How to Make Paint Swirl Ornaments

4 Materials
1 Hour

I made a batch of these ornaments years ago for a craft fair. Recently, I was inspired to make another batch in the colors that I love for Christmas. That's one of the best parts about this project - customizing it with the colors you love.

These ornaments are easy enough to let kids help you in the process, but also they're pretty enough to give as gifts. Most kid crafts aren't exactly gorgeous, ya know.

Gather your supplies and protect your desk. I used craft paper. This process can be pretty messy, so you might also want some paper towels on hand.

I used plastic ornaments because my kids still break things. Plus I have a rambunctious dog whose tail feels very dangerous around breakable things. Use glass if you want.

Remove the tops from the ornaments.

Pour your first color into the ball. I used white to start with.

Pour your next color into the ornament.

(I used a monochromatic color scheme for some ornaments, using only shades of blue or pink. For others, I used a variety of colors. )

Swirl the colors around until the whole ornament is covered. Add more paint if you need to.

The colors mix and swirl together to look so pretty!

When the ornament is covered, let it sit upside down in a paper cup. The excess paint will drain out.

Let dry for a day or two and replace the tops.

I love how they turned out.

To read more about these ornaments and see other Christmas crafts, check out my blog.

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Emy Flint | Semigloss Design

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Donna Flint
    on Dec 8, 2018

    Hi ya, Long Lost Cuzzin By Marriage! (I'm claiming ya cause we're both Flint's). Did you ever have a problem with these drying and streaking? I dried mine for two solid weeks and still they were wet and streaky. I gave up and did glitter ornies with Polycrylic instead.

    • Susan
      on Jan 22, 2019

      I think maybe you used too much paint inside the ornament.

  • Veronica
    on Nov 6, 2019

    If I wanted to have some glitter sparkle would I add the glitter first inside and then the paint? I would imagine the paint would saturate the glitter and render it useless. Have you ever tried it like that? Thanks, they’re really pretty and I’m going to try this.

    • Robyn Garner
      on Dec 5, 2019

      You could mix glitter with clear poly and pour it in first. Let the clear dry completely before adding anything else and it should stay visible! 😎

  • Vanessa
    on Dec 2, 2019

    I made some of these but used glass. Would using glass cause the paint to not stick in the drying process? They have spots where the paint did not stick.

    I also used an oil based paint marker to write the names of my children and grandchildren on the outside.

    • Robyn Garner
      on Dec 5, 2019

      There could have been fingerprints or other oily residue inside. You could try putting in some alcohol first, swirling and dumping it out to remove any residue inside.

Join the conversation

2 of 32 comments
  • Jami
    on Dec 9, 2019

    My grandma, mom and I did this when I was a teen! ❤️

  • Ivana Carmon
    on Dec 10, 2019

    Have done this for years with no problems.

    Thanks for inspiring me to do it again!

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