Thursday, December 2, 2010

Painted Acetate/Clear Glass Ball Ornaments

Several years ago stamped acetate/glass ball ornaments were all the rage. Some were simply stamped then inserted into a clear glass ornament. Most people colored in the images with Sharpie markers.

I took it a step further - I painted my stamped images !

The first one I made in 2004, the Flaky Friends ornament above, was an experiment because I wasn't sure if it was going to work. I used acrylic craft paint, the indoor/outdoor gloss type. I chose that type because to me it seemed like it would be more flexible. I didn't want the paint to crack when I rolled the acetate to insert into the ornament. Regular acrylic paints may work just as well, but I've never tried them.

I was tickled to see that it would work ! Although the paint in large areas could get streaky, I didn't mind. I made dozens of other ornaments over the years, here are a few favorites:

I used a fine black Sharpie marker to add more stones to the stamped image

Closeup to show detail that can be achieved using a toothpick to dot on paint !
This also shows how the paint needs to be built up in layers, for example: the red berries are dotted on before dry brushing a little bit of white before painting in the greenery.

The back of the acetate was run through a xyron machine then I sprinkled on Dazzling Diamonds glitter. I stamped the front with blue Stazon ink. I did this simplified version for a class project.

 All stamped images are Stampin' Up!©

Here are the steps to painting acetate for an ornament:


Clear glass ornament, you choice of size

acetate/transparency/window sheet

black Stazon ink

rubber stamp image of choice, but thin outline images work best

circle cutter

assorted paints

fine paintbrushes



Cut out a circle to fit just inside your glass ornament, leaving  a little tab at the top to sit in the neck. This keeps the image from flopping around.

I stamp the acetate (overhead transparency, window sheet, etc) with black Stazon ink. Flip it over and start painting.

Be sure to paint the things that are going to be in the foreground first, for example I flecked the snowflakes on before doing anything else. By doing this, as I was layering on the other paints for scarves, facial features, so on, the snowflakes would be "in front" of the snowmen. This way it would look like it was snowing. Using this same method, I would paint on the tiny buttons before painting the snowman body, etc. This is what I referred to as "painting in reverse", you need to build your layers of painted features up from what would be the front of the snowman to the back. The opposite of, reverse of, painting on wood for example when I would add paint on a base coat, building up the details and features on top.

Be sure to let each color / layer dry well before moving on !

If you get a little bit out of a line, once the paint is dry you can carefully scratch it off with a toothpick. This works great if it is the first layer of paint on the acetate. It is the easiest way to try to paint small portions of an image, an orange carrot nose for example. If it gets a little out of the nose area, scratch away the excess before painting the white snowman over the orange nose. If it is a second or third coat you could try to very carefully use a damp qtip or the toothpick to remove the paint. Be forewarned, you could easily remove paint from the other layers. If this happens, you can go back in and try to repaint it.

Once the image is completely dry, carefully roll it, painted image to the inside, and insert it into the ornament. You want to roll the painted image to the inside so it doesn't accidentally get scratched because the glass ornament can have rough edges.

Add a little bit of fake snow inside the ornament.

Insert the top.

I added snow texture medium to the top, lightly sprinkled with glitter.

After this is completely dry, tie on a pretty ribbon.

Some ornaments I add a stamped tag to. They all had hand stamped gift boxes with coordinating tissue paper.

Painting the acetate does take much more time. I spend anywhere from 1 - 2 hours on painting them, depending on the amount of detail. I personally really like the look of the painted ornaments. I prefer it to those that are colored in with markers because you can actually see the images and details - not the green Christmas tree showing through. No offense to anyone !

I painted dozens of these to try to sell at bazaars for $5, I think I only sold one at a bazaar.

I also submitted one to the company for a Demonstrator contest several years ago; it did not win.

Here is a step by step photo tutorial showing how to make these using markers

and using the same technique with a few extra supplies, you can make snowglobes

If you try this technique, I'd love to see your projects !

Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays  =)

1 comment:

  1. Heather, I love how you think! You are so creative it is always fun to check out what you have been making. I tried to pick a favorite but gave up on that. I like them all!


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