glitter ornaments handmade with clear plastic bulbs

(You can download a free PDF file of this tutorial…just click HERE)

 UPDATES:

  1. I tried these with plastic bulbs, and they look great! Read about it HERE.
  2. The Pledge product I used in this project is now called: Pledge floor care multi-surface finish. One of our lovely readers contacted Pledge and found out that this is the same exact product…she didn’t leave her name, but I sincerely thank her for clearing this up for us!

I’ve had lots of people asking me how I made my glitter birthstone ornaments, so I thought doing a tutorial would be a good idea. This would also be a GREAT project to do with kids, for an awesome handmade Christmas gift idea, because they are so quick and easy.

And the best part? The glitter is inside the glass ball, so you can admire them all you want without becoming sparkly head to toe yourself.

Unless you want to be sparkly head to toe, and in that case, I can’t help you. At least not in this blog post.

You will need:

  • clear glass ornaments (Joann’s and Michael’s carry them during the Christmas season, or you can get them online right HERE).
  • glitter (this is my favorite glitter).
  • okay, are you ready for this one? floor wax. (sounds weird, yes, but this is the amazing secret ingredient.)

First, make sure you start with a clean ornament. I use rubbing alcohol to clean them, and I explain how and why in a previous blog post I wrote about how to make these glass Easter ornaments.

Now, about the floor cleaner…I read about this idea more than a year ago when I was reading a crafting forum somewhere, and I completely dismissed it. I had visions of bald-headed men and toxic looking yellow Lysol-like stuff, and decided that whoever had had this idea must have been a little cuckoo. Then one day I was shopping in the cleaning products section of the black hole of doom, oops I mean Walmart, and I saw this:

pledge floor cleaner glitter ornaments

I immediately realized that this was exactly what that person must have been talking about, so I decided to try it out…and I am so glad I did, because it works a-MAAAzing.

(ps. The look of the bottle has changed… you can see what it looks like now, right HERE.)

So pour a little bit into the ornament, and swirl it around. I don’t shake it, because then it gets kind of bubbly.

swirl floor cleaner around inside glass ornament

Then pour the excess back into the bottle. This stuff is a little bit expensive, but it goes a long way. In fact, this bottle is the only bottle I’ve bought…and look how little I’ve used. I might even use it to clean my floors one day.

pour excess floor cleaner back in bottle

Now pour in your glitter and swirl it around the same way as you did with the floor cleaner. You could shake it, but for some unexplainable reason, I don’t like to…I like to swirl it all nice and evenly around the glass. (I guess I’m weird.)

swirl glitter around inside glass ornament

And voila!

i love elvis

oops, sorry. You wanted to see the ornament…

glitter glass ornament

Let it dry for a little while before putting the cap back on…I always take the little wire out of the cap, and put the cap on first (put a little glue around the inside of the cap for security):

clear glass ornament lid

and then stick the wire back in…this will keep it from scratching off the glitter on the way in.

put cap back on glass ornament

All done!

But wait!

Look at what a few little scrapbook stickers and some rhinestones can do…

how to make glitter ornaments

There are endless ways you could dress these up…any other ideas?

(P.S. You can download a free PDF file of this tutorial…just click HERE)

UPDATES:

  1. I tried these with plastic bulbs, and they look great! Read about it HERE.
  2. The Pledge product I used in this project is now called: Pledge floor care multi-surface finish. One of our lovely readers contacted Pledge and found out that this is the same exact product…she didn’t leave her name, but I sincerely thank her for clearing this up for us!

458 Comments

  1. Hannah Kost on August 31, 2011 at 6:09 am

    I love this! I actually have a bottle of that stuff just waiting to be crafted. :) Thank you. This is a much more frugal way than I’ve found.

    • ornamentgirl on August 31, 2011 at 6:14 am

      Awesome! It’s really frugal AND smells way less offensive than the acrylic sealer I used to use to make these. :D

      • Terri L. Scott on January 24, 2012 at 3:17 am

        Does it have a lasting smell? Thanks!

        • ornamentgirl on July 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm

          No, the smell is not icky at all, but the smell that it does have doesn’t last. Just make sure to let it fully dry before putting the cap back on the ornament.

  2. Britt Alouani on August 31, 2011 at 6:26 am

    Okay so now I have another one that I can start making. So excited.

    • ornamentgirl on August 31, 2011 at 6:43 am

      :D

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  3. Anne Marie on August 31, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Wow this is amazing – can’t wait to try it!

  4. Peggy on September 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

    No one makes ornaments like you do. but I’m going to try these! Thanks for posting!!!

