Create your own distinctive holiday ornaments by using enamel paint pens to decorate clear glass spheres. Available at art-supply or crafts stores, paint pens are sold in a full range of colors and a variety of point sizes. With them, you can draw decorative patterns on glass that will dry in an hour or two. Look for other crafts products, such as liquid paints and translucent marker pens, that will open the door to a world of imaginative effects. You'll find clear glass Christmas ornaments at imports stores and other places that sell holiday decorations.
You can design any sort of pattern and fill it in with color, but it's easiest to begin by repeating one shape. Draw diamonds or scallops, or just make squiggly lines over the surface of the entire ornament. Add a child's name or initials, or inscribe numerals to commemorate the year. Try making zigzags, waves, or checks. Any basic geometric shape works well.
Display your colorful collection in a glistening bowl, or hang the ornaments on the tree. Add a fanciful twist of ribbon to the top for a perfect little Christmas remembrance.
clear glass ornaments
enamel paint pens in colors such as red, green, gold, and copper
Draw a shape, such as a star or circle, at the top of the ornament. (Gold and copper work well for outlining designs, but you can use any color.) Draw lines from the original shape down the sphere to the base of the ornament. Make the lines curved, straight, or diagonal, depending on the effect you wish to achieve. For greater visual interest, include a few smaller shapes at the top or bottom or on some other selected area.
Add color by filling in some of the shapes you have drawn on the balls. Rather than completely covering the surface, keep the ornament slightly transparent by letting portions of clear glass shine through the paint. When you've filled in the outlined areas, emphasize some of the original lines by redrawing them in a contrasting hue.
"Color Glass Ornaments" is from the December 2000 issue of Southern Living.