Make Your Own Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments with Acrylics

Make Your Own Faux Mercury Glass Ornaments with Acrylics

I wanted a few mercury glass ornaments for my entry way this year and decided to re-visit a tutorial I posted last December. I like this method because it only requires acrylic paints, which most of us already have.
Last year I found these shiny bright trees at the dollar store and gave them a little faux mercury glass makeover {tutorial found here}. I really liked the fact that the base was already mirrored which reminded me most of the mercury glass. I thought I would try using the same technique with silver glass ornaments and was pretty please with the finished look.

Materials Needed:
Silver Glass Ornaments
Americana Lamp Ebony Black {DA067-3}
DecoArt Shimmering Silver Stencil Paint {SP525}
Kitchen Sponge with Scrubbie Side
Multi Purpose Craft Brush
Begin by applying the silver acrylic paint. I used stencil paint because I like the thick creamy consistency. DecoArt also makes a regular shimmering silver metallic that would work as well. Dip the soft side of the sponge into the paint, dab the excess off onto a paper towel, and lightly sponge onto the ornament in a random pattern.
You want to cover a majority of the ornament, however leave a few spots open so the ‘mirror’ will show through.

Mix a little of the black and silver acrylic together and stipple on the ornament with the tip of a brush; again in a random pattern as your would see on actual mercury glass.

While the paint is still wet, use a clean area of the soft side sponge and dab over the stippled areas.

Once the ornament is dry, use the scrubbie side of the sponge and gently rub over the surface scratching away a little of the acrylics so the ‘mirrored’ silver shines through.

Using the mixed combination of the black and silver acrylics replicates the perfect mottled effect found in the original.

The dullness of the dried silver acrylic over the ‘mirrored’ glass also creates an effect much like the actual mercury glass appears.

I’m pretty pleased to be adding these to my collection.

Plus, the fact I recycled some old ornaments and had the supplies on hand, I was albe to create these with just a little of my time.

Here are some fun facts about the ever so popular ‘Mercury Glass’ from Wikipedia and Martha Stewart, I thought I’d share:

  • Also known as ‘silvered glass’, Mercury glass contains neither mercury or silver.
  • It is actually glass that was blown double walled, then silvered between the layers with a liquid silvering solution, and sealed.
  • “Mercury” silvered glass was produced originally from around 1840 until at least 1930 in Bohemia and was not produced in the US until around 1852 – 1880.
  • Mercury glass provided an inexpensive alternative to real silver that only the wealthy could afford – It is also known as the ‘poor man’s silver’.
  • ‘Real’ mercury glass pieces in perfect condition may cost between $80 to $100; painted pieces can sell for $200 or more; colored, engraved, cut, and labeled pieces can be more than $1,000.
It’s rather ironic that the ‘poor man’s silver’ is one of today’s hottest trends…and we’re finding ways to re-create it for next to nothing =)
I’ve recently featured a few other bloggers re-creating these fabulous glass pieces; Check out Emily, Suesan, Anna, andBirgit’s tutorials, each using different methods to create their own take on faux mercury glass.
Happy Friday Everyone ~ Enjoy!


  1. I was so gonna try my hand at this and now you have showed me how. I was going to do clear balls and do the paint treatment inside. Your way is easier. I was thinking of doing a tree with a mixutre of silver and golden mercury balls. I guess I could do the same thing to a gold ball. You are so good at what you do.

  2. Oh these are so pretty! Super easy to : ) I did a ornament post today, tis the season!!


  3. Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been reading a lot of them lately to find out the best way, and I think yours will work best with the ornaments I have (vintage find from the Salvation Army). Also, thanks for the facts on mercury glass!

  4. What a fantastic idea. It looks like the real deal!

  5. Thank you SO much for this tutorial!! I would love to try this. I have a question for you. If I wanted to try this for a different project using more the golds/bronze instead of silver what colors of paint would I choose in the Decor Art line (or whatever you thing.) Thank you!

  6. Great tutorial, love the look. Hugs, Marty

  7. Thank you for this! I love all the information you include! I know this is a project I will be doing soon!


  8. Hay, Stephanie! Thanks for the shout out. I love your ornaments and was just thinking about how to do some this season.

  9. I’ve been on the lookout to see if you could make faux mercury glass. This is such a great idea! I have some old silver ornaments… gonna give it a go!

    Thanks for the tute!

    Happy Holidays! xx

  10. They look great – I have been wanting to give the “faux mercury” a shot and with your tutorial I feel confident now!

    Have a great weekend,

  11. WOW, those are soooo pretty Ÿ Thanks for the tut.

  12. Stephanie,
    These are beautiful. Thank you for the tutorial. I have seen others but you finished product really looks like the real thing.

  13. Those look great. I was just going to buy some pre-made ones at JoAnn Fabrics today, but I’ll try this first. Thanks for the tutorial.

  14. So pretty! I just can’t help but love all things mercury glass right now!

  15. Wow! Thanks for the shout out! We are on the same wave length Stephanie, I just posted my tutorial on FMA today and gave you a mini feature/shout out! 🙂

  16. Thank you so much! This is a great tutorial and achieves a wonderful effect!

  17. They are so very pretty!


  19. Great technique….thanks for posting the $100 savings code for the Silhouette on your blog. I just ordered mine!!!

  20. This is SO on my list of things to do! That’s for all the inspiration and “how to’s”!

  21. What a great idea… your ornaments are beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial.

  22. You’ve done a great job! Love the wreaths and the glassware!

  23. Thank you for the tutorial, Stephanie. I am going to try it on my too shiny ornaments! Happy holidays to you!

  24. Mercury glass is so hot right now! Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I would be honored to have you add it to my blog party

    Amaze Me Monday Blog Party

  25. So awesome! Thanks for the tutorial!!

  26. Thanks for a great tutorial – I love these!

  27. I…..LOVE it!!! Totally stealing the craft for my house! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  28. Wow – your ornaments turned out beautifully and look like the real thing! I appreciated your facts about mercury glass as well!

  29. Very pretty, Stephanie Lynn. I’ve seen a lot of techniques this year, yours looks easy.

  30. Really great post with both how-to-do and trivia. This one’s a keeper.

  31. I have been trying to get the mercury affect but never thought of mixing a little black with the silver. Without this step, the ornaments look cheap but this really makes the ornament look elegant.

  32. These are absolutely gorgeous and how kind of you to share it!!
    Thanks so much!!
    Love them!
    Im your newest follower!

    Deborah 🙂

  33. I am so excited that you put this on your blog. I have been trying to figure out how to make my own inexpensive mercury glass ornaments. Thanks.


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