DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

A Homemade Christmas

Today is my first day to share in our A Homemade Christmas series.  I been loving it so far.  Make sure you head over and check out Christa’s pinecone cluster and Heather’s poinsettia pillow.  They are both on my list to do now too. Smile

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

I don’t know about you but I LOVE mercury glass.   It just calls my name when I see it in stores.  I don’t know that I have ever seen a piece that I didn’t want to take home, but unfortunately my budget has allowed very few pieces to come home with me.

Like these Mercury Glass Ornaments from Pottery Barn – $29.50 for a set of six.

Mercury Glass Ball Ornaments - Silver & Gold, Set of 6

As much as I love them, $29 is more than my entire Christmas decorating budget so that is not going to happen.  Since I knew even last Christmas that I wanted to do a different theme/color in my Christmas décor this year, I have been looking at yard sales and clearance sales all year.  I was excited when I found several boxes of glass ornaments for $1 a box at a yard sale.

Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Spray paint

The key to making DIY mercury glass is one certain paint – Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like spray paint.  I had a hard time finding it – Wal-mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s don’t carry it.  And I couldn’t find it at Michael’s either.  I FINALLY found it at Hobby Lobby!  But make sure to bring/use a 40% coupon because it is expensive!    You can also buy it on Amazon. (Affiliate link – if you buy anything through it, you help support my spray paint habit. Smile)

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

I also used some metallic gold craft paint, a spray bottle filled with water, a hairdryer and some q-tips (not pictured).

I read many tutorials that I found on Pinterest on how to do it.  They varied a little, but basically had the same basic instructions.

1. Spray the INSIDE of the ornament with the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint.  Some tutorials said to spray the inside first with water, but I found that didn’t work as well.  The way this paint works is the reflective or mirror finish is actually on the opposite side of the paint after it is sprayed. So you want that to show through the glass.

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

2. Swirl the paint around in the ornament.  But this paint is thin and runny and will just pool down in the bottom.  At this point you will be thinking that I am crazy and this will never work.  I promise it will – just bear with me a minute.

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

3.  What worked best for me was to grab my hairdryer and while I was swirling the ornament around in my hand I was blow drying inside the ornament.  I just did this for 10-20 seconds until the paint was ALMOST, but not completely dry.

4. Then I misted the inside of the ornament with water and shook it around a little.  You want BIG drops, not little drops.

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

5. You can also rub the inside of the ornament with a q-tip to rub off some of the paint if you want.  I did that with some when I couldn’t get big drops.

As the paint dries you will see it become reflective.  And you will have the perfect mercury glass finish!

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

In one of the tutorials I read it recommended doing the gold paint as well and I do think that adds a little bit of antiquing to the finish. I dropped one drop of gold paint in the ornament and then misted again with water and swirled around drying with my hair dryer until it was dry.

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

And I painted the the metal tops.  Mine were bright silver, but most vintage mercury glass ornaments have dark tops.  So I sprayed mine with a light coat of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint to give them more of an antique finish.

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

I love them!

DIY Mercury Glass Ornaments

And they were pretty simple to create!  I did 12 in about in a hour.


You’ll have to wait until I reveal my tree to see them all in place on my tree.  I am still working on finishing touches on the Christmas decorating in the house – how about you?  All of your decorating done, haven’t even started, or just about done?

And here’s the rest of the projects in our A Homemade Christmas series:

Laine at It’s Just Laine will be sharing her post tomorrow and I am sure you won’t want to miss it.

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  1. says

    They are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your technique. I love mercury glass too and have picked up a few pieces at yard sales. I’m planning on incorporating them in my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary party…but until then, I’ll display them in my holiday decor.
    Mary Anne recently posted..It was a sign!My Profile

  2. Myra Wright says

    Love this idea! Will have to put it on my list of ideas for gifts for next year. One of my daughter-in-laws decorates in silver and blue. These would be a lovely addition to her tree! Thanks!!!

