How to Paint Ornaments

paint your own ornaments with Melissa

 The Spruce

The holiday season never fails to bring a smile to our faces here at The Spruce. To create some extra cheer, we've created the best tutorial for painting your own ornaments this year. While these may look tricky, they're easier to make than you think. Before you know it, you'll have plenty of ornaments to hang on your tree and around your home.


The DIY Ornaments Your Tree Deserves

While we do love the classic green and red color palette, we went with colors you typically won't find in store-bough decorations. Feel free to use whatever shades of paint you like to customize your ornaments to match your style.

Patterned Ornaments

These bold beauties are perfect for folks who adore vibrant colors, abstract prints, and vivid details. You design your ornaments however you like, but we'll be showing you how to recreate this medium brushstroke pattern.

Ornaments in a box
The Spruce / Candace Madonna

What You'll Need


  • Paintbrushes (size depends on how large your want your pattern)


  • Glass ornaments (plastic works too)
  • The Spruce Best Home chalky-finish paint in Heartwarming, White Bead Board, Casual Sophistication, and Skydive Blue
  • Bowls for paint
  • Kraft paper
  • Clear ornaments (we used glass, but plastic work too)
  • Cake pop sticks (for drying rack)
  • Craft foam (for drying rack)
  • String or hooks
  1. Gather Materials

    Collect your materials and check that your hot glue gun is working.

    Supplies for painting ornaments
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  2. Set Up Your Workspace

    Before you begin painting, wrap your workspace in kraft paper or another material of your choice to protect it from any paint drips or spills. Set out all of your supplies and take the tops off of your ornaments.

  3. Build Your Drying Rack

    For a speedy solution to drying your ornaments, take your cake pop sticks and push them into the craft foam. Test out the distance between each stick by placing plain ornaments on top; you don't want your freshly painted ones to get ruined!

  4. Paint Your Base Coat

    Hold your ornament by its opening and beginning painting your first coat. We love using chalky finish paint because of its great coverage after a single coat. Once your ornaments are painted, allow them to dry for 30 minutes to an hour, then go back and do any touchups if needed.

    Hands painting an ornament
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  5. Paint Your Accent Color

    There are two parts to the pattern. The first is the underlying shade. Select one of your paint colors and begin painting dashes all around the ornament. Once you're finished, let it dry for roughly 30 minutes.

    Hands painting pattern on an ornament
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  6. Paint the Pattern

    Now that the silhouette/accent dashes are painted, go back through and paint a dash in a different color on top of each one. Allow it to slightly overlap, but give the color underneath enough space so it's showing too.

    Painting accent pattern on ornament
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  7. Let Dry

    Allow your ornaments to dry for an hour to be safe.

  8. Assemble and Display

    After the ornaments have finished drying, replace the ornament caps, add some string or a hook and display.

    Hand replacing an ornament cap
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna


    placing a painted ornament on the tree
     The Spruce

Wooden Ornaments

For fans of Scandinavian influence and minimalist aesthetics, these wooden ornaments will certainly suit your tastes. They're simple, yet chic, and look stunning against the boughs of evergreen trees.

Wooden ornaments in a bowl
The Spruce / Candace Madonna 

What You'll Need


  • Paintbrushes in various sizes
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hammer (optional)


  • The Spruce Best Home paint in White Bead Board
  • Masking tape
  • Bowls for paint
  • Wooden craft balls
  • Screw eye hooks (optional)
  • String
  1. Gather Materials

    Gather all the items you'll need for creating these wooden ornaments and set them out on your workspace.

    Supplies for painting wooden ornaments
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  2. Prepare Your Workspace

    Make sure you cover your work surface with kraft paper or a similar material to protect it from paint drips. Hang up some string between two surfaces or tie a row of strings vertically to a stick or similar object. This will be used to dry your ornaments. Make sure there is kraft paper or plastic beneath the drying rack before you hang them up.

  3. Select Your Pattern and Apply the Masking Tape

    We'll be showing you how to make a simple striped pattern, but the options are endless with masking tape. You can make stripes, scallop the edges, or cut out shapes; the list goes on. Once you've decided on a pattern, apply the tape to your wooden sphere.

    Hands applying tape to wooden sphere
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna


    Remember that the paint will go everywhere that the tape is not. So if you want a stripe around the center, do the reverse with tape and put two strips of tape on both top and bottom of the ornament to mark out the middle stripe.

  4. Start Painting

    Take a medium-size brush and begin painting your ornament. Start with the exposed wood and gently work your way around the tape. Be careful around the edges to avoid paint from seeping underneath the tape.

    Hands painting a wooden ornament
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  5. Finish Pattern and Let Dry

    If you'd like to add a second pattern, this is a great time to do so while your other side is drying. Then, allow your ornaments to dry for an hour. If needed, go back and do a second coat or any touch ups.

    Hands painting polkadots on wooden ornament
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  6. Glue String or Drill Hooks

    A drill bit makes this part quick and easy. Simply drill a hole and insert a screw eye hook. If you don't have that type of tool, you can hot glue string to the tops of your ornament. Take your string or twine and tie a knot, then glue the knotted end down to the top of ornament. Make sure you allow it to set and dry before lifting it by the string.

    using a drill to make a hole in the ornament
     The Spruce
  7. Remove the Tape

    Carefully peel off the masking tape once your ornaments are completely dry. Pulling off the tape too early can smear the paint, so check to be sure the paint isn't still tacky.

    Peeling tape off wooden ornament
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna
  8. Decorate

    String the ornaments through their screw eye hooks or finish gluing and tying then hang!

    Hands tying twine through ornament hook
    The Spruce / Candace Madonna