Glass or plastic bulb ornaments are all the rage at Christmas. They can be beautiful but difficult to make sometimes. There are a few supplies you need to make it easier. I will give you tips to make the most beautiful bulb ornament and a list of a few supplies to make it easier. See all the Christmas ornament tutorials here.
Types of Bulbs
Bulbs come is glass or plastic. They both look beautiful. Glass is a bit more classy but more delicate. Plastic can be a bit cheaper but not much. The plastic bulb ornamments are available in a few more shapes. In the end they both end up looking about the same, so whichever suits your needs. Here are pictures of both and a few shapes I got.
They are available in lots of sizes too. If you are going to fill them you want a bigger mouth on them to fit your material inside. Vinyl sticks to the larger ones better because there is less curve. The glitter and paint stick to both. If you are going to do floating ornaments the bigger the better.
I will be showing you how to do all of these with more detail on what works best this week.
Empty Egg Carton
You are going to be adding liquid to the bulbs and draining it out. You need someplace to drain the liquid and hold them upside down. An empty egg carton works wonderfully. It holds them in place and is smaller than most of the bulbs so holds them up a little so they can drain but the air can circulate in them so they can dry.
If you use a cardboard egg carton make sure you put a sheet of paper or wax paper under the carton. Liquid soaks in and through the carton. I used a Styrofoam one and the polycrylic went through so put something under that type too.
As many of you know I was a chemist. Disposable pipettes are a mainstay of chemical work. These little jewels hold liquid and point it exactly where you want it to go. I had some but you need a lot of them and they are cheap. You can get pipettes here.
Extra fine glitter is recommended for making glitter ornaments. The polycrylic sticks better to fine glitter. Actually the bigger glitter has a nice effect too. If you are going to be gluing the glitter to the outside with Modge Podge it doesn’t really matter. The glitter ornament tutorial is here.
When gluing glitter to the inside of ornaments, this stuff in absolutely necessary. It is a thin polymer that is sticky but dries not sticky. I got mine at Walmart. You only use a small amount per bulb ornament so one small container lasts forever.
Paint in a variety of colors is good. You can thin it down with water if you want. I have several different brands and the ones that work best are the cheap ones you can get at Walmart. The more expensive ones are too thick, which is good for regular painting but not for this. Find the Paint Bulb Ornaments tutorial here.
For floating ornaments you need some sort of printable acetate or clear material. I had a pack of printable overheads left over from my teaching days. Boy does that date me! If you need some printable overheads you can get them here. They were cheaper in my day but wasn’t everything? The tutorial for floating ornaments is here.
Your imagination is your only limit here. I saw some on Pinterest that were stuffed with lace or yarn. I found little Styrofoam balls (Mini snowballs) and paper strips at the dollar store. Beads work well. Whatever fits through the top will work. See what I found to stuff into ornaments. Most of it I got from the Dollar Store. The tutorial for filled ornaments is here.
I will be talking more about decorating them with each type of ornament I do. If you want the vinyl file with the weeks images, you can download the file of all of them here or I will post each days decorations when I use them.
Have fun and use your imagination. I would love to see pictures of the bulb ornament you make so post pictures of them here in the comments or on my Facebook group.
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