Turn ordinary clear glass ornaments into extraordinary and unique ornaments by filling them with colored rice.

Materials and Supplies

Craft Supplies:

  • Clear fill able ornaments; ball, gingerbread & candy cane shapes
  • Uncooked rice; I used Minute Rice
  • Washable kids paint, food coloring or acrylic paint *
  • Thin red ribbon; for candy cane & ball ornaments
  • Glitter glue in a squeeze bottle
  • Rubbing Alcohol

*Washable Kids Paint by Plaid, liquid food coloring and acrylic paint all work for coloring the rice.  I found Plaid's Washable Kids Paint to work the best as far as achieving even color.  The acrylic paints give the least consistent color.  I believe this is due to the fact that the acrylic paint is the thickest.  Unless you are trying for a specific effect, I would just use whatever you have on hand.  I will caution you that if you use food coloring it should be the liquid form.  The gel retains too much moisture and the paste food coloring gives a very inconsistent color.

Craft Instructions

General Instructions:

1) Wipe down the outside of each ornament with rubbing alcohol and let dry.

2) The ornaments I used take approximately 3/4 cup of rice to fill them.  To see how much rice each of your shapes takes to fill, you can fill them with white rice then once full, pour the rice out into a measuring cup.  Do this for each of your shapes.  This way you will know how much rice to color for each ornament.

3) Color the rice:

  • Measure out the amount of rice you need for each ornament and put it in either a disposable cup or disposable bowl.
  • Add food coloring or paint directly to the rice.  If using food coloring, I would start with 4 - 8 drops then add more if necessary.  If using paint, just add a little at a time until you get the desired color.
  • Stir the paint or food coloring into the rice with either a craft stick or plastic spoon.
  • Pour the rice out onto a disposable plate.  Spread out the rice and let it dry 1 - 2 hours until it is completely dry.  The dry time will vary depending on temperature and humidity.
color rice for Christmas ornaments with Washable Kids Paint by Plaid

Rice colored with Washable Kids Paints by Plaid

Color rice for Christmas ornaments with food coloring

Rice colored with food coloring

4) Using a funnel, fill your ornament with the colored rice.  Put the cap/hanger piece back on the ornament.  I found it helpful to put some hot glue or tacky glue around the top of the ornament before putting the cap back on.

5) Decorate the outside of each ornament with glitter glue.  I used the squeeze bottle type for outlining and drawing faces and I used my finger to spread the glitter glue when covering large areas.

Gingerbread Man

  • Color your rice brown or tan before filling the gingerbread shaped ornament
  • Use glitter glue in a squeeze bottle to outline the gingerbread person.  Also, use the glitter glue to draw a face and buttons.

Candy Cane

  • Color half of the rice for your candy cane red
  • Mix the red rice with an  equal amount of white rice and fill the candy cane ornament with the red/white mixture
  • Using gold glitter glue, outline the candy cane shape
  • Tie a red bow at the top of the candy cane as pictured

Ball Ornament

  • Color the rice in a color of your choice.  I made mine green.
  • Fill the ball ornament with the rice.
  • Cover the entire outside of the ornament with a layer of glitter glue. I found it easiest to use my finger to spread the glitter glue.  Let dry completely.
  • Tie a ribbon in a bow around the top of the ornament as pictured.

Printable Instructions

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