Glass Christmas Ornament

How to Make Homemade Glass Christmas Ornaments
Glass Christmas ornaments have a beautiful, delicate quality that in a way reminds us of how precious the holiday moments can be. But as wonderful as refined glass ornaments are, many people also prefer homemade Christmas ornaments. A tree full of homemade Christmas ornaments is a tree full of memories, and often these handmade decorations have a rustic charm and a warmth that permeates the entire house.

There is a way, however, to have it both ways: Glass etching techniques allow you to create the warmth of personalized, homemade Christmas ornaments while maintaining the classic elegance and beauty of glass ornaments. In this article, we’ll show you tips on how to etch your own glass ornaments, either for your own tree, or to give away as a thoughtful Christmas gift.


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christmas ornaments to make


Glass (For glass homemade Christmas ornaments, you can use clear glass bulbs, lightweight glass cups, even pocket mirrors. Just attach a ribbon to your glass ornament when finished to turn art into ornament)
Permanent Marker
Contact Paper
Carbon Paper (optional)
Straight razor/box cutter
Etching Cream
Foam Brush
Latex Gloves

Before you begin making your handmade Christmas ornaments, be sure you’ve thoroughly cleaned your glass ball to remove as many smudges as possible. Sometimes the oils of finger smudges can interfere with the etching cream. It also might be a good idea to wear a long-sleeve shirt or protective eye-wear, as etching cream can be powerful!

Begin making your homemade Christmas ornaments by cutting a piece of contact paper and placing it on your glass object where you want the etching to be. Make sure there are no air bubbles; attention to detail can keep homemade Christmas ornaments from looking like school projects!

On the contact paper, draw the design you want etched onto your glass homemade Christmas ornaments. If you want a pattern or some calligraphy, go ahead and print out a pattern from the internet—there are thousands available online. Then place carbon paper on the contact paper, place the pattern on top of that, then trace out the shape of the design. This requires patience, but the results are well worth the effort—these homemade Christmas ornaments look absolutely stunning when finished.

Remove the pattern and carbon paper. Using your utility knife, carefully cut out and remove the pieces of contact paper, exposing only the pattern you want to be etched (the contact paper that stays acts as a barrier between the etching cream and the glass). If you’re using a rounded surface or a glass bulb, you need to have extra caution to make sure you don’t press too hard and shatter the glass.

Once you’ve finished, check the contact paper to make sure it’s sticking to the glass snuggly so that etching cream won’t get under the edges of the pattern. Then, putting on your latex gloves, use the foam brush to paint on a thick layer of etching cream—if you don’t want to buy a foam brush, bristled brushes or paper towels work too. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions about mixing, length of time, and potential hazards. Once you’ve painted your handmade Christmas ornament, leave it in a corner where no one will bother it for as long as the instructions deem prudent—some brands of etching cream advise 5 minutes, others 15.

After the time has expired, gently wipe off the etching cream with a rag or paper towel, remove the contact paper, and run the glass object under a facet until the last remains of the etching cream are gone. If you were successful, you should have a gorgeous, hand-etched homemade Christmas ornament that you’ll be able to display proudly for years to come!