Friday, December 3, 2010

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

A couple weeks ago Stephanie from Under the Table and Dreaming asked me to contribute a handmade ornament tutorial to her 6 Days of Handmade Series. I was honored and thrilled! I had been toying with the idea of making faux mercury glass ornaments for awhile and this gave me just the motivation I needed. Read on for the easy tutorial...

I turned to ornaments like this one from Pottery Barn for my inspiration. 

So how do we take ordinary clear balls and turn them into that?
  • Medium to large clear ball ornaments. Just make sure the opening is large enough for the nozzle of a spray can and bottle to fit into. You can find these practically anywhere this time of year but I picked mine up at Joann's. A set of four for $4.99.
  • Can of metallic spray paint. I used Krylon Premium Original Chrome, but thats only because all the stores in my area stopped carrying Krylon's Looking Glass Mirror-Like Spray Paint. The mirror paint is what you really want. Mine turned out fine but they really would be better with the mirror paint. I almost ordered it from Amazon, but it wasnt going to be delivered in time for the post.
  • A soft, silvery gold acrylic paint. I used DecoArt's Dazzling Metallics in Luminous Gold.
  • Q-tips

Step 1: Spray water into the glass bulb

Step 2:  Next start to lightly spray the metallic paint into the glass bulb. Turn the ball as you spray a couple light coats. I suggest light coats to keep it more iridescent versus gray. You will want some areas of very thin coats of paint to allow light into the bulb (reflectivity).

Step 3:   Immediately after spraying the paint. Use some Q-tips to blot the inside of the bulb. This gives a more authentic, mottled look to the glass. I bent a Q-tip to reach the areas nearest the opening of the ball, and I taped one to a skewer so I could reach the bottom of the ball.

Step 4: After letting the spray paint dry for about ten minutes, thin down the gold acrylic paint with water, then pour it into the bulb. Roll it around to coat the inside of the ball, then pour out the excess.

Step 5: Dab the golden coat with some Q-tips to achieve the amount of distressing and mottling you prefer, then tip them over and let the them dry. I suggest using the tray they came in.

They will dry to be a little more reflective and look like this...

I put my mercury glass candlesticks in the background so you could see how they compare to the real thing. Don't they look great? I bet they would be even better with the mirror paint! Have you tried your hand at mercury glass?

It was so fun to guest post for Stephanie and I even made a couple new friends! Her blog is one of my very favorite blogs. If you aren't familiar with Under the Table and Dreaming, you should head over and check her out. You can thank me later. Or now. Whatever. ;)

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Thanks Cheryl! :)

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