    • Christina says

      try Michael’s. I read on a tutorial that they (might) have it. But not with the spray paint (I checked ours and they didn’t have it there) The other blogger said it was in the glass painting supplies.

      And yes, my Christmas to-do list is growing by the minutes. I already feel frantic and it isn’t even December yet. Craziness!!

  3. Barb says

    I love mercury glass. I have a few precious pieces that I decorate with every year, but now I can make my own. Thanks so much :)

  4. says

    I am also a huge fan of mercury glass, and as far as ornaments go, I have only 2 that I found in pink. I never, ever thought about making them, but your tutorial makes it look so easy! That’s great.
    I have just a tree to put up, maybe a few other things too. I’m trying to change my look as well. My latest post shows some photos.
    Have a good day!
    Antonella @ The Comfortable Home recently posted..Some Christmas DecorationsMy Profile

  5. says

    Christina! This is the best faux mercury glass tutorial that I have ever seen (and I have looked at A LOT)! I had gotten the looking glass spray paint before but was underwhelmed with how it looked on a solid piece…now I know why thanks to you. I am going to try it again. I am going with a silver theme on my tree this year so I hope to make some ornaments using your tutorial.
    Miss Kitty recently posted..How To Make A Santa Belly Deco Mesh WreathMy Profile

  6. says

    Wow Christina, these are absolutely gorgeous! I love them…and with my tree theme gold and burgundy, I think they would add so much to it! Thanks for sharing, I’m pinning this!
    Debbie :)
    Debbie recently posted..Snowflake MobileMy Profile

  7. says

    I am running out of time to make these this year but I think they will be a project for after Christmas so that I have some new pretties for NEXT Christmas. Thanks for sharing your tutorial!
    Suzan recently posted..Day of RemembranceMy Profile

  8. says

    Great tutorial on mercury glass ornaments. Visiting from KnockOff Decor. I too have read about spray painting the inside, some crafters say to cover the outside while spraying. How on earth did you spray the inside with that tiny hole the ornaments have without it getting all over everything? Just curious. I’ve sprayed vases and had a hard time keeping it inside.
    Gial recently posted..Iced Glittered TreesMy Profile

  9. says

    These turned out so pretty! I love mercury glass ornaments. I bought a couple of them at Walmart for a lot less than PB’s! I have a dozen clear glass bulbs I never did anything with. I’m going to try these! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. says

    loved the ornament i had made some with spray paint a bucket of water and u dipped the balls in the spray painted water but these were much better thanks

  11. says

    You’re site finally made sense for me!! I tried the Mirror paint on a lamp and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t shiny like all the pictures I’ve seen.. SPRAY ON THE INSIDE….. Got it.. So now my idea won’t work.. so perhaps silver leafing… Big time bummer.

  12. Carol says

    Don’t think I’ll even put up a tree this year. Only have a college-age daughter left at home. She’s too busy with prepping for finals to help out. Maybe just the count-down calendar we have used every year.

  13. Suzanne says

    Wow, you are a genius! Thank you so much for this DIY. I love the mercury glass ornaments too and can’t believe how gorgeous these turned out. Thanks for sharing.

  14. says

    I love your ornaments! I wish I had found your tutorial before but it’s better late than never, right? I found you on Pinterest, by the way, while searching for Vintage Christmas Ornaments. I searched for the Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like spray paint immediately. I needed to buy it online, since I live in Spain. Sprays cannot be shipped overseas from the US but I was finally able to find an online shop that will ship to EU countries: . I thought I’d leave this comment so other possible European buyers may find their way to the product.

    I am also wondering how you managed to spray inside the ornament and whether the golden paint you used was acrylic or of another kind?

    Thank you very much for this beautiful tutorial! Merry Christmas!

    • Christina says

      I took the cap/hangar part of the ornament off (it just pops off) and directed the nozzle directly inside. And yes, the gold paint was just acrylic/craft type paint.


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