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12 Days of Christmas DIY Giveaway Day 8: FAUX Mercury Glass Ornaments


***UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Michael! Thanks for entering everyone. Be sure you enter all the other giveaways that are live while you still can!***

I know, I know, “Another Ornaments? Is this the 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments?” but I just couldn’t help it. This project ended up SO different from how I first planned it months ago.

I had the clear glass bulbs, the pricey mirror spray paint and the best of intentions. Well things took a very quick and swift change in direction. The more I thought about it, and especially after reading the spray paint instructions, I thought about it and decided against my original thought of painting the inside of the bulb.

Authentic mercury glass often has a bit of a gold undertone to it so I thought, why not just use gold glass ornaments  and skip the whole having to paint the inside business….well, you’ll see. I’m actually pretty happy with the way it all turned out.

Step 1: Get your supplies

My ornaments were from about 2006 B.C. (Before Children) in a time where a tree adorned with glass ornaments was only threatened by curious and playful cats, in a time before shatter proof ornaments were a necessity for safety reasons. So since there were just taking up real estate in those holiday tubs, I recruited them for the job.

Step 2: Get your bulbs all lined up in a row ready for their transformation. I used the wooden skewers poking into the ground to give me a secure and raised area to evenly paint the bulbs.

I wanted to make sure it was in a well ventilated area and a place where the clean up would be minimal. If you do use the paint you want to be in a low humidity and well ventilated area. I chose outside. Typically this would be impossible living in central Florida, but in the dead of “winter” the humidity is super low. And since the grass was already on it’s death bed, I figured hey, what harm could there really be?


Give them a quick spritz of water. I found the most fun  easiest way of doing this was to give them a quick spin and spray. The water should hit all sides evenly.

Step 3: While the bulb is still wet, paint in a sweeping motion side to side. Also spray up and down so that you completely cover  the entire surface of the ornament. The water will prevent the  paint from sticking in certain areas.

Again, the mirror paint is optional for this, I just already had it and I didn’t have any other silver spray paint. Since the mirror version is intended to be applied to the opposite side that will be exposed, the paint will appear dull so you can even use some basic silver or chrome paint.

 After a minute or two, start roughing up edges with your fingers and/or a piece of paper towel. If you’re like me and can never complete a project without interruption, give the ornament another quick spritz with water and continue roughing the edges. Don’t be afraid that you’re taking off too much. The rougher it is, the better it turns out.

Now, I told you this project turned out a little differently than planned (like so many do). I thought more of the gold color would have shown through but I discovered that just by adding water, the thin layer of paint on the outside of the ornament started to crackle and rub off to the touch. It turned out good in the end, but if you want to keep your precious ornaments intact, make sure they don’t get wet.

Just like we did with the newly painted ornament, give your ornaments a quick spritz with water. Wait about 30-60 seconds and start at it with a paper towel. When you do you’ll end up with something like this.

As you can see, I decided to give it a go with the red ornament too. I really like the different-ness of them.

The traditional silver faux mercury glass ornaments are still my favorite but it made me excited to see just what  a little time and elbow grease could turn out. They could also appear on your tree, enter the giveaway below and you can get some of your own in the color of your choice!

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