    • ornamentgirl on September 6, 2011 at 12:20 am

      Thank you, Peggy! And have fun making these! :D

  5. Barbara on September 14, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Just made one while @ lunch in the employee break room. So easy but would suggest a funnel to return extra glitter to original bottle. I made a mess and wasted some one the floor. I used a plastic ornament with red tinsel glitter in mine. Purchased the floor cleaner from the dollar store and it worked great! Can’t wait to do more!
    Thanks so much for the post.

    • ornamentgirl on September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am

      Awesome! Using tinsel glitter sounds like a great idea. And yes, a funnel would definitely be handy…thanks for the suggestion! :)

  6. Anonymous on September 20, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Tried making these and they came out rather see through. :(

    Any suggestions?

    • ornamentgirl on September 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      hmmm…what kind of glitter did you use? I have found that a super fine glitter works best at filling in all the space…I absolutely love the Martha Stewart glitter for these…

      • Anonymous on September 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm

        It was fine glitter, but perhaps it was because it was a light color? I was going for an homage to Glinda from the Wizard of Oz, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so transparent. I used a dark green glitter with GlitterIt! and that worked fine, even in a plastic (shatterproof, which is handy sometimes) ornament. It didn’t smell awful either, which was nice.

  7. Barbara on September 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Update! My glitter came off! Not sure why. I used plastic ornament and dollar store Mop & Shine brand floor cleaner so I thought plastic or cleaner maybe the problem. A co-worker used glass, fine glitter and pledge floor cleaner and her glitter fell off also. Any thoughts?
    Thanks

    • ornamentgirl on September 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      hmm…I definitely think it was the plastic which was the problem for yours… but I can’t understand why it would have come off for your co-worker as well if she used glass. Did she clean the inside of the ornament with alcohol first? They are always a little dusty inside (sometimes they look really clean, but they aren’t), and if it wasn’t cleaned and then completely dry before using the pledge, that would cause the pledge to not fully cover the glass, and subsequently not adhere the glitter properly..

      • ornamentgirl on September 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm

        Also, be sure there are no air bubbles before adding the glitter (that’s why I swirl the cleaner around the ornament rather than shaking it).

  8. katie on October 3, 2011 at 10:49 am

    These are gorgeous! I saw something similar at Michael’s just today, but they were plastic and when indented (with kids in the house, the plastic ones get pushed in sometimes…), the glitter fell off inside! I was amused at their attempt, and I knew to buy glass. Do you think it’s possible to use really, really watered down modge podge (i.e. Elmer’s glue and lots of water). Or does the floor cleaner provide something that just wouldn’t?

    • ornamentgirl on October 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      The plastic ornaments getting indented and causing the glitter to fall off is something I hadn’t even thought of…thanks for sharing!

      I do think you could use probably use watered down mod podge…I have used the sparkle mod podge before inside a glass ornament, and then painted the inside with acrylic paints…so I don’t really see any reason why it wouldn’t work with glitter, too…I have just found that using the floor cleaner for these ornaments in particular is super quick and easy, and it dries so perfectly clear and shiny (I think it must be because it is acrylic based).

      • Katie on October 7, 2011 at 1:29 am

        Update! First of all, THANK YOU! for this tutorial. This is the coolest, most un-crafty craft I’ve ever done. (By un-crafty, I mean, it looks like I paid a boatload at a fancy-schmancy holiday store, but when people ask I can say, “teehee, nope, made them myself!” and relish in their awe. THANK YOU, craft goddess.). I can’t wait to retire the dingy old shiny ornaments, they’re so boring!

        I picked up some floor cleaner, but not the clear kind you show, they had yellow. I didn’t think it mattered, but it did. And dyed my glitter yellow. So I have one ornament that looks like glitter pee. :) Probably my fault for trying it with white glitter. It also clumped at the bottom of the ball, but I’m guessing I didn’t drain it enough?

        Round two, I used watered down modge podge, and they turned out perfectly, almost as perfect as the one in your photo (I even used the same color Martha Stewart glitter. Oh, I love that woman!).

        So thank you again for this gorgeous tutorial! I’m pinning the hell out of this as we speak!

  9. Jessica on October 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I was just loooking at these ornaments on your site a couple days ago, and now found the DIY! I might let Jinae make some of these as gifts for Christmas! Thanks for the how-to, and hopefully you and the kids will be up to visit sometime soon!

