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Total Time 1 hour Ages all-ages

These ornaments are so much more than the sum of their parts: A flash of holiday alchemy transforms inexpensive glass globes and a few dropperfuls of paint into marbled masterpieces, and the guests at your ornament party will have a ball making them.

What you'll need

  • Clear glass ball ornaments
  • (available at craft stores)
  • Acrylic or tempera paints
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic eyedroppers
Helpful Tip:

Experiment with dribbling paint down the sides or squirting it right into the bottom and tipping the ball upside down over a cup. (Most designs look great, but if a child is really unhappy with his or her ball, you can swirl the inside of the ornament with hot water and start over.)

How to make it

  1. Swirl-a-balls - Step 1

    Remove the tops from the ornaments (a parent's job). You may want to inspect the tops of the ornaments for stray glass threads and smooth them with the side of a toothpick.

  2. Swirl-a-balls - Step 2

    Pour the paint into the cups, one color per cup, and stir a little water into each until it reaches the consistency of heavy cream. Put an eyedropper in each cup.

  3. To decorate a ball, squirt a few drops of paint into it and swirl before adding another color.

  4. Dry the balls upside down, perched on paper cups, and replace the tops when they're dry.

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