DIY | Upcycled Christmas Ornaments | Paint Refresh

We love Christmas but the waste that can sometimes come with Christmas, not so much. 
There are some amazing DIY Christmas projects out there and one that caught our eye was upcycling old ornaments. This is such a great, inexpensive, and sustainable way to re-use ornaments while updating them to your current style. We also love the idea of this being a family or joint activity to make personalised ornaments for yourselves or as unique presents to gift to others.
For our decorations, we had a mix of plastic and glass, some from the home cupboard and some glass ornaments that never quite made our shelves. We used three different paint methods to test them out for you with the baking soda method definitely the favourite!
We found this project so satisfying we think we’ll be doing this again soon and every year to come! We’re bursting with ideas, this may just kick off the great bauble rescue of 2023?
Tried it? Let us see! Tag us in your photos at and use the tag #yulebaublerescue
Upcycled Christmas Ornaments | Paint Refresh
Supplies Needed:
Old Christmas ornaments
Paint in various colours (acrylic is fine)
Baking soda
Dowel or paintbrush handles
Paint palette or disposable plates for mixing paint
New ornament ties/hangers (optional but worth it)
Sealer or clear coat for added protection (optional)
    Step 1: Remove Ornament Caps
    Remove the caps from your old Christmas ornaments – be especially careful if your ornaments are glass! You'll want to paint the entire surface, so make sure the caps are detached.
    Step 2: Create Texture Paint
    If you want to add texture to your ornaments, mix a small amount of baking soda into your acrylic paint. Start with a 1:1 ratio and adjust as needed to achieve your desired texture. We ended up with about 1 heaped teaspoon baking soda to a tablespoon of paint.
    We also tried modelling paste to add texture which you could mix with your paint or apply and then paint over.
    Step 3: Paint the Ornaments
    Using a paintbrush, apply the paint to the ornaments in your chosen colours, textures, and patterns. You may need 2-3 coats to achieve full coverage, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. To make the painting process easier, insert the ornaments onto the end of dowels or paintbrush handles so you can work on them without touching wet paint and so they can dry easily. Just pop the other end in a jar or a cardboard box and you’re good to go.
    We found painting the cap end of the ornament first the easiest then putting on the dowel to paint the rest.
    Our paint was matte so dried quickly, by the time we did one coat on all, we could start the next with no down time. You do want it to be dry between coats otherwise you run the risk of the paint not adhering. We played around with colour layering, but you can definitely just use one colour for all coats. We did our first coat then used textures in the second and third.
    You can also paint your ornament caps if you want these to match or contrast.
    Step 4: Allow to Dry!
    Step 5 (Optional): Apply a Sealer
    For added protection and longevity, you can apply a clear sealer or coat of varnish over the painted ornaments. Modge podge or a spray varnish would be our first choice, just be mindful of matte vs gloss and how it may impact your final finish.
    Step 6: Attach Ties/Hangers
    Once the paint is dry, reattach the ornament caps and add new ornament ties/hangers. You can use ribbons, strings, or any other decorative material of your choice.
    Step 7: Enjoy!
    Experiment with different paint colours, patterns, and textures to create unique and personalised ornaments.
    Consider using metallic paints for a festive touch or even gold leaf.
    Recycle old ornaments you no longer need or rescue some inexpensive ones from thrift stores.