art · craft · diy · holiday · Homemade treats · Kids

Homemade Ornaments

Traditions are all around us at Christmas time. Baking and cooking and making all sorts of things! I don’t know if I would consider THIS a tradition or if it is just my feeble attempt to do something creative with my kids when there is no school 😉 . But ALMOST every year, I come up with a craft of making a homemade ornaments with my kids. In the past I have done the cornstarch and baking soda cut-outs or these adorable snowball cupcake ornament with a cherry on top.


Inspiration from my friend’s Insta account: @jennywestenhofer

This year, I saw these adorable painted bulb ornaments on my friend Jenny Westenhofer’s Insta-page. When I saw the colors and the adorable bows, I thought, “We can make these!”

I bought plastic bulbs (How GENIOUS IS THAT?! And so kid-friendly!!!) in opaque white and had the kids paint them as an activity. I shared the inspiration photo (above), gave them the supplies and just let them go for it! Each of the kids did something a little different which I LOVED! I mean, that is what creativity and art is all about: find inspiration and then let YOUR OWN creative juices go WILD!

If you step back and let kids create, you can learn so much from what an ‘untainted mind’ will do!

– melissa manos, 2020

You know, if you step back and let kids create, you can learn so much from what an ‘untainted mind’ will do! I took two of their ideas and then a tried and true project and share them below!


I am sharing 3 techniques on painting ornament bulbs. For all three techniques, you will need the same supplies.

What you will need to make these ornaments:

  • plastic bulbs (I originally used white, but for these I used clear)
  • craft paint (I used unconventional colors per my inspiration)
  • ribbon (to make the bow and use to tie on to the tree) or a hook
  • scratch paper to protect your table
  • hook to dry your wet ornament

#1 The Drippies

Our friend Ella, watched my son Bryson get really messy with his paint. She controlled her paint application by creating lines of drips down the sides of the bulb. She held the bulp by the top, faced it upside down, and then from the center of the bottom, made lines of paint from the center and down the sides of the bulb. With patience, she let each slide down to the “top” of the bulb. After applying all the paint, she then hung it on the drying rack and let all the lines pool to the middle point and dry like that. To tell you the truth, the bottom is my favorite part: it is SOOOO BEAUTIFUL.

Timelaps Video on Technique #1:

#2 Marbling

My son is the “more is more” kind of artist. He will keep adding and adding and creating a masterpiece without much control or reasoning. He really dives in and just lets the medium speak to him. In the case of this project, he put “blobs” (you like that “scientific term” LOL!) on different parts of the bulb, with multiple colors and then let it drip. Once the colors started to come together, he then took a skewer (or a toothpick would do) and started making swirls and circles all over the bulb, letting the colors start to marble into each other. The effects are amazing!

Timelaps Video on Technique #2:

#3 Inside Swirl

Those first two examples were applying the paint to the OUTSIDE of the bulbs. For this last design technique, I used a clear bulb and I squeezed paint on the INSIDE thru the top of the bulb. Strategically, I would squeeze one color till it dripped in a line down the side, then took the next color and squeezed it NEXT TO that color into the opening of the bulb, letting it drip along the last line of paint, continuing till the bulb was full of drippies (another very scientific word. LOL!) . I then swirled the paint around inside of the bulb covering all the surfaces and then hung it to dry overnight. This technique was the cleanest of all the techniques. Plus, since the paint is on the inside of the ball, the outside stays shiny and looks like glass. It’s super luminescent. This is definitley my second favorite.

Timelaps Video on Technique #3:

All the techniques I tried are super fun and different. I would say, if you were doing this with a classroom of kids and needed to take the ornament home within 24 hours, stick to the last technique! If you have a 24 hour window to let the paint dry, the marbling technique is my favorite. I may even add a clear coat to preserve the paint and give it some luminocity. It’s so pretty and looks expensive.

If you are looking for a fun project to do with your kids over these next few weeks of winter break, this is super easy and the results are spectacular!

Happy Holidays and happy crafting!

xo, Melis

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