25 Ways to Dress Up Plain Christmas Ornaments

glass ornament
Wake up your Christmas tree with creatively embellished ornaments. Start with plain ball ornaments and deck them out with paint, ribbon, stickers, and more.

Unicorn Ornament

Turn a plain glass ball ornament into a magical work of art! These fun handmade ornaments require just a bit of painting and plenty of imagination. 

Tartan Ornament

Showcase the colors of the holiday season with these pretty plaid ornaments. Mix and match fabrics for a sweet display that matches your Christmas tree theme. 

Pom-Pom Piled Ornament

Insert gold, silver, and white pom-poms in a clear glass ball ornament for a sparkly, energetic look for your tree.

Washi Tape Ornament

Don’t let raised designs get you down. (Before, this ball flaunted a glittered dimension.) For a quick cover-up, stick strips of washi tape to the ball, overlapping and smoothing them as you work your way around. 

Marbleized Ornament

All it takes to create these painted ornaments is a quick dip. Adding spray pain to water results in a fun swirled pattern that pops when hung on the tree. 

Swan Christmas Ornament

You'd never guess this cute ornament started as a plain glass ball. A simple clay face and fluffy white feathers create this whimsical handmade ornament.

Ribboned Ornament

Add ribbon stripes to an ornament for holiday flair. Remove the ornament cap and cut strips of ribbon. Hot-glue the strips, beginning at the base, to the ornament. Tuck the ends of the ribbons into the top opening and glue into place. Replace the ornament cap and tie a bow around the hanging loop.

Marble-Painted Ornament

Blend a few colors for a marbled effect. To make, fill a large disposable tray with water. Spray two colors of coordinating spray paint into the water. (The paint will float on the surface.) Dip a clear glass ball ornament in the paint. The paint will adhere to the ball, creating a marbled effect 

Snowflake Ornament

Raid your crafting supplies for interesting embellishments to adorn plain glass ornaments. This turquoise ornament was updated with a snowflake scrapbooking applique adhered with hot glue.

Wrap with Chunky Yarn

We braided chunky yarn and wrapped it around this ball to hide a dated candy cane design. Secure yarn to the ball with hot glue, placing knots and ends toward the back.

Wrapped Ornament

These creative handmade ornaments start with simple string. Simply wrap around plain ball ornaments and you've got a festive way to trim the tree. 

Swirly Ornament

Swirl paint inside a glass ball for a two-toned effect. Place the ornament on a disposable cup and rotate it every few minutes while the paint is drying to completely cover the inside surface. Finish with a strip of decorative paper printed with a seasonal message.

Word Art Ornament

This DIY ornament is as easy as grabbing a paint pen! To create, simply write a festive word in bright paint pen. Let dry and hang. Or, use it as a pretty package topper. 

Chenille Stem-Stuffed Ornament

Insert chenille stems in a clear glass ball ornament, bending and twisting them to make them fit.

Striped Ornament

Add stripes to an ornament with paint. Mark off areas you don't want to paint using masking tape, then use a small paintbrush to carefully paint the stripes. Sprinkle wet paint with glitter for a touch of sparkle. Carefully remove the tape when the paint is dry.

Twice-Painted Ornament

Spray paint provides an even finish and some extra flourish in this ornament craft. We lightly sanded the ornament and spray-painted it gold. After it dried, we added a coat of marbleizing spray paint in white.

Scenic Ornament

It's easy to create this winter scene on an ornament. The trick is to paint in steps. First, paint the bottom of a glass ball ornament with two coats of white acrylic paint; let dry after each coat. Then use a small, round brush to paint white trees in different sizes. Once the trees have dried, add small dashes of red acrylic paint to the trees to resemble cardinals. After the red paint has dried, use the bristle tips to add small white dots for falling snow.

DIY Pom-Pom Ornament

Here's an ornament the kids can help with! Pick your favorite yarn and wrap into a pom-pom. Fit inside a clear glass ornament. 

Tinsel Ornament

Sparkle comes from within. Snip a piece of tinsel garland and slip it into a clear glass ball ornament. Voila! The tree is ready.

Knotted Ornament

Simple knots and yarn create a structural DIY ornament. Using yarn or cord, tie four strings with a knot in the center. Center the ornament on the knot. Knot adjacent ends about halfway up the ball. At the top, knot the alternate adjacent ends. Glue in place.

Sticker Phrase Ornament

Spell out a holiday message with glittery letters from the scrapbook aisle. Add a few more sticker embellishments and tie a simple bow around the ornament hook.

Melted Crayon Ornament

Finally a use for stubby crayons! Unwrap and chop crayons into small bits. Place one inside a clear glass ornament. Melt with a hair dryer, turning to coat the sides. Repeat with additional colors.

Simple Painted Ornament

Your color, your DIY ornament set. Drip a tablespoon of gallery glass window color (available at crafts stores) and a few drops of water inside a clear glass ornament, and turn the ball so the paint coats the sides for a watercolor effect.

Splattered Ornament

Release your inner Jackson Pollock to make these swirled ornaments. Remove the caps from clear acrylic ornament balls. Rinse the inside with a mixture of three parts water and one part vinegar. Rinse with clean water; let dry. Drip one or several colors of acrylic paint into the ornament and swirl gently to achieve desired effect. Let the paint dry and add additional swirls in different colors. Once you've finished the painting, decorate the outside of the ornament with a band of ribbon or trim.

Glittered Spray Paint Ornament

A few quick spritzes of spray paint directed inside a clear glass ball produce a cool mottled effect. Have fun experimenting; you won't get the same look twice!

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