12 Steps to Making a Christmas Ornament

Every year the Tumalo Art Co. artists make or paint handmade Christmas ornaments. It has become a much anticipated tradition and I look forward to it each year.

Usually a couple trees are put up at the gallery and ornaments are hung from it.


This year, I’ve painted white ceramic stars and snowflakes with a spiral shape. People who know me, know that I adore the spiral. So I thought it appropriate to put it on my ornaments. To me, the spiral represents energy and growth and I like that it is on a celebratory ornament.

This is how mine came out.

Christmas-OrnamentsAnd this is how you make them in 12 steps.

1. Purchase the ceramic shapes at Michael’s craft store and paint a coat of white gesso on them in the shape of the ornament. The gesso will allow the acrylic paint to adhere to the ornament and not come off.


2. Paint a layer of acrylic paint in bright colors on them. Allow to dry. It reminds me of frosting cut-out cookies.


3. Outline them with black acrylic paint.


3. Next is actually a couple steps. Use my signature method of creating pattern and texture. Use wax paper and coat it with a thin layer of black paint. Scrape into it with your finger nails, making patterns. Then turn it over onto the colored surface of the ornament and press lightly. Let dry. Cover with a thin layer of a lighter shade of the acrylic paint so you can see the black pattern through the paint. Let dry.


4. Paint a white swirl on them using your acrylics.


5. Dip a piece of string in black acrylic paint and coat it. Spiral it onto the surface of the ornament and press lightly and remove the string. Fill in the painted black areas that might not have adhered to make spiral shapes.


6. Cover the white with various colors that stand out from the background color. Don’t worry about covering up the black spiral shapes. You can touch them up in the next step.


7. Go over the black spiral to make the color stand out more.


8. Add shading in lighter colors on top of the background color to create some depth. Also dip some string in the black and make some squiggly marks onto the surface of the ornament. Do the same with red. This creates some surface texture too.


9. Cover up the squiggly marks lightly with paint so they look like they’re just under the surface. You can leave some showing to add variety.


10. Add some white dots to make patterns.

11.Tie some ribbon on them.

12. Coat them with 2 coats of gloss varnish. I used gloss Delta Ceramcoat varnish that I found at Michael’s. It paints on as a white film and then dries to a clear hard coat. It’s used for exterior or interior finishes.

An optional step I do is write on the back of them with a gold metallic pen the word “Joy!” or “Peace and Joy!” and date and sign them L. GRUGER.

And there you have it. They make beautiful ornaments for your tree or hang then in your window to decorate a room.

Mine are for sale at $20 (+ $3.00 shipping) each. Email me if you would like one. lindy@artbylindy.com


Peace and Joy!

~ L ~

3 thoughts on “12 Steps to Making a Christmas Ornament

  • December 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Aha. And ooooooooooooooooo – I wanna do this. May I do this? I am exCITed to do this. Week after next, I am making Chaz do this with me. I am very, very happy. Ah sansei, thank you for opening the mysteries for me. (But I bet mine come out limping next to yours that leap.) Kiss Greg for me.


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