Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Photo Christmas Ornament Bulbs

Ornaments for Grace

‘Tis the season to make Christmas Ornaments and my favorites to make and give are photo ornaments.  I love the look of delight on someone’s face when I give them such a personal gift. 

This year I made some ornaments for my cousin’s sweet daughter.  It’s a photo of her with her girlfriends dressed in their Halloween costumes. 

A few years ago I was all about a product you could get at Michael’s craft supply store called Magic Bubble.  It was a solution that you would pour into a glass Christmas bulb and it would allow you to adhere a photo to the inside of a Christmas bulb.  Well sadly, Magic Bubble has fallen off the face of the earth. I couldn’t find it anywhere at the local craft stores and a search online pulled up other’s like me trying to find the stuff.    But happily, I still had a bottle of the solution and some of the beautiful iridescent glitter that gives the bulbs their sparkle. 

The idea came to me when I was looking around on Pinterest and came across a link to someone who was making photo ornament bulbs just like these only instead of using the Magic Bubble product she was using clear floor wax.   Makes sense! 

Limoncello 002

Here is how I made mine and what you will need.

*Clear glass or plastic ornament bulbs.

*Laser copies of your favorite photo sized to fit inside the ornament bulb.  Make several copies in case you make a mistake.  Believe me the more the better till you get the hang of this!  I learned this the hard way after making several trips to Fed Ex to make additional copies.

*Magic Bubble solution if you can find it or a clear floor wax such as Pledge. 


*A soft long and think paint brush.

*Paper Towel


*Decorative Christmas tree hook.  ( I love the fancy hooks you can get at Hobby Lobby.)


The first thing you are going to need is a photo copy of a photograph that you want to showcase inside your bulb.  Your photo copies need to be make from a laser printer.  The ink from an inkjet with dissolve and run when it touches the solution.  So what I did was either take the original photos or inkjet copies from my home computer and I photocopied them on the fancy laser printer at my local Fed Ex Office Store.  Size your photo properly so that you know it will fit inside your ornament bulb.

If you want to include some words or maybe the year inside your bulb, print out the words in the size and font you like and print it out to also be photocopied by a laser printer.  Print out several of the same words to allow for mistakes. Again….I learned the hard way.

And speaking of ornament bulbs…..I’ve used both the clear glass bulbs and plastic.  Both work equally well.  The photo of the bulbs above are plastic.  And This time I use the the “flat” bulbs.  These are much easier to work with and the shape is unique. 


1.  Cut out your photo to the size you would like to see inside your bulb.  If you use a traditional round bulb, your photo may need small slash marks around the outside of the photo copy to help it mold correctly to the inside of your bulb. 

2.  Carefully remove the cap from your bulb.  Pour in a teaspoon or two of the floor wax or Magic Bubble product and swirl it around the inside of your bulb to coat the entire inside of the bulb.

3.  Roll up your photo copy small and tight enough to fit it through the opening in your bulb.

4.  Using your paint brush, gently maneuver the photo so that it opens up and press it against the wall of your bulb so that you can see the photo from the outside.  Take your time and gently use the paint brush to position your photo inside the bulb where you would like it.  Gently press out any air bubbles and smooth out any creases. 

5.  Gently swirl the solution to make sure all surfaces inside the bulb are coated and then carefully pour out the excess solution. 

6.  Pour in glitter and gently rotate the ornament bulb so that the glitter completely covers the inside of the bulb.  Turn the bulb upside down and empty it of any excess glitter. 

7.  Let your bulbs dry.  When the insides are dry. Replace the cap on the ornament. 

8. Decorated the cap by tying on a decorative ribbon in a bow. I like the wired ribbon for the best shaped bows. 

9.  Add a decorative hook. 

I like to put them in the decorative boxes you  can pick up at the dollar store for gift giving.  I place the bulb in the boxes wrapped in tissue paper including the decorative ornament hook.  Then I like to tie the box off with some ribbon. 

If you make a mistake this is a very forgiving project.  Just pour water into your bulb to flush it out and start again with a new photo copy. 

Have fun with these.  These are a real people pleasing gift.  Fun to make and fun to receive!!

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