Make your own painted Christmas ornaments—in the least messy way possible! Use bright paint, plain glass ornaments, and our easy drip paint technique to create this fun Christmas craft.

Read step by step instructions after the video.

We're putting the paint on the inside of this holiday ornament DIY craft to keep it easy. This beautiful, swirly addition to your Christmas tree is totally customizable and a fun Christmas kids craft. Leave the ornaments to dry overnight, and the next morning Santa's elves might just have decorated the tree themselves!

  • Working time 10 mins
  • Start to finish 8 hrs
  • Difficulty Easy

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Protect Your Work Space

This craft is all about being mess-free. Keep your work space clean by laying a plastic drop cloth or an old sheet on the work surface. Protect your hands from getting gunky and paint-stained (and also so you can eat Christmas cookies immediately after) by slipping on a pair of gloves. Pro tip: The gloves should not be so tight that they are uncomfortable and not so loose that you can't control them.

Step 2

Paint the Ornament

Remove the ornament hangers from the glass bulbs (they usually unscrew or squeeze off). Next, choose your color palette. You can go with a theme, like icy white and blue for Winter Wonderland or classic red and green—or let the kids pick their favorites! Look for paints that are thin enough to move easily—acrylic paints are great because you can water them down as needed. Depending on how many colors you are using, you'll want to start with a few drops of acrylic paint inside the bulb. We usually do one or two large drops per color. Slowly tilt and swirl the ornament to spread the colors around the ornament until the entire interior of the ornament is covered. Or, if you like the look of the drips, use slightly thicker paint to keep it from covering the entire area. Pro tip: Glitter makes these homemade Christmas ornaments even better.

bright drip-paint glass ornament in tree
Step 3

Let Dry

About an hour after you're done swirling the paint around, turn the ornaments upside down and let them rest on the opening of a plastic cup so the excess undried paint can drip out. Once the excess paint has drained, let the ornament sit for a few more hours so it can dry thoroughly (we recommend overnight). Then, put the ornament hangers back into the bulb so your artful swirls can hang proudly from the Christmas tree.  

Comments (4)

How difficult was this project?
Better Homes & Gardens Member
December 1, 2021
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 24, 2018
Instead of glass ornaments, I used clear plastic bulbs I found at the $1 store.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 4, 2018
Awesome! I've made several and even made them into baby-shower ornaments for my daughter's baby shower. Her son was born on December 22nd.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 4, 2018
Another idea would be to use paint and glitter. Definitely an easy fun project.
Better Homes & Gardens Member
October 4, 2018
Been doing these for years. It's an easy fun way to make beautiful ornaments.

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