I am so excited to show you how to make these easy DIY alcohol ink ornaments! Each one is like a little work of art, and they’re definitely one of a kind. This simple technique is a fun way to create a marbled Christmas ornament with a lot of depth and interest.
Alcohol ink is a really fun medium because you do not need to be artist to use these inks to create beautiful, marbled, swirling designs with depth and interest! Alcohol ink art is EASY. These DIY alcohol ornaments took a tiny bit more effort, but only because I had to keep moving them around to make sure the ink swirled and didn’t pool. This is still a super easy DIY ornament idea and if you’d like to make your own, I’ll walk you through how to make DIY alcohol ink ornaments in a few simple steps!
Supplies for DIY Alcohol Ink Ornaments:
- White or cream color glass ornaments (I thrifted mine)
- Alcohol inks (I used 2-3 colors per ornament, in the same color family)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Krylon clear glaze
- Small dish (I used a plastic tray from a box of cookies, haha)
- Small paint brush
- Ornament hanger or string
- Wood dowel and bucket to hang ornaments to dry
- Plastic bag/plastic sheet to protect surfaces
It was REALLY difficult to capture this process in photos because both of my hands were constantly moving! But the process is so simple, so let me quickly explain it. I also shared a sped up video on Instagram – if you want to see the video, click here.
Also, you can make these is ANY color – alcohol inks come in so, so many – but these are the exact ones I used. I only used 2-3 of these per ornaments, but mixed it up for each ornament:
How to Make DIY Alcohol Ink Christmas Ornaments:
Making these DIY alcohol ink ornaments will be fast and furious, so do a little prep work to make this project as easy as possible:
- First lay down a plastic sheet or bag to protect your work surface
- Get a bucket and dowel ready, with ornament hooks set aside, so you can hang your ornament to dry once it’s finished
- Choose your alcohol inks – try to do one or two colors to start, too many and it could become very muddy
- Open the alcohol inks so you can pour them on one handed and not fuss with lids
- Pour a tiny bit of alcohol in a small container and put your small paint brush beside it
- Get some Q-tips ready!
- You might also want to wear gloves – these inks can stain (although you can wipe most off with alcohol) but I found gloves made it harder to hang on
Okay! Let’s Get to Swirling…
Now you’re ready to make these gorgeous DIY alcohol ink Christmas ornaments!
Just like with my alcohol ink art, you’re going to drop on a couple of drops of alcohol ink. But instead of moving it around the paper, you’re going to move the ornament around! Once you drop on the ink, it will start to move very quickly so just swirl the ornament around, encouraging the ink to move loosely around the sphere. Don’t stress if you get any on the collar of the ornament – it can be wiped off with a Q-tip dipped in alcohol. You can also blow on the ink to help coax it around the ornament.
If an area becomes too dense or plain, dip the brush in alcohol and drop on a single drop of alcohol – watch the alcohol ink react and see it become lighter and more fluid. Then drop on another drop of alcohol ink so it layered over the area that’s become more sheer.
Keep repeating this process: a drop of alcohol ink, swirl, drop of alcohol, swirl… until you’re happy with the finished product. Once you like the look, blow on it a bit to help encourage drying and keep swirling for a few minutes after the last drop. You want it to dry as it’s moving around the ornament – not settle in a pool at the bottom like my first one (I didn’t swirl it around long enough after I was “done” with the design). After that first one, I swirled around my finish ornament for another minute or so after completing the design and then hung it to dry.
It took me approximately 20-25 minutes to make each ornaments, but it was kind of mindless and meditative work – and definitely very, very easy! When the ornaments were dry, I hung them to fully dry on a wooden spoon and Swiffer handle across a super dirty basin (sorry – I grabbed this in a hurry from the garage and it was not photo ready, lol).
I let them dry overnight and then grabbed a can of Krylon clear glaze. I gave each ornament a thorough coat and hung to dry again, waiting 24 hours. My ornaments are completely touchable – none of the ink transfers or can be rubbed off with a cloth. Without the finishing spray, there was some mild transference when I handled the ornaments, but now there is absolutely zero and they are even glossier than before.
If you want to try this on plastic ornaments, you can, but the glass looks especially beautiful because it plays with the luminescence of these inks and complements the ethereal, watercolor effect. So I highly recommend glass, if it isn’t too hazardous for your family. I also recommend a nice big ornament – it’s a larger canvas on which to create your alcohol ink masterpiece.
A Closer Look at My Finished DIY Alcohol Ink Christmas Ornaments:
Here’s how these DIY alcohol ink ornaments look on a tree. The beauty of these DIY alcohol ink Christmas ornaments is that you can make them in ANY color, so you can create one of a kind ornaments that match your Christmas tree theme perfectly.
You might have noticed this tree is full of a lot of DIY Christmas tree ornaments! And you might be wondering whose tree this is, haha, because it’s not mine… Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing those DIY tutorials and the full scoop very soon.
P.S. Looking for other alcohol ink crafts?
Check these out: