Inside: Are you looking for homemade Christmas ornaments ideas? Your kids will love to make our amazing glow in the dark ornaments using paper-mache technique and glow-in-the-dark paints.
You don’t need to be super crafty to make cute homemade Christmas ornaments with your kids. All you need is time on your calendar and a willingness to accept some mess.
I don’t know about your house, but we have a proliferation of balls of different sizes and materials. And I’m not even talking about the big balls—beach balls, soccer balls, and basketballs. I’m talking about little plastic balls of unknown origin, ping pong balls (and we don’t even have ping pong table), and plastic eyeballs from the Target dollar section. I don’t know how all those balls make it into our house, but I have been determined to put them to good use for a while.
This year, I’m obsessed with glow in the dark paints. They offer such amazing crafting inspiration and endless opportunities. We ended up putting together our pile of stray balls and glow in the dark paints to an amazing effect.
It’s a super simple craft project to do with kids. Follow along for instructions.
Handmade Christmas ornaments that glow in the dark
What you need
- Junk mail (for paper mache)
- Water and flour (to make paper mache paste)
- White paint (as a base)
- String (if you want to hang the ornaments)
- Glow in the dark paints
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The idea in a nutshell: Use paper mache technique to cover the balls in a layer (or two), apply white as a base color first, and then finish off with glow in the dark paints.
What to do
- Make a paper mache paste by combining one part flour to three parts water (if you are using gluten-free flour add slightly more water). Mix until most lumps are gone, but don’t worry too much about it. It’s all going to be covered with paint soon, and uneven texture makes ornaments even more interesting.
- Rummage through the pile of your junk mail and pull out envelopes and magazines that you can use for paper mache. We like white envelopes and magazines that are not too glossy. Also, try to avoid very dark pictures because it will take an extra layer of white paint to cover them.
Now the fun begins!
- Dip pieces of paper into the paste and stick them to your balls in order to cover them all around. (We like that ooey-gooey feeling on our fingers. What about you?) It’s wise to factor in some drying time between the layers if you plan on keeping these ornaments forever. If not completely dry, the ornaments might begin to get moldy within a few years or start cracking.
- Don’t forget to add a string if you are planning on hanging your ornaments. Just put a piece of string on the ball and cover it with glue covered paper.
- Once your ornaments reach the desired shape, let them dry for a few days.
- Cover with white paint. Depending on your paint it will probably be dry in an hour or so.
- Now is the most fun part! Apply glow in the dark paints. I let my oldest kids do their own thing, while I make sure that the toddler doesn’t eat any paint.
What do you think?
It took some time, but the kids are on top of the world.
In the past decade, we’ve made so many ornaments, and I love them all no matter how silly and crooked. What are you going to make this year?
This post is part of a series called Kid-Made Christmas hosted by Teach Me, Mommy. Be sure to check out Gingerbread House Painted Rocks, Crayon Resistant Art Cards, Snowman Fingerprint Photo Frame, and visit Teach Me, Mommy for even more ideas and inspiration.