How To Make Gorgeous Glass Glitter (For Free!)

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!

how to make your own glass glitter

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!

how to make your own glass glitter

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.

vintage shiny brites blush pink

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!

diy how to make glitter

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.

how to make glitter with glass Christmas balls

The glitter can be used to fill some clear glass balls with a small spoon by pulling the top off to sprinkle.

how to make glitter different ways

Both methods are shown here.

glittering a pine cone

Glue the glitter on to pinecones as well for a bit of glitz. You know how I love a spritz of glitz!

how to make glitter out of vintage shiny brites

 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.

how to make glitter

Pin this project below and save it for later!

How To Make Gorgeous Glass Glitter (For Free!) Pinterest shabbyfufu

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

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  1. Oh Janet, how gorgeous!… thank you so much for sharing this… I save all of my broken vintage ornaments as I just cannot bear to throw them out… I have them all in a bag in my Christmas closet… can't wait to try these!… when I was decorating my vintage pink tree the other day with my pink ornaments from the 40's I dropped one and I could not believe it… it actually bounced on my hardwood floor and up and I was able to catch it about three inches above the ground… considering how very fragile they were back then, it still amazes me… others I have not been as lucky with, now I have something pretty to use them for!… much love, xoxo… Julie Marie

  2. Pretty Janet! Love this idea thank you for sharing! Last week my post in my dining room came crashing down on my small silver tree.If I saw this post then I could have save them…oh well I am sure I will manage to break a few more before the end of the season 😉

  3. Wow how pretty those are. Such a great idea as we have dropped ornaments every year:) Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!
    ~Debra xxx
    Capers of the vintage vixens

  4. what a great idea…but you know…they actually look very lovely–broken in a dish like that just as they are!

  5. WOW, gorgeous idea and to think that I just threw one away 🙁

  6. What a fantastic idea! Much better than having to throw it away, that would be heartbreaking. I stepped on a glass icicle this year and also one last year while I was decorating the tree but thankfully, they were not vintage!

  7. Michaela Staňková says:

    Loooove this idea Janet,looks fabulous !!!!!!! xx Vicky

  8. Barbara DeLisle says:

    this is so wonderful-thanks so much for sharing

  9. Nancy Olliver says:

    Great idea! Now I am asking myself why i ever threw away all my old broken ones, especially being the queen of broken to beautiful. They will all stay tucked away from now on! Much Love! Nancy

  10. Could you use broken light bulbs as well? Not as pretty I realize. I'd think anything adorned with this broken glass would need to be labeled "Danger!".

  11. Beautiful glitter and such a clever idea. ….But heartbreak about the vintage ornaments. ~~ Susie from Chelsea Project

  12. Wow! I can’t wait to try this with my ornaments! Thank your for all crafty ideas!
    Sending good vibes~Liz

    1. It’s fun to do for sure Liz!

      1. You’re a genius! Now I have one more thing to save from the trash and make something pretty.

        1. Awww, thank you Donna! I enjoy sharing creative ideas and am so glad that you liked this one!

  13. I love the idea of putting it in a clear ornament ball. Like a snow globe without the water and snow. Hmmm….. Thanks Janet !