There are many ornaments to choose from when decorating for the holidays, but personalized ornaments mean much more to the giver and to the receiver! The inspiration for these ornaments came from the old “ship in a bottle” displays, and with the cast of the “Love Boat” here with us today, they’ve given me inspiration to personalize some Christmas ornaments.
Today I’m teaming up with the youngest member of the Love Boat cast, Jill Whelan. As most people know, Jill is an amazing actress, wonderful mom and great friend! What most people don’t know is that she is a DIY queen…and I’m so happy to be teaming up with her to create this holiday DIY. We will be showing you how to get that “ship in a bottle” look without the headache of becoming a master miniature modeler! What we are going to show you today can be used for any decoration, or any gift you would like to give! While I show you the “how to” of getting large items in small ornaments, Jill is going to show us how to take something new and make it look antiqued and weathered. The official term is called “Mercury Glass” and it’s a VERY expensive décor style. We are going to show you to pull this look off without the large price tag!
I’ve always wondered…”How do they get a big ship in a little bottle”. While investigating this phenomenon, I realized that there is this whole amazing sub-culture of master modelers who take extreme pride (and hundreds of hours) to make these creations. They have their own special tools, and the patience of a saint! Since all of my tools are a bit bigger (and my patience a bit smaller), I went to an easier route. I’ll show you that route, and it will leave your guests wondering how you mastered this art!
The first step? Getting the right ornaments. These are special ornaments you will need called “acrylic fillable ornaments”. Most craft stores do not sell them, so you will have to do some searching online. Don’t lose hope… they are out there. They come in a variety of sizes. The ones I chose are 5.5” in diameter. These can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Keep that in mind when you are purchasing your materials list.
You Will Need:
- Acrylic fillable ornaments
- Desired items for inside the ornaments (I used photos, small Christmas tree, a merry Christmas sign, ship wheel, an craft anchor, heart, twine, ribbon, stickers, etc.)
- Hot glue gun
- Craft paper (I used glitter paper and construction paper)
- Wire cutter
- Paint pens (I used red and gold)
- Any other decorations (I used bling adhesive jewels)
- Paint (if you want to paint any part of it)
For Mercury Glass Antiquing:
- Spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Paper towel
- Spray paint – Krylon Looking Glass
- Spray paint – Krylon Gold
- Take apart ornaments, and start with one half
- Fill the ornaments with your décor
- Hot glue any items you do not wish to move around
- Attach the other half of the ornament
- Add wire as a ornament hanger
- Add any other décor (ribbon, twine, etc.)
Keep in mind, this can be as detailed or as simple as you would like. You can literally fill it with paper and close it up, or you can get more in-depth and do a ship in a bottle like we did today!
How To – Mercury Glass Antiquing:
- Get your glass (or similar) decor (we are using acrylic ornaments).
- Spray the ornament with white vinegar in your spray bottle.
- Take the “looking glass” spray paint and slightly cover your ornament. Go light on this first step.
- Spray the ornament again with the white vinegar.
- Spray the “looking glass” spray paint and add more to your ornament.
- Repeat this process until you get the desired affect of antiquing you would like (some people might want to go light if you have a lot of items in the ornament that you would like to be seen…others can cover the ornament only completely so it covers more of the contents). It’s really up to your preference.
- When you have reached the desired color you would like of antiquing, spray one last pass of the vinegar.
- Very gently, take paper towel and pat your ornament dry.
- If you would like to add another element or color, do so now with a very light coat of spray paint. We are using gold metallic spray paint to enhance the Mercury finish.
- Let dry for several hours before hanging it on your tree!
Thanks for stopping by. We are so grateful that we get to share with the world our inspirations and passions with you and hope to inspire you to do the same!
Make sure you share your DIY’s with us on Instagram and twitter. Just tag @paigehemmis and hashtag #DIYplay #EPFholidays