    • ornamentgirl on October 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

      I hope Jinae likes making them…they are super easy and fun…they’d make good gifts for her to give out too. :D

      We will actually be up there over Thanksgiving…I will be away with my sister for most of that time, but maybe we could get together somehow…it’s been FOREVER since we’ve seen you all!

      • Jessica on October 21, 2011 at 2:20 am

        PLEASE let us know if you have any free time! I know the entire family misses all of you! :(

  10. Amy on October 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I just got your ornament pattern. I loved reading about your process. Mine is much more elaborate. Going to take a page out of your book! Your ornaments are beautiful. I just read about making glitter ornaments. We used to make these years ago in Boy Scouts. I don’t remember them being that pretty! Great craft idea for kids. Thanks a bunch. Amy

    • ornamentgirl on November 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks so much for the compliment Amy, and you’re welcome :D

  11. Jill on November 7, 2011 at 5:42 am

    These are AWESOME!!
    So plastic ornaments don’t work for this technique? That’s all I could find at Michael’s….I don’t want to waste the time or money if I really need to use glass.
    Thanks for your help!

    • ornamentgirl on November 7, 2011 at 5:46 am

      You know, I honestly am not sure…I haven’t tried it with plastic. A few people have said it didn’t work well when they tried…I think the next time I am at Michael’s, I am going to pick up a few plastic ones and give it a shot, just to see, and I’ll post here how they turn out. :D

      • Jill on November 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

        Well apparently I am a spaz and I did actually buy glass! Wa-hoo! :) I couldn’t find the pledge with future shine but I did buy a pledge floor cleaner…hoping it works! Thanks for responding!

        • ornamentgirl on November 11, 2011 at 11:31 am

          Have fun and good luck with it! (If you haven’t tried WalMart…that’s where I was able to find the pledge) :)

          • Terri L. Scott on January 24, 2012 at 3:25 am

            Amazon.com also has it—and free shipping over $25 (easy for me usually)!

  12. Amy on November 14, 2011 at 5:15 am

    Trying to make your glitter ornaments and they are not coating all the way on the inside. Maybe because I am not using your exact floor care product. I am using Pledge Floor Care tile & vinyl floor finish (with Future shine). That’s all I could find at our Walmart. The glitter is sticking but when I held the ornament up to the light, you can see where the glitter doesn’t stick (not big holes or anything, pretty evenly). Do yours come out like that? Thanks, and they are still just gorgeous and will look great on the tree.

  13. Amy @ Marvelous Mommy on November 28, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Love these! Thanks for the tutorial!!

    • ornamentgirl on December 1, 2011 at 1:48 am

      You’re welcome! Glad you liked it! :D

  14. Random Mom on November 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    I’m hosting a girls-nigh-in this weekend and we’re making these. I made one at Michael’s last summer and they used a pungent glue. I’d love to try it with the floor cleaner and/or watered-down Mod Podge. Thanks!

  15. Random Mom on November 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    *night

  16. Lynda on December 3, 2011 at 9:30 am

    These are beautiful – I ran to Price choper and found only the orange and lemon liquids, and no pledge except wipes and spray. Is it Price chopper , and I should go to another grocer? I have my balls and glitter and alcohol, and am disappointed. I could use these tomorroow for my office party. Any ideas, and thanks so much.

  17. Lynda on December 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Hmmm – Online at walmart I found the following; has anyone used these. Once I open it, I won’t be able to return it.(even buying 2 bottles at 4.47 makes it more expensive that mod podge.
    and a spray bottle in yellow, that I could use to pour. Who knew there was so many Pledge options. multi surface pledge floor cleaner in a dark blue plastic bottle; flor clearner in a yellow plastic bottle, and dilutable floor cleaner that looks orange.

    • ornamentgirl on December 4, 2011 at 3:34 am

      It is a little expensive, but a little goes a VERY long way. I have made a bunch of these, and I am still on the first bottle. There are a lot of different floor shines…I had the very same problem too, but you definitely want to go for the clear bottle with the blue label, that says “with future shine”…it is acrylic based and dries clear.

      A few people have said that they’ve tried watered down Mod Podge too though…I am sure that would work too….I would imagine that you would just need to make sure you fully drain it from the ornament before adding your glitter, as it will be a little thicker than the floor cleaner.

      Hope this helps a little!

  18. Laura on December 13, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Thank you so much for the EASY tutorial for these ornaments! I just made mine and they look awesome! Can’t wait to give them as gifts!

