Quick Gilded Ornaments

Plain ornaments get a touch of genius with this idea. You'll make easy stars, swirls, and dots in minutes using ordinary ball ornaments and metallic paint pens.

We have 2 looks here -- traditional red and gold as well as bold hot pinks, turquoise, and green -- to show you how pretty this project can look.


  • Opaque glass ornaments in jewel tones
  • Clean soft cloth
  • Medium-point permanent marker with metallic gold or silver ink (available in crafts and stationery stores)
  • 1/4-inch-wide ribbon

More Ideas:

  • Use pens with silver or colored-metallic ink for a wide variety of looks.
  • Have each person in the household design and sign an ornament.
  • Hang the ornaments with inexpensive gold chain (available from jewelry supply stores or catalogs)
  • Make matching wrapping paper by drawing bigger versions of the same design on solid-color gift wrap (you can do this either before or after wrapping the gift), then embellish by tying an ornament to the package ribbon.


  1. Gently clean the surface of the ornaments using a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  2. Add designs. Use the medium-point gold or silver pen to add swirls, squiggles, or other decorative marks all around each ornament. (You may want to doodle a bit on paper with an ordinary marker before you pick up an ornament.)
  3. Add ribbon for hanging. Thread an 8 to 10-inch length of ribbon through each ornament top and knot or tie in a bow as desired.
  4. OPTIONAL: Sign your work of art. Using the fine-tipped pen, sign your name and print the date in small lettering on the bottom or back of each ornament.


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