Last year I came across a pair of Mexican burnished pottery ornaments from Tonalá on Pinterest and fell in love with them. They are similar to German folk art patterns and also similar to Pennsylvanian redware pottery but have a more ethnic feel to them. You guys might know that I love terracotta colors and pottery. So these types of ornaments fit right in with my boho decor and colors.
However, they are hard to find and not cheap. Plus the ceramic pottery makes them quite heavy and weigh down the branches of a Christmas tree. So I wanted to come up with my own cheaper and lighter version of these pretty burnished pottery ornaments.
Today’s post is in collaboration with 14 other bloggers who are sharing their Christmas DIYs and ornaments thanks to my friend Jennifer of Tatertots and Jello. At the end of this post, you can find all the other wonderful ideas so you can check them out.
faux DIY Mexican Christmas ornaments with folk art design
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These types of ornaments are made from traditional terracotta-colored clay and painted with white decorations by skilled artisans. I am neither a potter nor a skilled artisan so I had to come up with an idea of how to achieve the look more easily.
RELATED: You might also like a post I wrote about my love for terracotta color in home decor with a roundup of all my favorite shades from different paint brands.
Here are my inspiration ornaments but they are sold out. I found some similar ones below if you want to buy them instead of making them. Also, check out Pennsylvania redware ornaments (we live in Pennsylvania by the way). I love how different cultures have similar folk art. And Mexican culture is definitely influenced by European countries such as Germany, Austria, and Poland. Just listen to some of their Music that sounds like Polka. And Also the Pennsylvanian hex signs look a lot like Mexican folk art. Did you ever notice?
Supplies needed for faux Mexican ornaments
- Krylon K02752007 Fusion Spray Paint in Satin Terracotta Red-Brown is the perfect color for these ornaments
- cheap plastic ornaments
- Kilz spray primer (my favorite primer)
- white oil-based Sharpies or other white oil-based craft markers
- jute yarn (or other ribbon)
- hot glue and hot glue gun
- egg cartons and cardboard
- large nails
I made a video for you so you can see what I did. If it doesn’t load for you then you can watch it on my YouTube Channel instead.
I previously wrote a blog post about how to make baking soda paint ornaments where I started the same way as I am doing for today’s tutorial. After priming I used baking soda paint instead of the spray paint used in today’s tutorial. I just love repurposing cheap plastic ball ornaments and coming up with affordable DIY ornaments.
Step 1: Clean ornaments
It is always a good idea to use a degreaser like Krud Kutter or alcohol to clean a surface before painting. I do have to admit that I skipped that step for my ornaments because they felt super clean. You can regret that in the end though. It’s happened to me before and I should know better.
Step 2: Prime ornaments
Before priming, remove all the top pieces of the ornaments that are used for hanging and put them aside.
I placed the ball ornaments with the top facing up into the egg cartons so I could get that side first with the spray primer. I love using Kilz spray primer. Just make sure that you shake the can very well and long before adding a layer of primer to your ornaments.
When that side has dried. I added some large nails through a large piece of cardboard so I could plop the ball ornaments upside down onto the nails. This keeps them in place so you can get the other side of the ornaments primed.
Step 3: Paint ornaments with spray paint
Now it’s time to add some color. The satin red-brown terracotta color that I used was perfect. Just repeat the same process of getting each side painted by placing them in an egg carton and then on nails for the colored spray painting.
While I only added one layer of primer, I had to add several coats of colored spray paint to the ornaments. Thin coats are key here. This paint tends to run so be cautious!
Here you can see that plopping the ornaments on skewers works as well instead of the nails.
Step 4: Use an oil-based Sharpie to doodle on a pattern
You can look at my inspiration pieces mentioned above for pattern ideas. Or simply look at my finished photos below to see what I did exactly. I narrowed it down to some simple leaf and flower shapes.
You can use a pencil to draw out your pattern first and then go over it with your white oil-based Sharpie. After I got the hang of it, I didn’t need to use a pencil anymore and was just able to doodle freehand. I preferred a thin-tipped Sharpie or paint marker for this.
RELATED: If you want to see some other patterns that you could draw on these Christmas ornaments then you should check out my blog post about pysanki designs.
Step 5: Add jute yarn for hanging
You can just add the old top of the ball ornaments back which looks perfectly fine.
However, I wanted to give the ornaments an extra unique detail and opted to glue jute yarn to the top with some hot glue. First, cut a piece of jute yarn, fold it in half, and knot the ends. Then stick the ends after the knot into the top of the ball ornament. Add some glue and wrap another piece of jute yarn to the neck of the ornament as pictured below. That’s it!
You can add jute yarn before or after drawing on the pattern.
Finished faux DIY Mexican Christmas ornaments
I love how they turned out and the overall look of them. I also had a lot of fun making them. They are a great way to breathe some new life into old ornaments that don’t fit within your home decor aesthetics anymore. What do you think?
Below you can see a sneak peek of them hanging on my tree. I’m sharing the rest of new the sparse artificial Christmas tree in my Christmas home tour. Check it out for lots more Christmas decorating ideas.
RELATED: Also pictured are my DIY gingerbread Christmas ornaments from last year where I used cardboard and puff paint and traditional German DIY beeswax ornaments. See them all in my home tour with neutral gingerbread decor.
Where to buy real authentic burnished pottery ornaments
As I said earlier these types of ornaments aren’t all that easy to find but I found some pretty handmade and vintage pottery ornaments on Etsy for you.
More DIY Christmas Ideas
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- Midwest Life And Style | Holiday Traditions: How To Make Easy Dried Orange Ornaments For Christmas
- Eleanor Rose Home | How to Make Rustic DIY Farmhouse Christmas Ornaments
- Lolly Jane | Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments
- DIY Beautify | Vintage Inspired Embossed Tile Trees
- Zevy Joy | DIY Dollar Store Christmas Ornament – Snowy Scene
- Tatertots and Jello | DIY Faux Gingerbread Cookie Ornaments