If I die tomorrow, someone please tell my husband to put these ornaments in the casket with me. (You might also want to throw a few dinner recipes his way too.) Honestly, these are my favorite Christmas ornaments that I have ever made and I’m almost ashamed to tell you how easy it is to make them.
I think that I jumped on the alcohol ink bandwagon a little bit later than most because I am the world’s cheapest crafter and alcohol inks can be pricey.
Recycled Vases Using Alcohol Inks. Aren’t those pretty? It’s just old jars and cups with alcohol inks dribbled on them. I used them as table decorations for a big event and they were a hit.
I love alcohol inks!
You can make amazing things with them such as these ornaments to hang on your Christmas Tree.
How to Make Watercolor Effect Christmas Ornaments with Alcohol Inks
You will need:
- Alcohol Inks in a variety of colors
- Can of compressed air
- Clear glass ornaments
- Rubbing alcohol to clean up spills
Alcohol inks are a lot of fun to play with and use for crafts but they stain.
Before you do anything with alcohol inks it is very important that you protect your work surface and skin.
I used freezer paper to cover my desk which has a wax coating on one side that prevents the ink from staining my workstation. Although my friends and family are used to seeing me with multicolored fingers, this time I tried Workman’s Friend, that I picked up at Lowes but you can grab it on Amazon with a coupon by using the code WFCLUMSY, which is a barrier skin cream. I simply rubbed it into my hands and fingers, like a lotion, and then waited a few minutes for it to dry. Once it was dry, I didn’t have to worry about getting ink on my fingers or hands because it washed off easily after I was done.
I also tried it out a while back when I was making the marbled ornaments using nail polish and it actually kept the nail polish I was using for that craft from adhering to the nail polish that I actually wanted on my nails. That was a lifesaver. Since my fingers are in a lot of pictures, if my nails don’t look nice, I have to fix them in photoshop which takes longer than actually just painting them. (Just being honest.)
If you’re going to work with alcohol inks, protect your skin and work station from possible stains.
Making these ornaments is simple but you do need a bit of patience. You will have to take your time to keep the colors separate which will give you the rainbow / watercolor effect.
Once you’re ready to start, take the cap off of your glass ornament and place it to the side.
Next, drop two drops of your first color inside the ornament towards the top. Slowly.. and I mean slowly, move the glass ball around to make the puddle grow larger and larger, spreading the alcohol ink out.
You want to go slowly to keep the alcohol ink from spreading out into what looks like veins. It will work best if you keep it together and slowly spread it out.
Place the straw from the compressed air can into the ornament and slowly pull the trigger, gently spreading the ink with the compressed air. If you blast it too hard, you will get a ton of colored spider veins in your ornament.
Once the first color is spread out, add another color and repeat the process. Start near the top of the ornament and work your way down to the bottom as you go.
As you go, aim to drop the ink colors into empty spots on the ornament.
If you have too much of one color, you can drop another color on top of it.
If you see ink pooling in one spot, most likely the bottom which is why it’s smart to work from the top down, spray it gently with the compressed air to spread it out and help it dry.
The entire process is simple – spread the ink around a little and then give it a gentle blast of air. Repeat this process as you watch the colors mix and move until you’re happy with your ornament.
When adding different colors, it helps to remember what colors work together well and what colors do not. For instance, if you put purple and orange side by side and they mix, you might end up with a brown spot on your ornament.
On the other hand, putting blue and yellow side by side made a really pretty green transitional color.
Use colors wisely but most importantly, go wild and have fun.
It took me about 8-9 minutes to get each ornament how I wanted them to look. This method does take time however it would be a great craft for a group craft night when you want to sit around the table and talk.
I can’t tell you too much how pretty these turned out or how much fun it was to see the different results on each ornament.
When you’re done, toss the freezer paper you were protecting your workspace with and simply wash the alcohol ink off of your hands. If you did happen to spill any, you can remove it using rubbing alcohol or letting soap sit on it for awhile before wiping it up.