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Clear Glass Ornament Fail

craft fail ornaments
I fell in love with the marbled ornaments at all the craft stores during the holidays, and wanted that effect on my own tree. Alas, it was not to be.

by Tina at Artelicious

Anyone who frequents craft stores like JoAnn, Michael’s or Beverly’s must have seen them back in November and December: an end-cap display loaded with boxes of clear glass ornaments. I saw them everywhere in the weeks leading up to the holidays.

Well, my local Beverly’s also displayed an array of the ornaments after being decorated. Some were filled with little shiny things or edible sprinkles. Others sprouted beads or were wrapped in ribbons. But the ones that caught my eye were the glorious, perfectly marbled ornaments. Next to this sat a collection of little acrylic paint bottles, in reds, greens and whites.

If you’ve seen my home, you know that bright red and green just doesn’t go well in here. As I possess aqua, purple and white furnishings, my idea of a Christmas-y red is more a magenta; for green, chartreuse. So I headed to the paint aisle and picked up a handful of more congenial colors. Two boxes of ornaments later, I was good to go.

My cousin Gabriel was visiting us at the time, and I thought marbling some ornaments might make a fun “family togetherness” holiday project. Also, our tree was on the smallish side, so I pictured it dazzling every guest with its collection of gorgeous and perfect balls.

christmas balls fail

Well, the paint was thick, and as we poured it inside the glass balls, it didn’t move.

  • We swirled, spun and gyrated madly, to no avail.
  • I had the brilliant idea of pouring rubbing alcohol in there to thin out the paints. Bad idea.
  • Glitter paint only made them worse.
  • The paints turned too thin, and poured out. We poured it back in to no avail.
  • New paint did not take, either.
  • Some puddles remained, so a few days later I set them outside to dry.
  • Then it rained on and in them.

Ho ho ho, my spectacular Holiday CraftFail.

18 Responses to Clear Glass Ornament Fail

  1. Lois says:

    Well, one never knows until one tries, eh? And you can always glue glitter on the outsides of the glass balls, to cover up the mess on the inside. :o]

  2. Ericka says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I think several of them are still quite pretty… On the larger picture, I LOVE the colors on the one in the upper-right corner!

  3. Lau says:

    I think their pretty too!

  4. Laina says:

    I like those!!!

  5. zebe says:

    I think a couple of them look nice too. I’ve never heard of marbling with acrylics though. We always used to use the little bottles of oil paint for model cars & the like.

  6. Darlene says:

    I happen to a couple of them also. A couple of them I would cover with polymer clay to hide the inside. BTW, I have some of those myself in red and green and I only keep them because my boys did them when they were little :)

  7. Linde says:

    I had the exact same problem…minus the rubbing alcohol and rain. If it makes you feel any better, I had the same outcome, and I didn’t put anything else in it…

  8. Nona says:

    I’ve made one of those in green and purple, which is horrid, but I love it, it goes on the tree every year. lol

  9. Willyb says:

    Count me among those who have had this same fail. The paint didn’t really stick to the sides and it just pooled in the bottom. It NEVER dried. Oh well. Gotta keep on craftin’ anyway. :-0)

  10. donovan says:

    My wife and i tried it and best to use thickest of your craft paints and turn over to drain out then dry ……. top of the fridge or cupboard (warm)

  11. donovan says:

    OH yes and just put enough paint in to cover.Then SHAKE like mad to move the paint around ;)

  12. bellevuebelle says:

    Use water to thin craft paint. Marble in layers.

  13. Lexi says:

    Sorry these didn’t work for you! I made all of my ornaments this year and the marbled glass ones – while time consuming – ended up being my faves :)

  14. Amber says:

    I do this craft every year with my young students and never had a problem. Use regular acrylic paint, squirt a few squirts inside and have the kids slowly turn the ornaments around to coat the inside.

    Turn the balls upside down in an empty egg carton to drain out the leftover paint, because there will be a lot of extra paint.

  15. Sandra says:

    TIME, take what the instruction gives and DOUBLE it. Most of the craft failures I’ve seen (or had myself) were from not having the right supplies and trying to “make-do” (which ends up being “make-don’t”) and not having allowed enough time to do something, or allow a process to occur. (Draining paint from a glass ball or letting a cake cool completely).

  16. lizzie says:

    Mine looked great–AT FIRST. I used only acrylic paint–no water, no alcohol, no glitter etc. They had to be dry when I put them on the tree or at least I thought so (after 3-4 days turned upside down draining over a paper cup–by then nothing was dripping out) But after hanging on my tree for about a week, about 90% of the paint sank to the bottom leaving only faint smears and splotches on the sides. Ugh. Plus I had given some away as gifts! Yarrgh. Not only a craft fail but a gift fail too.

  17. Pat says:

    I decorated my glass balls with melted Crayon chips.
    I saw it on The Chew. This project is not for kids because you will be using HOT air from your hair dryer to melt the Crayon. Cut a couple pieces off a Crayon or two;use 2 or three different colors. Place the pieces (about 1/4″ to 1/2″ long) inside the glass ball. Use a heat resistant glove to hold the ball, hold the hair dryer close to the ball and when the Crayons begin to melt, start rotating the ball. The more Crayon you use the more color; experiment til the cows come home – so much fun.

  18. Pat says:

    I decorated my glass balls with melted Crayon chips. This project is not for kids because you will be using HOT air from your hair dryer to melt the Crayon and the glass gets very hot. Cut a couple pieces off a Crayon or two; may use 2 or three different colors. Place the Crayon pieces (about 1/4″ to 1/2″ long) inside the glass ball. Use a heat resistant glove to hold the ball, hold the hair dryer close to the ball and continue heating to keep the Crayon melted while you rotate the ball.The more Crayon you use the more color, but the longer it takes to melt completely; experiment til the cows come home – so much fun.

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