Glass Float Ornaments

Glass Float Ornaments
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Glass floats are beautiful blown glass buoys used traditionally by Asian fisherman to float their fishing nets.  They have found their way out of the sea and into our homes and into a hot decorating trend! Read about Glass Float Decorating to see how to use floats. This year I’m having a Coastal Christmas theme in my home and wanted to incorporate glass floats by making Glass Float Ornaments out of simple clear glass ones you find at a craft store.

Glass Float Ornaments

The floats are made with just a few items and are oh so easy! You can make any color you choose but traditionally floats are in shades of blues and greens.

Glass Float Ornaments

How to Make Glass Float Ornaments

You only need a few items to make the ornaments:

  • Clear glass ornaments
  • Blue and green food coloring (I used paste in Sky Blue & Leaf Green)
  • white glue or Mod Podge
  • Decorative fish netting (available at craft stores)
  • Sisal twine
  • cups, a small funnel, and a cupcake pan

In a small bowl combine a few tablespoons of glue or Mod Podge, food coloring and a few drops of water. Experiment with the color combinations. The darker your mixed color, the darker your glass float ornament will be.

Mix food coloring into glue

Next, remove the ornament top and place on a cup. Using a small funnel, pour the glue into the ornament. The glass ornaments I had bought ten years ago!! Seriously, they’ve been sitting in a bag in the attic. So they look a little dusty inside in these pictures. I’m telling myself it will give character and a vintage look to the ornaments!

Pour colored glue into glass ornament

Swirl the ornament around so the glue will coat the inside completely. Be patient, this takes some time. See that dark blue spot? You do NOT want that, it will not disappear, I discovered later. If that does happen, insert a chop stick and stir the color blob until it dissolves.

swirl glue in ornament

Once the ornament is completely coated, rest it upside down on a cup to drain.

Drain colored glue into cup

I caught my youngest trying to get a “taste” of the beautiful colored balls! When I asked what he was doing, he said, “But mom, they look da-wish-is (delicious), like snow cones!” He loves snow cones, and I have to admit they do look good! No worries, he didn’t take a bite!!!

making colored glass float ornaments

Pull out an old cupcake pan. This is one I use for crafts. Set all the ornament upside down on the pan and place in a 200 degree oven. Keep then in the oven until they are dry and translucent. This process can take anywhere from half and hour to over an hour depending on how much glue you had inside your ornaments. Glue will drain out of your ornaments into the pan. It washes out easily afterwards. I turned my ornaments upward, half way through the drying process. If you have a ton of streaking, keep it in the oven longer. There is the possibility that some streaking may remain. Each glass float ornament is different.

Place glass floats on cupcake pan to bake

Remove them from the oven and allow to cool. Look at that gorgeous translucent color! Isn’t it beautiful? You have the start of a glass float! Now you need a little netting. Cut enough netting to cover the glass float. Pull it up and around the float, and start weaving a piece of twine in and out the the netting and then tie a knot.

Wrap Glass Float Ornament with Fish net

Once your knot is tied, trim off all excess netting. You now have a beautiful glass float ornament!

Tie Net Around Glass Float Ornament

Pair the glass float ornaments with starfish, mercury glass ornaments, and natural elements for a stunning Coastal Christmas Tree!

Glass Float Ornaments and starfish

You have a little sneak peak of my Coastal Christmas Tree. The entire tree will be shown soon, I’m still working on a few final touches, so stay tuned! If you like Coastal decorating, then take a look at my simple Coastal Holiday Wreath  or Capiz Shell Christmas Tree tutorials.


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  1. So cute! Very creative.

  2. I have to say – I LOVE these! What a creative way to make glass float ornaments. Which I love. Thank you for sharing such a detailed how to do. I am going to give this a try.

  3. These are so creative! I love how they turned out. I would have never thought of doing this!

  4. How awesome and beautiful! Quite an elaborate project, but so worth it.

  5. Absolutely LOVE them! You’re brilliant! What a fantastic idea girl! Very inspired!

  6. Thank you! Y’all are making my day! Maya- really they only took a few hours and most of that time was waiting for them to come out of the oven, other than that… easy-peasy! I’m so addicted… I’m making a dozen more!!

  7. Darling ornaments (and cute model “licking” one) Love the netting over it too- very “coastal”

    Visiting from TT&J tonight,
    Smiles, and happy holidays from Chilly NW Illinois

  8. OMG I love these!!

  9. What a creative idea! I love them.

  10. Absolutely inspired, Kim! I haven’t done a glass ornament project in years, but I may have to try this one. 🙂
    Visiting from TTJ ~ Merry Christmas!

