DIY Tinted Glass Ornaments
I always love coming up with a few new ornaments to make every Christmas to add something special to our tree. I fell in love with deep moody amber colored glass ornaments this year and thought it would be fun to try to make my own! What started as an attempted to create dark, moody tones turned into a full blown addiction with all types of tones and colors!
I found a simple tutorial for amber glass ornaments using glass paint, but you need 3 different colors and each vial is over $15. I made it my mission to find a more affordable way to make my own. There is a viral TikTok tutorial for making amber glass vases with ModPodge so I thought I would try it with ornaments!
I shared in Instagram stories that it took me a while to get my tutorial right, which led to all kinds of experimenting and my own take on this DIY using school glue. School glue gives a bubbled mercury glass pattern (without the metallic sheen) that I fell in love with. Now I don't know which I love more - the dark amber colors or the translucent pastel ones!
What you need
clear glass ornaments - I thrifted mine!
food coloring - here's what I used
small glass bowl
shot glasses or other small cups
option: spray paint - see the optional technique section below!
How to make it
Pour glue into a glass bowl or measuring cup. I used about 1/3 C of glue. Add drops of food coloring until your mixture is a few shades lighter than your desired color. Note: the color will darken in the oven! Double Note: Do not be tempted to add water to your mixture to allow it to cover your ornament faster. You will not get a rich color. For amber colored glass, my glue mixture was the color of Hershey's milk chocolate.
Remove the caps from your ornaments. Pour a small amount of liquid into your first ornament. Slowly move the ornament around to distribute the liquid inside. Add more liquid if needed to cover. Set your ornament upside down on top of a small cup or glass and allow the extra liquid to drain. Be patient with this step and allow your ornaments to sit for a few hours. Gently tap on your ornaments periodically to release glue that collects at the neck. NOTE: The longer you allow your ornaments to drain, the less runs and spots you will have. It's virtually impossible to prevent all drip lines, but it adds to the character of the glass!
Wipe excess glue mixture from the neck of the ornament. It will look like this is you do not clean off the outside!
Place your ornaments in the muffin tin upright to allow air circulation. Bake at 200F for 30-60 minutes or until your ornaments are translucent. The liquid will thin as it is heated and begin to pool at the lowest part of the ornament. If you'd like to keep your color more consistent, rotate your ornaments while they bake. You WILL have some darker spots or run lines. Because of the shape of ball ornaments the excess liquid cannot drain completely.
1. For a few of my brown ornaments, I sprayed 2 quick bursts of gold spray paint into the opening of the ornament and quickly shook the ornament. This deepened the color and gave it a richer tone. You can see the difference between painted versus unpainted in the image below.
2. For a few more, I gave them each 2 bursts of gold spray paint AND black for an even richer moody color!
3. After letting the glue mixture drain as much as possible, I added another drop or 2 of food coloring to the inside and lightly shook. This created a marbled effect when they baked. NOTE: Sometimes this method just produced long drip lines of dark brown but on others it looked really cool!
4. Play around with the amount of food coloring you add to your glue!
Happy ornament making! If you share your creations on social media, make sure to tag me @therurallegend and I just might feature your holiday ornaments on my page!