Paintable Christmas ornaments can be very simply done or have complex designs. It all depends on one's comfort level with the materials for the project. There are so many mediums that can be used, but many have special characteristics. All ages can make ornaments that will be memory makers for years to come. Wood, ceramic, glass, and paper are all good bases for them, but egg shells and many other items can be painted, too.
Non-porous paintable Christmas ornaments
Plain glass bulbs are very attractive paintable Christmas ornaments when acrylic-based solid, metallic, or glitter paints are swirled inside. Remove the ornament top carefully and pour a bit of paint inside. Rolling will cause streaks to form. Add other colors, repeating the process. For a unique twist, try non-fired stained glass paints for translucent effects. Bisque ceramic ornaments can be simple or specialty shapes to paint, antique, and apply sealer to. Cleaned, blown eggs need several coats of sealer put on them to make a good hard base to paint on.
Porous paintable Christmas ornaments
When making wooden painted Christmas ornaments, sealing the wood first with a matte sealer will keep the paint from soaking into the wood, fading it. Treat painted wood the same as ceramic by sealing it after painting design work. Some papers are more porous than others and will also benefit from a light sealer which can prevent colors from bleeding into each other on any surface. When working with paper mache, the glue will seal the base enough for painting, but a base coat in a desired color may make colors more vibrant. Cloth is another paintable porous option for handmade ornaments. Smoothing a washed and dried piece of solid colored fabric and applying gesso will seal and stiffen it for painting. Cloth dolls with painted faces may be done this way for cute Santa Claus ornaments that make fun projects.