In previous years, I would be hitting up a few of my favourite decor stores right around Halloween, in the hope that these retailers would put out their new Christmas ornaments of the year. I wanted to be among the first to claim them my precious. Since last year, my desire to create something myself for Christmas has grown stronger. And while I still love most of the one-off ornaments I collected over the years, I can no longer feel my heart racing for those store-bought pieces that are either embellished with crystals or covered in sparkle dust. I crave for something unique, clean, and maybe a little edgier and more glamorous at the same time. So this year, I've finally rolled up my sleeves and got to work.
Picture above: my 2015 DIY hand-painted ball ornaments
- Plain white porcelain ball ornaments: I used the 80mm ones. You can get them from pretty much any store that sells Christmas ornaments.
- Masking tape, self adhesive reinforcements (for polka dot patterns).
- Pencil: for tracing or sketching patterns.
- Black Sharpies.
- Leafing pen.
- Toilet paper core: cut in half to be used as ball stands.
For this Pierre Frey Kubus-inspired black and gold block pattern below, I first used the masking tape to tape up the midsection. This is also the most invisible part of a ball ornament. I then used a pencil to trace around the tape then immediately removed the tape to start drawing the diamond patterns inside the traced band. I started with the black diamonds, waited for them to dry, then used the leafing pen to fill in the gold ones. Easy peasy.
And this one below is probably my favourite, a Sharpie and leafing pen hand-painted ornament à la Kelly Wearstler's Channels pattern. I actually like all the uneven strokes - they make it perfectly imperfect to me in a very organic way.
The other side of the same ornament, in a completely different screen patterns.
This one below was my first attempt.
I am sure you would recognize this one, inspired by the ever-popular Brunschwig & Fils' Les Touches fabric.
I hand painted a total of 15 ornaments (still have one to go and I am sure inspiration will come :)), and these 4 are my favourites.
The easiest ones were the tiny polka dot ones, time-consuming but very straightforward. All I did was to cover the balls with self-adhesive reinforcements and fill in the centres with either black Sharpie or leafing pen. The most satisfying ones were the two-toned Channels and the Tasmanian tribal pattern. The one with the most unexpected outcome (in a good way) went to the Pierre Frey Kubus fabric pattern. I had the highest expectation for the striped à la Kate Spade, but it turned out to be the most difficult to draw.
It was such a fun project. Now go make your own.:)