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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Tint Glass Ornaments

Aren't these pretty? They're tinted glass ornaments. I've had a dozen or so plain clear glass ball ornaments sitting around for the past three holidays. I figured today is a good day to make 'em pretty. 

In the past, I've had some trouble tinting glass. Not ornaments, but mason jars. I tried just about every brand of glass paint on the market and still wasn't pleased with the results. Most of the time my glass just ended up a streaky, globby mess. But while I was perusing the art supply isle of the craft store I ran across a bottle of something called glazing medium. I mixed some with a few drops of food coloring. Lo and behold my glass was beautifully tinted!
For these ornaments, I stuck with the same wining recipe, but I switched brands from Liquitex (beautiful results, but a little pricey) to Americana Glazing Medium (about $6 for an 8 oz. bottle) which is about half the price. 

So here we go...
 Materials
Glass ornaments
Glazing Medium 
Food Coloring
Stir stick
Dropper (a squeeze bottle works too)
2 plastic cups or bowls (1 for mixing, 1 for catching excess mixture)
Shoebox 
Wood dowel
 Directions
1. Hang ornament on dowel and place it so that ornaments are dangling over the shoebox. Put a cup underneath the ornament. 
2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of glazing medium and 2 or 3 drops of food coloring into cup. Mix gently with stir stick. Don't mix too fast or else you'll get lots of bubbles. 
3. Pour the mixture over the outside of the glass ball. Cover the ball completely. 
 4. Reuse mixture in cup or make a new batch of tint with different food coloring. You can mix up a rainbow of tints with primary colors!
5. Wash out dropper with soap and water immediately after use and let the ornaments dry for about 3 hours.
I had beautiful results with this method. I did experiment with decoupage glue (like Mod Podge), clear Elmer's glue and American's Triple Thick Gloss Glaze, but the glazing medium worked out best by far. 

To get the frosty look: Pour Elmer's clear glue over the ornament and sprinkle epson salt over it. Let it dry hanging. 

One other note. You may be tempted to take off the ornament cap, pour and swirl the glaze inside the ornament. Don't go rogue on me now my friends. Even after turning the ornament upside down and leaving it overnight, it was not dry. And when the glaze doesn't dry it remains cloudy and not very pretty. 
 
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