  11. Absolutely inspired, Kim! I haven’t done a glass ornament project in years, but I may have to try this one. 🙂
    Visiting from TTJ ~ Merry Christmas!

  12. I would love for you to stop by and link up your ornaments to my 25 Days of Christmas Ornaments linky party.

  13. GENIUS!! Wow am I impressed!! I love how they go perfectly with your starfish & can’t WAIT to see the rest of your tree! Sooo you 🙂

  14. Oh my goodness! I love this idea! we have a beach house, so I definitely will be trying this — shared a link to your post on my Facebook page 🙂

  15. I love these Kim! So clever!
    I tried making some blue glass ornaments using mod podge and food coloring, but the drying process has been very slow.
    Yours, however, are totally awesome!

  16. Kim:

    I love your handmade glass float ornaments and your blog. They are so cute. Nothing is better than handmade ornaments hanging on a tree!

    I am one of your new followers and hope you will follow me…I have a giveaway right now on a burlap handbag. Hope you stop over and enter if you wish!

    Have a wonderful week!

  17. I love these and they look so great. I have bookmarked this page as I want to try it. I love how you put all the steps in to make them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I just bought one of these at kohls that I promptly broke. I will now make my own. Thanks for the instructions!

  19. Gorgeous! Love them!

  20. This project rocks! I just wanted to let you know that I featured it this week on “You Sew Rock Me Fridays” on my blog Here’s the link if you want to check it out:

  21. These are AWESOME! I bet Mod Podge would work too. Yay!

  22. Wow! Thank you so much for posting this!!! I live on the Chesapeake bay, and do a lot of bay/hunting lodge theme decorating (my husband’s a hunter)….but never thought of this. Funny thing is that I also have about two boxes of clear glass ornaments that I bought several years ago because I thought it would be really cool to fill them with something. They’re in my basement and have never been used because I never thought of anything unique enough that would go with my house. I was considering putting a little sand in them, but that could get really heavy. Love this, and plan to do it for next Christmas. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  23. Wow, I’m glad I found you’re blog tonight. This very same idea was in my head to post on my own blog. The credit ! I’m just getting started, but stop by sometime. Carla at Costal Connection

  24. I made a few of these and the colors came out great. I had a bit of a hard time with the netting fitting around the glass…..any hints on a neater finish….mine looke a little sloppy.

  25. Mine came out with a glob on one side. I’m wondering if I need to use more glue and coat it better. It seemed kind of thin. Any tips.
    I used elmers glue.

    • I’d recommend using Mod Podge if you are having problems with the glue. Swirl and coat the insides really well and be sure to drain. Excess glue will cause the blob. Rotate them half way through the baking process also, that might help. Best of luck and thanks for trying them out! 😉

  26. I used mog podge and icing color and the came out great after a few tries. The first few had streaks, so i just rinsed them out and started over.

    • Almost all of mine have a bit of streaking but the netting seems to disguise it some. The longer you bake them does help reduce streakiness. I sometimes rotate them a bit in the oven also (use a hot pad!!) Each batch turns out different too.

  27. Would sparkle mod podge make it a glittery finish? Or maybe a 2nd coat sans the baking (just air dry), with glitter mod podge? I’m thinking a pearlized color would be sooo pretty.

  28. Kim, love them!!!! Where did you get the netting?

  29. I love these. I am going to use the same idea to make a string of lights for decorating my beach themed camper! /thanks for great instructions.

  30. Sarah Garrity says:

    I love the way it dries transparent and makes it look like the sea glass I collect.

  31. Love these! I featured them on my blog! 🙂

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  35. Theresa says:

    So cute!! I wouldn’t have imagined they were done using a food coloring paste. I thought it would have been done with glass paint. Love the effect.

  36. Thank you so much for this idea…………….I am doing a beach theme Christmas tree this year with beach glass as the highlight. These ornaments will set the theme along with the shells I have. Plan to try wire wrapping beach glass too……….:)

  37. The glue did not stick to the inside of my ornaments..i used elmers white glue, food coloring and a little water?


  1. […] straight pins, hot glue, shells and coastal embellishments. I even show you how to make your own glass floats if you don’t want to buy them! The wreath is fun way to add a touch of coastal to your home […]

  2. […] Glass Float Ornaments […]

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  4. […] finish. If you are wanted a translucent finish I recommend you try the method I used for tinting my Glass Float Ornaments, just be sure to use Mod […]