Here’s a fun holiday craft you can make with just a few simple, inexpensive materials – pretty marbled Christmas ornaments.
In less than an hour, you can craft several of these pretty ornaments that will perfect for holiday gift giving or hanging on your Christmas tree.
I first read about this technique in the wonderful book Artful Christmas: 30 Elegant Craft Projects by Susan Wasinger.*
Here’s all you need to make your own pretty, swirly holiday ornaments:
- A disposable container
- Room temperature water
- Good quality nail polish
- Glass round ornaments
- Needle-nose pliers (optional)
You can use any color of ornament you like. I ordered these matte and shiny silver glass ornaments.* I also marbleized some old ornaments for practice, which you may want to do, too.
Step by Step Instructions
Here’s the process for DIY marbled Christmas ornaments:
Carefully remove the ornament hanger from the ornament and have the needle-nosed pliers nearby. Removing the hanger allows you to marbleize up to the top of the ornament and keep the hanger clean. If you don’t care about that, you can simply leave the hanger on and hold it while dipping.
Cover your table with newspapers or other protective covering. Fill your container with room temperature water. Make sure it doesn’t feel warm or cool to the touch.
Drip a few drops of nail polish on the water. It will spread out on the surface of the water. Immediately swirl lightly with a toothpick.
After you drag the toothpick through the nail polish floating on the water, you’ll have a pretty design.
Using the needle-nosed pliers to hold the ornament, quickly dip in the mixture, rolling it slightly to cover one side. Depending on the size of the ornament, you may need to do this process 2-3 times.
Blow on the ornament for a few minutes and carefully place it on the paper to dry, using the stem as a little stand. If you left the hanger on, you can put a paper clip or ornament hanger through the loop and hang it in a safe place to dry. Repeat until the outside is fully marbleized.
Tips for Marbling Success
The water temperature is important. If it’s too cold, the nail polish won’t dissipate enough to swirl and make the pattern. If it’s too warm, the nail polish will dissolve and spread into a pale, disappointing wash.
Cheap nail polish didn’t work for me. I tried a bottle of the 99 cent kind, but it didn’t have enough pigment to have any staying power when I dropped it in the water.
If you’re using an older bottle of nail polish that has thickened, put it in a glass of very hot water for a few minutes first. That will help it be more pourable.
Don’t worry if the designs on your marbleized Christmas ornaments aren’t perfect. Some may be more swirly and others may be more mottled, but the handcrafted look adds to their charm!
If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin:
Let’s keep this party going! I’d love to connect with you on social media:
I love sharing your creations. If you make marbled ornaments and post a photo, tag me on Instagram or Twitter at @elizacross or #elizacross.
How About You?
Are you going to make any holiday crafts this year? If you have any comments or ideas you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you. Happy marbleizing!
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