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How to Make Marbled Christmas Ornaments with Paint

DIY marbled ornaments are beautiful and unique with their distinctive, colorful swirl pattern. While there are techniques  for marbleized ornaments that use nail polish, oil based paint, craft paint and alcohol inks to make DIY marbled Christmas ornaments, this technique uses a much less toxic craft marbling paint , ball ornaments and a special medium to make the marble effect on the ornaments. Using this easy DIY technique you can make beautiful water marbled ornaments  that have a watercolor look to  make Christmas decor, deck your Christmas tree or give as a gift.

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Make Marbled DIY Christmas Ornaments with these supplies:

supplies for water marbling

Water Marbling paint and Water Marbling Magic Medium

Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground

White or Clear glass globe ornaments

Ribbon, twine or ornament hooks

Deep disposable container with water

Clear sealer

Paper towels

Swirl stick or tooth pick

Plain paper

A paper towel for the inside bottom of the container

watercolor ground

Prep you clear ornaments

Glass ornaments are too slippery for regular acrylic paint to adhere to so there needs to be just a little prep of the ornament.  24 hours before you marble your ornaments, paint your ornaments with Daniel Smith watercolor ground and let dry. This is a medium that turns other surfaces into a watercolor paint ready surface. This also allows the marbling paint to stick to the shiny surface of the glass ornament.  We are using clear glass ornaments from the local craft store, but you can also use dollar store ornaments or white ceramic ornaments.

Drop marbling paint onto the water

Mix your water marbling medium water

When you are ready to marble your ornaments, prep your water for marbling with the marbling medium following the directions. You will want to pick a container to mix your medium and water in that allows your ornaments to be completely submerged when you dip them. Before you add you paint, submerge a folded paper towel or wash cloth in the bottom to cushion it in case an ornament is dropped. If an ornament is dropped and breaks, don’t reach your hand in the water to retrieve it. Instead scoop out any broken pieces with a tool or craft strainer, discard the water safely and start over.

Choose your color palette for your ornaments

You can use as many colors as you like, but if your starting out and aren’t sure, start with 2-3 paint colors.

Drip more marbling paint onto the water

Create your marbling surface

Drip your marbling paint onto the surface of the water from about an inch away. You can drip your paint in a random pattern, or create circled by dripping different colors on the inside of each other. It may be hard to see some of the colors as they float on the surface, but they are there. Once you have your colors added and  have covered the entire surface, use a toothpick to pop any air bubbles on the surface on the top of the water, use a stirring stick or toothpick to swirl the paint around the container.

move paint with a stick and create a marble effect

Marble your ornaments

Add an ornament hook to the top of the loop and hold your ornaments  firmly by the hook,  and dip into the water just until the round top of the ornament is submerged, being careful to not submerse it so much that water goes in the ornament. Remove immediately and hang to dry.

 into the marbling medium

Fully dip the ornament into the marbled water

Remove the excess paint and add new paint for a new design

Removing the old paint is as easy as dragging a piece of paper across the surface to grab the extra paint.  Once the extra paint is removed, just add new paint with new colors (You can also use this technique on faux Easter eggs in the spring too.!) Lay the paper flat and let dry. The paper can be upcycled  to create cards, scrapbook or made into other crafts. As the ornament dries and the excess water drips off the paint may lighten a bit.

Water marbled ornament in yellow and blue

Marbling can be very fun and it’s hard to stop once you start and you can create really fun color combinations! With the watercolor ground as a base they end up with a pretty watercolor look!

DIY Water marbled ornaments with ribbon

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