This year I wanted to add some extra texture and change up the colors of our Christmas ornaments. Rather than trying to find exactly what I was looking for, I decided to make some DIY ornaments.
I grabbed a handful of plastic ornaments from Michael’s and went to work testing out all sorts of ways to paint plastic ornaments.
We have everything from velvet ornaments to sparkly ornaments to classic paint. Try them all or pick your favorite designs to add to your tree.
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
What You’ll Need:
- Plastic ornaments (pick any size or shape)
- Ribbon to hang the ornaments
- Chopsticks or wood skewers
- Painter’s tape
- Paintbrush (I just used foam brushes)
- We’ll share any additional supplies needed as we go through the different designs
How to Paint Plastic Ornaments
Regardless of which design you choose, we’ll prep the ornaments in the same way.
STEP 1: REMOVE THE CAP
Pull the cap out from each of the ornaments and set it in a pile. If you have multiple different-sized ornaments, keep the different sizes separated.
We wanted the caps to be gold instead of silver, so we placed them all in a cardboard board and spray painted them with Krylon Brillant Metallic in Gold Leaf which is my absolute favorite gold spray paint.
STEP 2: PREP YOUR CARDBOARD BOX
Punch holes in the bottom of your cardboard box using your chopsticks or skewers. We were planning to use skewers since they are pointy, but our store was out, so we opted for chopsticks instead. The chopsticks were a little difficult to push through the box, but they are thicker than skewers, so it made things a little more stable.
No need to perfectly count out or space the holes in the bottom of the box. You just want to poke a bunch so you have holes to choose from when you store your ornaments to dry.
STEP 3: PLACE THE ORNAMENTS ON THE CHOPSTICKS
Push the chopsticks (or skewers) into the ornaments and tape the base to the chopstick.
You’ll want to push the chopstick to one edge of the ornament so that it really is taped to the ornament and doesn’t move around a whole lot.
Don’t worry about not being able to paint the tip of the ornament. The cap will cover up the unpainted areas in the end!
DIY Ornaments – 7 Ways!
Now that your plastic ornaments are all prepped and ready to go, it’s time to talk about all the different styles. You can scroll through them all or jump to your favorite design:
- DIY Velvet Ornaments Using Flocking
- DIY Matte Ornaments Using Flour
- DIY Painted Texture Ornaments
- DIY Sparkle Ornaments
- DIY Spray Painted Ornaments – 3 Ways!
Let’s start with two different ways to get a velvet-texture look.
DIY Velvet Ornaments Using Flocking
If you want your velvet ornaments to actually feel soft like velvet, you’ll want to use this flocking method. You’ll need flocking powder, mod podge, and some paint that is close to the color of your flocking powder.
We got our flocking powder on Etsy. I ordered several colors but ended up only really liking the Cardinal Red and Off-White.
STEP 1: PAINT YOUR BASE COLOR
Before applying the flocking powder, we want to paint the base so that it’s not as obvious when the flocking powder is thinner in some areas.
I first tried the method where you squeeze a bit of acrylic paint inside the ornament and then twirl it around until it coats the entire inside. Personally, I felt like it required too much paint and it took too long for all the excess paint to drip out and dry.
The final result looked really good, but I decided to simply paint the outside of the ornaments. Since you have the ornaments on the stick already, it makes it super easy to hold and rotate.
Once the first coat was done, I stuck in the cardboard that we prepped earlier to dry. After letting it dry, I applied a second coat so that it was more opaque.
If you skip the second coat, when the tree lights shine through the ornaments, you’ll be able to see some streaks in the color.
STEP 2: APPLY MOD PODGE
Once the paint is dry, paint on a thick, even coat of mod podge on the whole ornament.
If working on multiple ornaments, work through steps 2 and 3 for a single ornament at a time so that the glue doesn’t dry out.
STEP 3: APPLY FLOCKING POWDER
I recommend completing the next step over a small bowl or a piece of paper so that you can easily save any unused flocking powder.
Pour or sprinkle the flocking powder over the ornament, making sure to cover the entire surface. Once covered, shake off any excess powder and then place it in the cardboard to dry.
I made about 6 velvet ornaments in each color and used a little more than half of the pouch of flocking powder.
STEP 4: REMOVE EXCESS FLOCKING POWDER
Once the mod podge is fully dry, you can rub the chopstick between your hands to spin the ornament and remove any excess flocking powder. We also found it helpful to flick our wrist when holding the chopstick to shake off any of the extra powder.
Once the excess is removed, you can remove the ornament from the stick, insert the cap, and then tie a ribbon so you can hang it on your tree!
