medium was applied. Apply a length of Terrifically Tacky Tape around the center of the ball. For a gleaming touch, sprinkle iridescent flakes over the tape and gently pat it.
Glistening swirl: Simply dab a colour of Vitrail paint around a glass ball using a sea sponge. Once dry, apply a band of rice paper with a swirl pattern at the center of the ball with Mod Podge. Apply glitter glaze around the ball. Wrap a piece of coloured wire around the cap of the ball and decorate the ends with beads.
Beaded Rococo: Pour assorted metallic Porcelaine 150 paints into applicator bottles, one for each different colour. Using one colour at a time, squeeze the bottle to release paint along the sides of the ball, letting some of the colours overlap and some areas free of drippings. Let it dry and set for 48 hours. Garnish the ball with a band of colourful micro beads using Terrifically Tacky Tape. For an elaborate cap finish use fuzzy wool and bead accents.
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