I am obsessed with vintage Christmas ornaments. You know the ones -- mercury glass balls from the 50's and 60's, embellished with flocking powder, glitter, and often with starburst indents in the middle. To me they just embody Christmas magic. So filled with nostalgia, sparkle, and years of happy holiday memories. This year I thought it would be fun to make some vintage-inspired ornaments for my tree, and I took some photos along the way in case you'd like to make some too!
Materials I used:
Metallic bronze craft paint
Metallic silver craft paint
Metallic paint in various colors
Metallic paint pens
Shiny silver Christmas balls
I got my silver balls from Michaels, but any silver Christmas balls should work as long as they start out shiny. I created a base coat for the ornaments by mixing silver and bronze metallic paint (about 2 parts silver, 1 part bronze) and then brushed a very thin layer onto the balls. This creates that weathered, shiny but not mirrored quality of old vintage ornaments.
And then I used my flocking powder, glitter, metallic paint, and paint pens to add decorative details to the ornaments inspired by some of the vintage ornaments in my own collection. I stuck with stripes for most of my balls, and painted a leaf motif on one of them. It requires a lot of patience to paint a stripe around a circle (and mine still didn't come out 100% perfect, but I think that's part of the charm of homemade ornaments.) You can try putting a rubber band around the ornament as a guide, but I wouldn't advise using masking or washi tape to mark out your stripes since it pulls up the layers of paint underneath.
To allow the ornaments to dry in between coats of paint and glitter, I turned a wire basket on its side and hung the ornaments from the basket with ornament hooks.
My personal favorites are the ones with the flocking powder. It gives such a vintage-y look and it's so fun to work with it. I just made sure to prime the ornament with a layer of paint in a similar color before adding the powder, since it can look kind of patchy without it. It's worth the extra effort though, because the finished result is just so pretty and textural.
These ornaments would be great as gifts, too. It's a pretty inexpensive project and the ornaments usually come in boxes of 10-12, so you can get a bunch of very special presents out of it for one low price!