How to Hand Paint Ornaments

by Suzie Faloon

A family, individual or group can create heirloom quality ornaments for Christmas or any holiday. Several types of ornaments are available for crafters to decorate with paint. Wooden ornaments can be purchased at a craft store or cut out with a jig or scroll saw. Glass ornaments are available at craft and big box stores. Revitalize old ornaments with a hand-painted design. Children and adults can paint the ornaments in one session. More detailed ornaments may take a few days to complete.

Items you will need

  • Fine sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Toothpicks
  • Stencil
  • Rag

Wooden Ornaments

Step 1

Sand away any raw edges on hand cut or manufactured wooden cutouts with fine grit sandpaper.

Step 2

Coat the entire wooden ornament with one color of acrylic paint using a number 3 paintbrush. This will seal the wood for the decorative coat of paint.

Step 3

Paint the body of the ornament again and add details using a number 1, 2 or 3 brush. The smaller details can be dabbed in with a size 0 brush or a toothpick.

Colored glass ornament

Step 1

Freehand draw or stencil a star, heart or wreath onto the surface of a colored glass ornament. Hold the ornament in your hand or set it onto a soft rag or wad of paper towels.

Step 2

Fill in the design with a number 1 or 2 brush using acrylic paint.

Step 3

Paint in small details on the shape with a number 1 or 0 paintbrush. Add a bow to the wreath, a name on the heart for personalization or rays of light flowing from the star.

Step 4

Handwrite Merry Christmas or another greeting on the other side of the ornament using the number 1 brush as a writing utensil.

Clear Glass Ornament

Step 1

Remove the ornament hanger from the glass ball. Set the hanger into the ornament box to prevent misplacing it.

Step 2

Paint a band of white, green, blue or red paint around the center of the ornament. Allow the paint to dry for at least 20 minutes. Hold the ball in your hand while painting.

Step 3

Set the glass ball onto a soft rag cloth to keep it from rolling out of position.

Step 4

Paint or stencil a holiday design on the colored band that encircles the ornament. Paint one side of the ornament completely and allow it to dry first before turning it over if you plan to paint on both sides. For example, paint a winter scene, Nativity or angel on the ornament

Step 5

Replace the hanger cap when the ornament is no longer sticky to the touch.

About the Author

S. Faloon has been a crafter and florist for many years. She enjoys teaching children the art of crafting. She has designed cards and scrapbook layouts for a web site for a scrapbooking store. She has also designed floral arrangements, wedding bouquets and handmade flowers. She is willing to work and bring the kind of content that an editor requires.

Photo Credits

  • Dynamic Graphics/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images