DIY Matte Ornaments Using Flour
This is version number 2 of the velvety-look ornaments. This time you’ll need paint and flour. Yes, white flour that you use for cooking!
Paint the outside of your ornament with your paint. I would recommend 2 coats so that you have pretty solid coverage.
Once the first coat or two is dry, apply an additional coat. Right after painting, sprinkle flour in the wet paint and shake off the excess.
When the paint is fully dry, rub your hand over the ornament to wipe off any excess flour. Keep rubbing the ornament until the flour stops rubbing off on your hands.
Insert the cap and add your ribbon.
DIY Painted Texture Ornaments
This is a technique that we used on our ever-popular painted glass vases. You’ll need: paint (we used a sample of Sherwin William’s Retreat) and baking soda.
I’d recommend painting the outside of your ornament with a base coat before making the baking soda mixture, but you can also just do multiple coats of the mixture.
Mix the baking soda and paint together. This will give you a more gritty texture and will make the paint appear more matte.
Paint the mixture onto the outside of the ornament. The texture will remain as it dries, so you might want to intentionally paint in different directions and in short strokes to add even more texture and pattern.
Once fully dry, insert the ornament cap and tie a ribbon to the top.
DIY Sparkle Ornaments
Out of all the ornaments we made, these might be my favorites! I’m a sucker for all things sparkly.
For these ornaments, you’ll need mod podge and some glitter. I used this glass glitter from the scrapbooking section of Michael’s. I was able to cover (2) 2.5” and (2) 3.5” ornaments from one jar.
To make, brush a layer of mod podge on the outside of the ornament and then sprinkle the glitter over the ornament. I recommend having a paper bowl or piece of paper under your ornament so you can quickly clean up and reuse the glitter that doesn’t stick to the ornament.
Let it dry and then add the cap and the ribbon. Simple as that!
I also tried another type of glitter using this same technique. It turned out to be too bright gold and like a disco ball for this particular tree, but it’s another style you can try if it’s a good fit for yours!
DIY Spray Painted Ornaments – 3 Ways!
We used three different types of spray paint on our ornaments, but you could also use any color you like.
Spray painting ornaments is a quick way to update them to whatever color you want. You also don’t have to wait as long as traditional paint for it to dry, and you’ll end up with a super smooth finish (unless you’re using textured spray paint).
For our ornaments we used:
- Krylon Brilliant Metallic in Gold Leaf (my favorite gold spray paint which we even used as accents on our DIY platform bed)
- Krylon Glitter Blast in Golden Glow (which we used on our Christmas tablescape)
- Krylon Fine Texture Stone Finish in Sandstone (which we’ve also used on these DIY painted pumpkins and on our West-Elm dupe vases)
Regardless of what spray paint you use, you’ll follow the same process.
STEP 1: APPLY PRIMER
If using the Krylon Fusion All-In-One line, no primer is needed, but I recommend it for the specialty lines like Metallic, Stone, and Glitter Blast. I used the white Krylon ColorMaxx primer.
Not only will the primer help adhere to the plastic, but it will also give you a solid base coat. The textured spray paints tend to require more coats in order to get everything fully covered, but by adding the primer first, you won’t need the texture to cover 100% of the ornament.
Spray a light coat of primer on each of the ornaments. Let the primer dry for about 15 minutes.
STEP 2: APPLY THE SPRAY PAINT
Using light, thin coats, apply the spray paint to each of the ornaments. I found it easiest to hold the ornament on the stick and rotate it around while consistently spraying. Rather than moving the spray paint can, I rotated the ornament for a quick, even coat.
Let the paint dry for a few minutes between coats and apply as many coats as necessary. I applied two coats for most of my ornaments.
Once you’re finished spraying a coat on a particular ornament, stick it back in the cardboard to dry.
For the glitter blast ornaments, I first applied a coat of metallic spray paint so that it didn’t require so many coats. 1-2 coats of the Glitter Blast was enough since we had the metallic base.
STEP 3: FINISH
For the Glitter Blast ornaments, I sealed the glitter in with their Glitter Blast clear sealer. This prevents all the glitter from ending up all over your house.
For the other ornaments, I opted not to seal them, but you definitely could if you wanted to add some extra durability.
Once everything is dry, remove the tape and chopsticks from the ornaments, insert the cap, and add your ribbon to hang them on the tree.
There you have it! Now you know several paints to paint clear plastic ornaments this holiday season.
Which ornament designs are you going to try out? I love the combination of all the different styles and textures on our tree!