101 Days of Christmas: Hand-Painted Glass or Ceramic Gifts

The following post is from Janel of Life with Lucie and Ella.:

Hand painting plain glass or ceramic dishes is a great way to make an inexpensive holiday gift! It’s not difficult to find a glass or ceramic item that you can add your own special touch to. This season, the dollar section at Target has been stocked with stemless wine glasses and drinking glasses for just $1 each. Try Walmart or your “dollar store” for other options like mugs, bowls, or plates.

For this glass painting craft, I used Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel paint. It is suitable for glass, tile, and ceramic items and is both oven-safe and dishwasher safe. Delta sells an inexpensive set that includes six small pots of paint along with the surface conditioner and clear glaze that you need for this project.


  • glass or ceramic items to be painted (wineglasses, mugs, bowls, plates, etc)
  • tracing template for your design (if desired)
  • tape
  • detail painting brushes
  • Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel Surface Conditioner
  • Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel Paint
  • Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel Clear Glaze


Protect your work surface with a plastic tablecloth or newspapers. Wash your glass items with soapy water, and dry thoroughly.

Print your tracing template (if you’re making your own) and tape it to the glass item. Note: Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel is not designed for use on surfaces for direct food contact. So, you need to make sure that the area you paint will not come in contact with your food or beverages. Depending on what you are painting, you may have to adjust your tracing template accordingly:

Regular Tracing Template: If your design is viewed from the outside of the glass piece (like on a drinking glass or wine glass), you can print your stencil normally and tape it to the inside of your glass. You will be tracing the template onto the outside of the glass where it won’t have contact with beverages.

Reverse Tracing Template: If your design is viewed from above (like on a bowl or a plate), you may need to reverse your stencil so that it will look right after it has been painted on the outside of the glass item. This is particularly important if your template contains letters otherwise they will appear backwards on your finished piece! To do this, you will need to print a REVERSE or MIRROR IMAGE of your template.

  • Refer to your printer’s manual to see how to do this on your printer.
  • Or, you may be able to design your image/wording in your computer program. For this “You are special!” wording, I used Microsoft Publisher to create a “word art” image that I then flipped horizontally (Arrange –> Rotate or Flip –> Flip Horizontally). Print your reverse template, tape the words in the proper order to the inside of the piece since you’ll be painting on the outside.

Brush the PermEnamel Surface Conditioner on the area to be decorated with a clean, dry brush. Let it dry completely. This will help your paint adhere better to the glass, so don’t wipe it off!

Paint your glass or ceramic item with whatever design you choose. Use your tracing template as a guide if needed. Do NOT thin the paint with water. If you need to clean your brush to change colors, wash the brush and then and then blot to remove excess water before using it again. Allow to dry for one hour.

Apply a topcoat of the PermEnamel Clear Glaze with a clean, dry brush. Allow to dry for one hour. Apply a second coat, and allow to dry.

Allow your painted pieces to dry for 10 days before washing! If you are giving them as a gift and it hasn’t yet been 10 days, be sure to include a note to the gift recipient so they know when they can wash the pieces safely without damaging the design.

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Join us as we celebrate 101 Days of Christmas with new DIY projects, gift ideas, traditions and more every day from now through Christmas!

Janel is a stay-at-home mom of two and law school wife. Raised in a budget-conscious and do-it-yourself minded family, she loves seeing something in a store or magazine and making her own version at home for less money. Janel blogs about motherhood, crafts and recipes at Life with Lucie and Ella.