DIY brushstroke painted plastic Christmas balls
Gosh, that headline is a mouthful full but it’s the truth. You might have seen various painted Christmas ornaments in my “Blogger Stylin’ Christmas Home Tour 2014″ on Monday and today’s post is to show you how to paint the outside of clear plastic ornaments.
I have some fun designs for you.
DIY brushstroke painted plastic Christmas balls
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It just so happens that I bought a large number of colored plastic ornaments on 75% clearance at Target after Christmas last year and I wasn’t feeling all the colors.
On top of it, I had a huge amount of silver plastic ornaments in the attic that I didn’t want to use this year. My DIY-loving heart knew that painting the outside of these plastic ornaments was the most affordable way to create the look I was going for. Plus I love making my own ornaments.
Supplies used to paint the plastic ornaments
- Kilz spray primer
- thin wooden board
- small craft brush
- spray paint
- acrylic paint
Painting the outside of plastic ornaments
Before we get to the good part let me address some things first…
What kind of paint can you use plastic ornaments?
You can pretty much use any paint you’d like if, (and this is so important) you use a good primer to coat the slippery shiny plastic surface. My favorite is Kilz spray primer. After that, you can use acrylic paint, chalk paint, baking soda paint, latex paint, or even oil paint. Whatever you’d prefer. Speaking of baking soda paint, check out my other post about painting Christmas ornaments with baking soda paint to achieve a faux terracotta finish.
The Kilz spray primer even works on clear glass ornaments but they are pricey as is and I love the look of glass Christmas ornaments and would never paint them. But that’s just my preference.
I really wasn’t that into the reds and purples.
My first step was to clean the plastic Christmas ornament balls really well. Wipe off all dust and debris. Alcohol helps with cleaning off any greasy residue that might be stuck on them. Let them dry!
Then use some scrap wood and nails to create a board where I could prop up the plastic ornaments to spray paint them with primer.
Simply hammer the nails in on the backside of the board. Remove the ornament caps and stick the plastic ball ornaments onto the nails so the nail is inside of the ornament.
I recommend putting a tarp under the boards so the excess paint while spraying won’t hit the surrounding areas.
As I mentioned above my go-to favorite primer is Kilz spray primer and it worked like a charm once again. In some of the photos below, you can tell that the color still bled through to the outside of the ornament in some spots, but the second coat fixed that. No other primer works as well for me as this one.
After the primer, I either gave them a fresh coat of semi-gloss white spray paint or I painted some of them with my favorite Krylon Copper Metallic Spray Paint. The copper is included on the small and the large Christmas tree.
But I didn’t stop there. I wanted to include everything I loved in the past year in my home decor, which was the crosses and the recent dots and brushstrokes. Don’t you just love Jana Bek brush stroke lamps? I do and it sure looks fabulous on Christmas balls too.
I painted black details in with regular acrylic craft paint and various different-sized brushes. Actually very easy if you ask me. You don’t have to be exact and can mess up. The brushstrokes are supposed to be uneven and abstract.
Each ornament was hung up to dry on little rods. Drying time depends on what paint you actually used.
Finished painted plastic ornaments
Below you can see numerous different types of painted plastic ornaments that I made for our small dining room tree. I ended up using them on other trees as well. I love the new look!
Another view of the painted plastic ornaments. The other plastic Christmas ornaments were spray painted with copper spray paint.
And another copper Christmas ball and a little dotted brushstroke Christmas ball.
I love how they all look combined with the pink glitter ornaments.
I love how they look hanging on my small Christmas tree and on my large one. In this blog post, you can see the big Christmas tree with the ornaments on it as well.
Also check out my gold 3D stars pictured below.
See more of my Christmas ornament DIYs
If painting isn’t your thing then check out my macrame Christmas ornaments which are super affordable and your hands will definitely stay clean. And handmade ornaments are also great as gifts.
DIY cardboard gingerbread Christmas ornaments (free templates included) are super cute.
Posterboard snowflake ornaments and paper bag snowflakes are also at the top of my favorites.
I have something for every taste and they are definitely budget-friendly.
love how these turned out- especially the cross ones! and your idea for holding the ornaments still is so smart!
Thank you! Heading over now to see yours.
Great project. I love the black and white contrast. I am a big fan of the black cross it pops nicely against the white. Seems easy enough to make and looks great on the tree. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks so much and also thank you for sharing it
SO cute! I thought about doing black and white painted ornaments, but realized I had more to do, next year maybe! You inspired me!
This is just totally BRILLIANT….. and what took you so long to tell us how….. I LOVE them. And I don’t think I can wait one more hour to find out how you made those stars……. I am so into those stars. Since I don’t have a beautiful Angel to top my faux tree….. I need something I can make on the cheap…. and stars are next on my list. since I need easy and to spend NO money.
Also, you would so love, love, love my grand baby boy Shaymus…. he is the most wonderful kitty since Sugar. I could twist him into a pretzel and he would not scratch or anything…. he is so affectionate it is unreal.
I need to ask you and others if I am the only one that can barely see the very light type print on here and some other blogs? I can not read for such light type print.
Thanks so so much. And Shaymus sounds like he is wonderful.
Also I have no idea why my type looks so light to you. It’s set to black. I’m wondering if it would work if you increased the contrast on your screen when you read my blog. Unfortunately I can’t set my type to darker because it’s the darkest it is. That’s not good 🙁
These are lovely
These are so cute! I love them. And very you! They look great with the copper too!
OK, I’ve painted ornaments before, but your trick with the nails on the board? Brilliant!! Would have made it SO much easier. Great tip.
Beautiful! And very clever way of letting the ornaments dry!
The board with the nails is genius enough! I always see ornaments after the holidays but didn’t even THINK to spray paint them. Super smart. And, I LOOVE the brushstroke pattern with the teal ribbon. So cool.
These look great! Really “you.” And I love your painting set up. Super duper smart.
I love how these turned out – they capture what I love about graphic, black and white modern art! It’s truly a unique project!
Thanks Sarah I did want some modern art in my Christmas decor.
So fun–I love how the Christmas decor echoes what you’ve done over the year with your home 🙂 they turned out great!
That’s exactly what I was trying to do, to echo what I did throughout the year.
Julia, my friend 🙂 This is SO awesome!! I love how you re-purposed the colors you didn’t want anymore. I love how this came out!! Love your tree!!!
Thanks so much Katja, you are always the sweetest.
Julia, you are so very gifted with talent and creativity!! Absolutely love how you transformed these ornaments from average to fabulous!
Thank you Kara for the sweet words and visit.
Great tutorial. These are so simple but make a big impact. Very very classy as usual!
So cool Julia! I LOVE these!
Thank you Sarah
Oh my goodness Julia, come over to my house and help me add the perfect touches of black and white in my home!! I may have to seriously copy these for my home! Although once I get to it, it’ll be after Christmas ha!
Haha, you don’t need any help. You are pretty awesome at doing black and white yourself 😉
Love these so much! Black and white is my new favorite color scheme for the holidays.
Thank you so much Anna!
what kind of paint do you use on a plastic christmas 10 inch ball. i only need to paint a christmas tree on it then decorate it in gold and pearls, the christmas tree would only be on one side of the ball so I really couldn’t sand the ball itself. any ideas would be appreciated. thank you
Hi Eileen, I never sand the balls, Just clean them well and prime them with Kilz spray primer, and then acrylic artist paint would work well.