Ombre Glittered Bells
Glitter in an ombre pattern -- with one color blending gradually into another -- makes simple bells sparkle with sophistication.
For these ombre glitter decorations, we transformed a pair of 6 3/4-inch-tall plastic bells. See the Ombre Glittered Shells project for tips on glittering in an ombre pattern. If displaying the bells outside, seal them with polyurethane spray; even sealed, they should be displayed in a covered area.
- Fine glitter, in White Gold, Tourmaline, and Garnet, Essential Colors glitter set; all by Martha Stewart Crafts, from Michaels
- Plastic bells
- Small baking cups (to hold glitter)
- White acrylic paint
- White craft glue
- Small paintbrush
- 200-grit sandpaper
- 1 3/8-size jingle bell
- 1/4-inch-wide metallic ribbon
Prime the bells, inside and out, with white acrylic paint. Let dry. (This will help the glitter adhere.) Add a little water to white craft glue to thin it slightly. Glitter the inside of the bell with silver glitter: Brush the thinned glue inside the bell. Use a spoon to sprinkle silver glitter generously over the glue; roll the glitter inside the bell to coat. Gently shake off excess. Let dry, about 1 hour.
For the ombre pattern, select 2 colors of glitter. Mix them in varying proportions to form several gradations; we used red and silver here (and pink and silver on our cover) and made 4 blends, for a range of 6 colors. Brush the thinned glue onto the top of the bell, "feathering" it at the bottom of the glued area so you don't have a straight line; this will allow for a more gradual transition between colors. Use a spoon to sprinkle the glued area with glitter, starting with a shade at one end of your color range. Gently shake off excess. Continue applying glue and glitter in sections (no drying time is required), applying the final color in your range to the bottom of the bell. Let dry, about 1 hour.
To add a jingle-bell clapper to the bell: Use 200-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface of a 1 3/8-size metal jingle bell (this will help the glitter adhere). Thread a length of wire through the hanging loop at the top of the jingle bell, and hold the wire while you brush the bell with the thinned glue; then spoon glitter over it. Gently shake off excess, and suspend the bell to dry, about 1 hour. Remove from wire.
To hang the clapper, cut 1/4-inch-wide metallic ribbon a few inches longer than twice the height of your ombre bell. Fold the ribbon in half at its midpoint; slip the folded end through the hanger on the jingle bell, and slip the loose ends through the loop formed by the folded end. Pull the ribbon snug. Tie the loose ends to the hanger on the inside of the ombre bell so the clapper hangs about an inch higher than the bottom of the bell and the knot is hidden inside.
To hang the bell, we used a 2-inch-wide metallic ribbon: Fold the ribbon in half at its midpoint, slip the folded end through the hanger on the bell, and slip the loose ends through the loop formed by the folded end. Pull the ribbon snug. Hang as desired.