Christmas Bulbs

Christmas Bulbs

I’ve been making some new ornaments this year. It all started with a trip to Goodwill where I found 2 gallon baggies full of plastic Christmas bulbs for $1.50 each.

Goodwill Ornaments

Hoo Doggie, these bulbs have seen better days! I figured I could spruce them up a bit. There are about 50 bulbs in each bag, making them about $.03/each.

First up were all the dull bulbs. I sorted those out and decided to do the same faux mercury glass technique that I did on my bird. My pictures are better this time around, so I’ll repeat the process for you.

1. Spray with water – You want a spray bottle that will spray a light mist so small beads of water form on the object. I use an old hair spray bottle for my mister.

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament - Step 1

2. Spray paint over the water – Don’t wait for the water to dry. Grab the silver spray paint of your choice and spray right over the water. I used Krylon’s Sterling Silver spray that I picked up for super cheap during a close out sale at a local craft store.

Krylon Sterling Silver Spray Paint

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament - Step 2

3. Repeat steps for all sides – I had to get creative to figure out how to adequately cover all sides of the bulb. My method included large garbage liners, a furniture dolly, an old bed frame and some twine. I totally McGuivered that one, Baby.

Ornament Spray Paint Booth

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament - Step 3

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament - Step 3

4. Scrub off Paint Bubbles – You want to wait long enough for the paint to dry and not be tacky to the touch, but not so long that the water dries. I use an old tooth brush and an old t-shirt to wipe off the bubbles. Either one works well.

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament

5. Repeat steps as desired. If you want a more layered look you can add more water and spray paint. I wanted the color from the bulbs to show through, so after I rubbed off the bubbles, I sprayed a very light layer of the spray paint to give some extra shine but still kept some of the color showing through.

6. Fleck with Antiquing Glaze – I use Valspar’s Antiquing Glaze and dip a stiff brush into the glaze. I run my thumb across the tip of the brush to splatter the glaze onto the bulbs. It’s a technique I perfected in Mr. Leque’s 4th grade class.

Faux Mercury Glass Ornament

You could leave the glaze off if you wanted. I like the aged look it gives to the bulbs. The total cost for 50 bulbs is $1.50 since I had the spray paint and glaze on hand.

For the rest of the bulbs I pulled a page from Miss Mustard Seed’s book and decided to try out the German glass glitter. It is every bit as delicious as Marian claims. I bought both silver and sapphire, which is really more of an aqua color. I love how the colors of the bulbs show through the glitter.

Sapphire German Glass Glitter Ornament

I used regular Elmer’s glue for some and Mod Podge for others and honestly, they both shed equally. I’ll save my pricey Mod Podge for other projects.

Silver German Glass Glitter Ornament

It’s a fun way to add some new life to some old bulbs. I bought the glitter from a gal on eBay. She was very prompt with the orders and even sent a free sample of the pink glitter for me to try out. You can find her eBay store, here.

It was $8.71/each for 4 oz. of silver and sapphire glitters, with shipping. I had just enough to cover 50 bulbs, which makes the cost of these ornaments at $18.92 for 50 or $.38/each.

Silver German Glass Glitter Ornament

My next ornament came about from some left over cotton yarn. I crocheted some washcloths this year to give to a couple of friends. The pattern used up nearly all the yarn except one ball must have been bigger than the others  because I had quite a bit left over, which led to me trying out this star pattern I pinned.

I had a small red glitter Joy ornament that came with two other words that I used in another project. I just wove the silver cord on the Joy ornament through the crocheting on the back to hold it in place. Here is my version.

Crocheted Star Joy Ornament

I ended up giving this one away at a Christmas ornament exchange party. The gal that won it loves to crochet as well so I think she was happy to get it. I haven’t made any more yet because I need to pick up more of the word ornaments. Walmart sells them for about $1 or so for the three words, making this ornament cost about $.33 since the yarn was from my scrap pile.

Last, but certainly not least, is my favorite ornament I made this year. It’s my snowman parts ornament.

Snowman "Some Assembly Required" Ornament

To make this ornament, you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon Epsom Salts
  • 2 black sequins
  • 5-6 Black beads
  • Orange Clay nose
  • 2 Twigs
  • Scrap of felt or wool
  • Clear glass or plastic ornament

I only had to buy the ornaments because I had everything else hidden in my stash, including the clay nose from a snowman project back in ‘02 or so that I’ve been hoarding ever since. We made those out of orange Sculpey clay.

I had an old wool blanket that I’ve been using for different projects since it was too beat up to use as a blanket. I just cut a strip off of it and fringed the ends to make the scarf. I would have preferred a red scarf, but ya use what you got, am I right? To make the ornament, just pour/stuff/ease everything into the bulb.

I thought it would be fun to put some words on this ornament. I considered “I’ll be back again someday” or “In the sun he melted, melted, melted” which is some words for a song the kids sing at church. I found a saying I liked better, though.

Snowman "Some Assembly Required" Ornament

It says, “Some Assembly Required” which just makes me smile. I used some black vinyl that I cut out with my Silhouette using the AR Christy font.  I also gave one of these away at the ornament exchange and to a friend. Hubs is giving a couple away to some co-workers. I did save one for us. Total cost for 6 ornaments was $5.94, which was the cost of the bulbs.

Faux Capiz Shell Garland & Snowman Ornament

I also made the faux capiz shell garland for the tree this year, which I really like. It was super easy. Iron two sheets of wax paper together. Punch out circles with a 2” paper punch. It actually works better if you punch out several layers at once. Sew together and there you have it. I think I need one more strand for the tree.

I bought my punch from JoAnn’s for about $10 during one of their sales. A box of wax paper is under $3.

I don’t always make ornaments every year, but I did this year and I’m very happy with the results. I will show you the trees another day. What ornaments are you making this year? There’s still time to try some out.

Faux Mercury Glass Bulb

Cost Breakdown:

  • Faux Mercury Glass Bulbs (50) – $1.50
  • German Glitter Glass Bulbs (50) – $18.92
  • Crocheted Ornament – $.33
  • Snowman Parts Ornament (6) – $5.94
  • Capiz Shell Garland – $13.00

Total Project Cost – $39.69

That’s money well-spent for decorations that will give me many years of enjoyment.

2011 Christmas Bulbs


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