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Want to paint your own vintage ceramic Christmas tree with lights? Here’s how to paint a ceramic Christmas tree with acrylic paint.
Paint your own beautiful, one of a kind ceramic Christmas trees with light kits that can be passed down for generations to come.
My grandma on my mom’s side was the most talented and crafty person I have ever known. She was a nurse by trade but avid crafter in her spare time. She honestly could do any medium of craft. My favorite crafting talent she had was her ceramics. She poured her own ceramic molds, owned her own kiln and paints and made the most beautiful ceramic pieces for every holiday I have ever seen – and I’m not just saying that because she was my grandma. She honestly had such a talent for colors, blending, shading, and making pieces that would stand the test of time.
She was very sick my entire life and passed away when I was very young, by in my short 9 years with her, she was my favorite person and I wanted to be just like her. In fact, the day before we left for vacation one summer I got to be dropped off and spend the day with my grandma in the hospital. It was one of the most memorable days of my life. Although she was in bed hooked up to a bunch of machines, I had so much fun spending all day with her. This day I promised her I was going to grow up and be a nurse just like her. The next day we left for vacation to South Dakota from Illinois. after spending a few days there we decided to go on to Colorado – that night my mom called the hospital to check in on my grandma and we learned she passed away and had been taken back to Indiana for the funeral. We loaded back up in the car and left in the middle of the night to drive from Colorado to Indiana, stopping along the way to buy clothes for the funeral. It was such a moment in time that I will never forget. Although she died when I was very young, her memory lives on with many of the pieces of art she created. I love decorating my home with them to remember her. (p.s. I started college as a nursing major and then after seeing a floormate give himself an allergy shot I knew there was not a chance on earth I could be a nurse. So on my 19th birthday I learned about Recreational Therapy, declared it as my major and specialized in Alzheimer’s and dementia care … and gained lots of new grandmas!)
My grandma made a small lighted ceramic Christmas tree for me when I was really little and I put it out in my room every Christmas season. I always loved the glow of the pretty lights every night as I fell asleep. When I left home at 18 to go to college 2 states away I rarely was able to come home. And right after graduation I moved to Georgia because of my then fiancé’s job. All of my moving around has made it that I never got my ceramic tree from my parents. At one point my mom thought she gave it to my sister, but she doesn’t think she has it so we are pretty sure it is still in my parents attic. …which I’m planning on recovering as soon as we move up to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks!
But in the meantime, in the chance that we can’t find my ceramic tree, I wanted to create my very own that I can then pass on to my kids and grandkids. So I went to my friends local Paint Your Own Pottery studio called Patch’s Playhouse and did just that! I painted my own beautiful ceramic Christmas tree with light kit that I absolutely love!
How To Paint Your Own Ceramic Christmas Tree
Let’s Make Them Together!
1. With a no. 2 pencil, mark lightly on the bottom a line to help keep track of where you began painting.
2. Gather your supplies. Using various sized brushes will ensure you fill in all of the crevices and apply even coats.
3. When painting, don’t apply too thick of coats as it will take longer to dry. Also, if your paint is too thick/wet it can actually slightly breakdown the ceramic slightly. So just remember, less is more and reapply several coats AFTER the previous coat has fully dried. I did a total of 4.
I used a special glaze paint that comes out of the kiln shiny/glossy. The paint is actually red in color until it enters the kiln.
4. Use the bottom end of a thin paintbrush to clean out/remove) any build up of paint in the light holes.
5. Using an etching tool, mark your pieces with your name and date. ..but press hard! I learned that while the paint is drying, it actually fills in the writing etching some if it’s not deep enough. You can see my 2018 date isn’t as visible in some areas becasue I didn’t press hard enough.
6. Light bulbs – the kits came with a small 4 watt light bulb, however, I went to Wal-Mart and bought 40 watt LED light bulbs in daylight temperature so the plastic ornaments would really light up at all times of the day.
Once you are done painting, the piece needs to be put into the kiln (a furnace or oven for burning, baking, or drying, especially one for firing pottery). The ceramic pieces spend hours in the kiln as it reaches about 1800 degrees F and then cools back off. It typically takes a few days to get your painted ceramic piece back.
I had so much fun painting my tree in the super cheerful and festive art studio at Patch’s Playhouse that I brought my kiddos and parents in to paint their very own trees! I love that they got the opportunity to try out a new kind of art and have their very own keepsakes that they can enjoy for years to come!
I absolutely love their finished ceramic Christmas trees, don’t you?!? Now tell me, who of your is going to paint your own tree? Or who has one that has been passed down to you that you cherish!?! Leave a comment telling me!
About Patch’s Playhouse Art Studio
477 N Nc 16 Business Hwy
Denver, North Carolina 28037-6006