DIY Paint Swirl Ornament Activity

paint swirl ornaments

We are in love with this paint swirl activity using plastic ornaments! One of our customers shared this quick and easy activity that can be adjusted for any season or theme, and personalized with your choice of colors. Have fun with different types of paint, like metallic, regular acrylic, and even add glitter.

This ornament activity is great because there are only a few items needed. You can do this project in a few simple steps.

How to Make DIY Paint Swirl Ornaments



1. Choose the paint colors you’d like to use. We chose 2-4 colors for each ornament, but feel free to use as many as you’d like. Tip: It is helpful to put each color into a paint cup.

2. Add a few drops water to each of the paint colors to thin out the paint and make it easier to swirl. Mix together with a paintbrush. Be sure not to add too much water – if the paint is too watery it will not stick to the ornament.

3. Pour the first color through the opening at the top of the ornament. Then pour the second color. Repeat for each color. If you have extra paint leftover inside the ornament, pour it out.

4. Swirl the paint around by rotating the ornament. Make sure the whole inside is coated with paint.

5. Place the ornament upside down with the top off so that it can dry. Place the top back on after it dries and add some silver cord to hang it up!

NOTE: You may need to store the ornaments upright without the top on to get the paint to dry. Wait a few hours, then put the tops on.

paint swirl ornaments

paint swirl ornament DIY

This year we made lots of items for a holiday bazaar that we are holding. The residents are making the ornaments as well as pocket hand warmers, soaps and candles. We will be selling the items at our annual Thanksgiving event in November, and all of the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

About the Author

I am the Director of Resident Engagement at Silverado Orchard Park, I have been here for 6 months now. Before that I was in a different retirement community. I am extremely happy to be at Silverado. It is all about normalization and freedom for the residents. One of our residents favorite things to do is make things for the local community that we will donate.

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8 thoughts on “DIY Paint Swirl Ornament Activity

  1. I attempted to make marbled ornaments using plastic Dollar Tree ornaments and Acryology Premium Acrylic Paint also from Dollar Tree. The paint covered the inside of the ornaments well. I let them dry upside down for approximately 48 hours. While drying I noticed there were some spots where the paint started to not adhere to the insofar the ornaments leaving clear spits as if I had never shaken the ornament to distribute the paint. Any ideas on why this happened to my ornaments?

    • Hi Ramona, it is best practice to shake the paint before using. It is possible that the quality of the paint from the dollar store is also causing it not to stick, but it should cover the inside of the ornament. You may have also used too much paint so the excess was dripping down and caused some clear spots to form. Make sure you swirl the ornament around several times with the paint, and then let the extra paint drip out onto a papertowel or in a paper cup by keeping the cap off overnight. Hope this helps and good luck!

  2. Looks easy and uses less paint than pouring it over the outside of the ornament. The other way waste to much paint…Thanks

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    • Hi Shannon, we have found that if you use the paint sparingly it does take less time to dry, though it takes longer to swirl it through the ornament. Another trick is to keep the top off of the ornaments for a few hours to let air in. You can store them upright and then wait a few hours before putting the top back on. Hope this helps!

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