Colored Glass Balls

It turns out you can color the inside of those glass Christmas balls the same way you color glass jars, using Mod Podge and food coloring!  I had a moment of inspiration earlier this month and tried it and it worked!  You will need:

  • Mod Podge
  • food coloring
  • clear glass balls
  • empty glass drink bottle

Remove the hanger from the glass ball and set it aside.  Be careful with the glass balls, obviously, they are breakable.  It seems like I break one or two every year.  There, now it’s out in the open so you don’t have to feel bad if or when you do it.  BTW if you break them with Mod Podge inside it’s a big mess.  Try not to do that like I did.

Pour some Mod Podge into a container.  I like to use disposable cups –I reuse them as long as I can, but this way eventually I toss them and don’t feel bad about it –I can get a lot of uses from a styrofoam cup, and sometimes I reuse ones I get a drink in, yes I am that cheap!  I am going to say pour about an inch or so into your cup.  Then add about 6 to 9 drops of food coloring in, depending on the color you want.  Stir it.  BTW I love to use those wooden chopsticks you get at Asian restaurants.  If you rinse them you can get a LOT of uses from one set too.  But, if you don’t have any, plastic knives work well.

Next, carefully pour the colored mixture into your ball.  Swirl the mixture around, so that it coats the inside of the ball.  When the entire inside is completely coated, pour any leftover back into the cup.   Then turn the ball upside down on the water bottle so that any Mod Podge mixture will drain into the bottle.  I let it drain this way for a few hours.

Because the Mod Podge is thick, it takes a long time for it to drain out of the ball, and I thought it was going to be opaque, as if the balls were painted. I also thought I could layer the colors.  But the results were a little disappointing.  You can see the different colors on some of the balls, but for the most part they just blended, so that a yellow and blue mixed ball is really just green.

After waiting and waiting for them to dry with no luck I decided to dry them in the oven like I did with the jars.  I simply laid them on foil and set the oven on the lowest setting (170F for my oven).  It took a long time, I’m sure because the moisture doesn’t escape well from the very small opening inside the ball.  The color is a bit uneven, and the color does tend to settle in some spots and there are some bubbles.  This doesn’t bother me in the least, it makes them look completely different than store bought colored balls.  It gives them a texture and organic feel, like seashells and found objects have.

Just to see what it would look like I sprayed one with glitter spray paint and I did like the effect even tho I didn’t do a very good job –I got too close and let it drip and run.  Still it looked pretty cool, sparkly and festive!  I’m thinking I might invest in some of that glitter Mod Podge.

The colors are really pretty and translucent.  I ended up with pink (I don’t think you could get a real red), yellow, pale orange, blue and green.  Some of mine have some variations in the colors because I put one color over another.  It’s easy and fun to play with.  And one nice thing is your Mod Podge is on the inside so you don’t have to worry about it being sticky and sticking to anything.

I think these can be used for anything you need translucent colored balls for (I’m even thinking Easter!).  I’m still bubbling with ideas for things to use these for.  If you do any, please let me know!

Comments

  1. They look really pretty, I love the mix of colours and the fact that it is very inexpensive to do.

    Jan x

  2. Martha says:

    how clever!
    i like to browse through your posts with experiments with glass 🙂
    i should take a good look around at craft shops for those glassy baubles x x

  3. ann says:

    You can just add your own glitter to regular modge podge, also! Its cheaper than buying the glitter podge.

    • Susie says:

      Ann, that’s a good idea! And frankly I have a lot of glitter. I bought a big quantity of it that Michael’s had on sale a couple of years ago (Martha Stewart). I think there are 25 or so vials of it. I use it in projects but it seems to last forever!
      Thank you for stopping by and I’m sorry to have been so long in responding. Christmas just sort of took over and time got away from me. 🙂

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