How to Recycle Old Ornaments with Napkins

Recycle old ornaments that you don't love anymore! Give them a fresh new look by decoupaging them with napkins and adding gold glitter to the tops!
This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Every year as I start decorating for Christmas, I assess what I have and what I can get rid of. This year, a bunch of white ornament balls that had seen better days were on the to go pile, when I remembered something.

I remembered the blue and white napkins that I had used to make some cheap dollar store pumpkins look high end. I had plenty of napkins left and decided to recycle those old ornament balls and turn them into blue and white toile-like ornaments for the Christmas tree in our bedroom.

This project was a great way to spend $0 and get brand new ornaments with just a little time! If you're a crafter, you'll no doubt have most of these supplies on hand already, as I did.

Tip - my favorite place to get napkins is HomeGoods

Let me show you how easy these DIY ornaments are to make and how easy it is to recycle your old ornaments into something fabulous that you'll love again!

How to Recycle Old Ornaments with Napkins

You'll need the following supplies:

  • old ornament balls
  • napkins (choose napkins with a simple pattern, florals are perfect!)
  • matte Mod Podge
  • craft brush
  • ornament hanger and somewhere to hang them while they dry, like a coat hanger
  • gold glass glitter (optional)

Important note

It's important to note that you want the color of your ornament to match the base color of the napkins you're using. The napkins are so thin and transparent that the color of the ornament will show through. So if you need to, give your ornaments a quick coat of spray paint (it doesn't have to be perfect).

My ornaments were already white, but had seen better days and were covered in scratches and marks. You're going to be amazed at how decoupaging them with blue and white napkins really transforms them!

Step One - Prepare napkins

  1. Cut your napkin into strips about 1-1/4" wide
  2. Paper napkins are usually 3-ply, that means 3 layers. Peel away the two layers because we won't need them (that second layer can be tricky, work at separating it from the napkin at one edge to peel it away).
Notes: you can prepare as many napkins as you want ahead of time; I did them as needed. I found that one beverage napkin produced enough strips to decoupage two ornament balls

Step Two - Decoupage napkins onto ornament balls

  1. Leave the top on your ornament ball because we'll need that to hold.
  2. Brush some Mod Podge onto the ornament right under the top and lay down a strip of napkin.
  3. Go over the napkin with a little bit of Mod Podge to help press down the creases.

Continue working your way around the ornament, adding Mod Podge and napkin pieces onto the ornament. Once the ornament is covered in napkin, go over it with a thin layer of Mod Podge to ensure everything is adhered. This also adds a layer of protection and seals the napkin.

Important Notes: 

  • don't worry about overlapping the napkin, it won't matter
  • you will get creases, just gently pat them down with the brush
  • tear the napkin strips as needed for small areas
  • this project can be sticky and it's easy to rip the napkin with sticky fingers, so have a wet wipe or napkin to periodically clean your fingers and try to touch the ornament as little as possible (hold it by the top)

Step Three - Hang to dry

Hang ornaments to dry somewhere they won't get bumped. I found hanging the ornaments with hooks from a clothes hanger worked well!

Step Four - Glitter the tops

This step is optional, but I found it really went a long way to adding a special look to these recycled decoupaged ornaments! I used this gold glass glitter I found at Michaels. It's nice and chunky.

  1. Hold the ornament by it's top and brush on a thick layer of Mod Podge to the entire top.
  2. Make sure you have something on your work surface to catch the extra glitter.
  3. Pour the glitter onto the glue, making sure to coat the entire top.
  4. Shake off excess glitter and hang ornaments up to dry again.

I decided to glitter the tops of the blue Sharpie ornaments I made a couple years ago for my French farmhouse blue and white tree. You can see the transformation below and how the gold glitter really adds some nice sparkle to these DIY ornament balls!

I strung all the ornaments together onto a hanger and set them aside to dry, which took less than an hour. Aren't they pretty?

Our bedroom has the most gorgeous blue toile curtains, and I set our flocked King of Christmas tree up in front of the window. I added these pretty recycled ornaments to the tree, along with some ribbon and kept it really simple. 

Be watching for the full reveal of our Christmas bedroom and soft romantic blue and white tree in the next few days! But here's a peek!

I love that I was able to save these ornaments and recycle them with just a little glue and pretty napkins! I hope you try this for any of your old ornament balls that you're tired of!

Pin to Save

I've got a whole host of Christmas crafts, DIYs and decorating ideas coming at you in the next few weeks! If you like my style, please be sure to follow along so you don't miss anything ❤

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


share this post