In this post you’ll learn how to make your own gorgeous glass glitter – for free! Don’t toss out those glass ornaments that hit the floor and save them to recycle!
You know that awful feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when you drop a favorite vintage Christmas ornament…or two, or three? I seem to do this myself every single year and drop my favorite vintage Christmas ornaments when taking them out of storage to hang on the tree.
A vintage Christmas box full of ornaments with beautiful patina is so desirable to use when decorating for the holiday season! I’ve discovered that in those OOPS moments, there can be a way to recycle the old Shiny Brites glass Christmas ornaments and create something new!
Kaboom…it’s inevitable that they fall to the ground! I try to be so careful with mine when putting out for display and putting them away for the next year, but it happens. I’m going to share a tutorial with you today on how to make glitter! I really think you will enjoy this, and something that I’ve been doing for years now.
If you save up the broken bulbs you can create the best handmade glitter! I stumbled up this technique when I started saving my own broken Shiny Brites knowing that someday I would find a use and it just made sense! Time gives a beautiful patina of age to vintage Christmas bulbs that the new Christmas balls just do not have and the glitter sparkles beautifully.
The vintage bulbs are paper thin (hence – fragile) and this glitter technique will give you sparkles that are similar to the authentic vintage glass glitter that crafters love. Vintage Christmas balls are generally silver coated inside, and when they break you’ll see the extra shine.
How To Make Your Own Glitter
My daughter was kind enough to help me here, and she pulled off the reusable tops from the broken ornaments. Be sure to save those and BE CAREFUL when working with broken glass. **You might want to wear garden gloves!**
I like to put all of the broken bulbs into a Ziploc freezer bag within a paper towel first. The shards are VERY SHARP, so the paper toweling will help them from poking through the bag as you learn how to make glitter. Proceed doing this technique with caution to avoid cuts to your fingers! I know…I can’t stress that enough!
Take a rolling pin and roll it over the bag several times back and forth. This will crush the glass into bits. You can also use a hammer or a rubber mallet but I prefer this method. No rolling pin? No problem. Use a glass turned on its side. Open and check until it’s sufficiently crushed and if not then keep rolling.
Here is how it will look. It’s not super fine, but it has so much sparkle!
The glitter can be applied to anything in your Christmas arsenal. Above I’ve used a clear ball and brushed some craft glue on in spots and then sprinkled on with a small spoon. I would not suggest using your hands, as it’s sharp.
The glitter can be used to fill some clear glass balls with a small spoon by pulling the top off to sprinkle.
Both methods are shown here.
Glue the glitter on to pinecones as well for a bit of glitz. You know how I love a spritz of glitz!
Add your newly made GLASS GLITTER to the outside of some ornaments. Or buy some NEW CLEAR GLASS CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS (or plastic) and fill the insides with your freshly made vintage glass glitter.
Pin this project below and save it for later!
If you enjoyed this post on how to make glitter, then you might enjoy this post on How To Paint Pine Cones (The Right Way!).
This post was written in 2014 and updated in 2020