Monday, December 17, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day 11: Sharpie drawings on Porcelain Bulbs

Last year I spotted some porcelain balls at the craft store and always regretted that I didn't pick up a few. (They were sold out the next time I went.) This year when I saw them I bought a couple right away! I intended to decorate them with the porcelain markers I bought for this Father's Day project, but decided to try out this sharpie technique instead.

The hardest part was figuring out what to draw. I decided to make one for Abe (inspired by one of his favorite Curious George books), and the other one I decorated with Christmas lights and some of the lyrics to White Christmas. It's so much fun to draw with Sharpies on smooth surfaces - once I got started it was hard to stop!

You'll need:

porcelain ornaments
regular Sharpie markers, any color (not paint or other specialty Sharpies!)
rubbing alcohol

1. Draw on a porcelain ball  or other ornament (they had lots of flat shapes at the craft store) with plain old Sharpies in any color. Be careful when handling your ornament as the ink may smudge before it's dry.

You can use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or Q-tip to erase marks as needed. Just be careful if you're not erasing your entire design. If there's too much alcohol on the cotton ball it can drip or run and ruin your design!

2. Put ornaments in a cold oven, then bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

3. Once the time is up, turn the oven off and leave them inside until cool. Once baked, the drawings should be permanent. I tried rubbing and scratching my drawings and it didn't hurt them at all.

I've seen this done with dishes a million times in black and white, so it was fun experimenting with colors. My only disappointment was that the colors weren't as vibrant after baking as they were before I put them in the oven. Anyone else have a similar experience with colored Sharpies? Tried the Sharpie on porcelain technique on dishes or other objects? Did it work for you?

Don't forget, you can find lots of other holiday ornament ideas and inspiration right here.


  1. Holy cow. Did you draw that Curious George free hand? That's amazing. I'm sure I wouldn't even be able to trace George to make it look so nice.

    1. Yeah, I was looking at the book cover but just drew it by hand. He's not perfect but I figured as long as Abe can figure out who it is I'm good. ;-)

  2. I did something very similar:

    I used the white frosted bulbs and drew a Tardis (I only had blue and black sharpies and it was an experiment).

    I was looking at the instructions for drawing on ceramics, and it said 450 for 30 minutes. I originally had them in the oven at 400, and then bumped it up to 450 and left them in a bit longer than I probably should have. I also started with a hot oven as I did it after pulling the ribs we were having for dinner out.

    The results? The whole bulb had turned gold, and the blue had turned a darker gold. The result was beautiful, but totally NOT what I was expecting at all!

    I'm going to try again today to see if I can repeat the results. :)

  3. where can we find on internet porcelain bulbs ?

  4. When mine came out of the oven, I touched them up and put them back in for 1/2 the time and it worked.