To prepare the baubles:
- Collect together any old, scratched or outdated baubles and clean them, removing each bauble hanging clasp.
- Retrieve a box from your household recycling and make one or two slits on each side. Thread each hanging clasp onto wire or cotton thread, tying a knot in one end and sliding into one of the slits. Pull to the other side and then fix through the remaining slit. This will be used to hang your freshly painted baubles to dry.
- Once you have decided on the colour theme for your upcycled baubles, you can then decide on the finish for the hanging clasps. You may decide to keep the original colour, or change them to a contrasting shade.
- Next, find another box, the size depending on how many baubles you aim to upcycle, and punch through with BBQ skewers to place the baubles on to dry once they have been painted or glued.
- Start painting the bauble. I started with one end, letting it dry before starting on the other end. If you choose to use matte paint, it might need two coats depending on the quality.
Now for the fun part…
To decorate the baubles:
The key is to be willing to experiment and have fun. You could paint your baubles with a brush stroke effect or use a dabbing technique. I used masking tape on some to achieve crisp lines. I also found using chalkboard paint quite fun – after I had prepared the baubles, my children really enjoyed using chalk pens to decorate their own baubles, as they’re not the patient kind to wait for paint to dry!
Old book pages and leftover wrapping paper is a great way to add a different texture and visual effect. You could use the paper to create a band around the bauble or to cover it entirely. If you have a printer to hand, perhaps print your favourite wildlife onto the old book pages, giving a more bespoke, vintage look.
This is also a perfect excuse to raid the craft box. I trawled through mine and found fabrics, bronze leaves, pearls, ribbons and buttons, just to name a few things. (A side note on glitter – if you wish to add some sparkle, try to make an effort to buy a biodegradable alternative, keeping the planet in mind!)
To create the metal flower decorations (as seen on the pictured baubles):
- Find a foil tray (I used one left out from an indulgent yet very delicious takeaway!) and add it to a dishwasher cycle and it will come out both clean and slightly tarnished, giving it an antique edge.
- Cut out two roughly shaped circles, one slightly larger than the other.
- Next, pick out some buttons from your button jar – if you don’t have a button jar, perhaps you have some unwanted costume jewellery that you could use instead.
- Thread the buttons onto wire and then poke through the foil circles, twisting on the other side to hold in place.
- To finish, carefully bend and mould the plate of foil until it resembles a flower and then glue into position. I used a hot glue gun, although superglue would work just as well.
- Allow your beautifully upcycled baubles to dry before showing them off on the Christmas tree!