  19. Diana on December 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I love this idea! I am not a very crafty person but have started looking for simple projects like this to get me comfortable with creating things. A group of girlfriends & I want to exchange ornaments as gifts this yearand I really want to make something. These look as gorgeous (if not more) than some I could purchase but I want to make sure the glitter will not fall off. Any fool-proof suggestions to keep in mind when I make them? Also, for the snowflakes, is there a particular kind I should look for to make sure they adhere?

    • ornamentgirl on December 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      Hi Diana! I haven’t had any problems with the glitter falling off…I even had a couple of them stored up in my attic all year (I live in Florida, and it gets to be about a zillion degrees up there in the summer), and the glitter still looks great. The Pledge works like a glue and a clear coat all in one…it’s awesome.

      I do add a little glue to the stickers even when I use self-adhesive ones…just to make sure they last. I recommend Beacon’s 3-in-1 Craft Glue (http://www.beaconadhesives.com/cgthree.html). You can find it at Joann’s, and it works great and dries clear.

      Have fun making them!

      • Diana on December 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

        Thank you for responding to my post! I really appreciate it. I made these ornaments today & they came out beautifully! My girlfriends loved them! If I knew how to share photos of them with you, I would. This is the first real craft project I have made & it has given me confidence in myself to attempt all the other projects that I have wanted to try. Thank you again!

        • ornamentgirl on December 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

          That is fantastic, Diana! Watch out, you may become addicted to crafting! :D

          Merry Christmas!

  20. Kim on December 22, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Hello! I just purchased some pledge floor wax, it says something about vinyl floors on the bottle and does say with future shine. I’m wondering if they’ve changed the bottle because I looked in four different stores, and that’s all I could find. Hoping it works! Also, where do you find Martha Stewart glitter?

    Thanks!

    • ornamentgirl on December 22, 2011 at 7:39 am

      Hi Kim! I haven’t looked for it in awhile, so they definitely could have changed the bottle…I would think as long as it is clear, you should be fine!

      And, the Martha Stewart Glitter is available at Michaels. :)

      • Candice on July 2, 2012 at 3:51 am

        @ Kim, I’m having the same problem! I can’t find that bottle anywhere! But they did have one that said vinyl and tile….is that the one you used? And did it work well? please let me know! I’m so eager to start! thank you!

        • ornamentgirl on July 2, 2012 at 11:25 pm

          Candice…I totally forgot that I’d already promised to see if the bottle changed all the way back in December. I should be going to Walmart either today or tomorrow…I’ll check it out and post a photo of the right bottle. (The old bottle that I have does say “Safe for tile, vinyl, and stone floors”…just make sure that the one you get says it has the “Future Shine”…that is the acrylic finish you need.)

  21. Adry on December 26, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Hi! I made ornaments using extra fine glitter and some of the glitter still falls off. But I found that spraying hairspray directly into the ornament helps the glitter stay in place. So this is a quick fix if anyone is having the same problem.

    • ornamentgirl on December 27, 2011 at 1:47 am

      That’s a great idea, thanks! :)

  22. Melinda on January 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    My daughter and I did these over Christmas, we printed out vinyl letters on the cricut in a different color and added small dots in the vinyl too..We also made a bow out of ribbon that complimented the glitter/initial colors, and hot glued the ribbon onto the metal top..They came out adorable, and really no mess at all, we had a tiny funnel to put the glitter through and then put the access back into the glitter bottle with the funnel. These turned out to be a big hit, we even deal some with football team colors for some of our family/friends, with their initial, they loved them! Hope to do some more next year..

    • ornamentgirl on January 10, 2012 at 8:14 am

      That’s awesome, Melinda! And what a great idea to do them in football team colors!

  23. Paula on January 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I’m looking forward to experimenting with this idea with the future floor polish I have left over from a polymer clay project –
    AND – kudos for your great taste in being an Elvis fan!

    • ornamentgirl on January 18, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Thanks Paula! Have fun making the ornaments…they are a lot of fun. :D

  24. Angela Ballard on January 25, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Love love love it & actually i did wan to see elvis love the hearts LOL

  25. Terri on February 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I’m excited about trying these! I haven’t gotten to Michaels yet to do my glitter shopping, but I’m wondering, how do you decide what color glitter to use for the birthstones? I mean, March, Sept., & December are all blue shades, and June can be, too, if you go with alexandrite…or the alexandrite can be a purple shade…or do you go with pearl for June? What color glitter do you use for pearl? And what color do you use for April’s ‘diamond’? I can’t tell from pictures, as you use a pic of multiple ornies for each of the colors…
    Also, you sell one called “blue topaz birthstone” but that isn’t listed on your birthstone list, so which month is that?
    Sorry about so many questions…am I just over-thinking this?!!! (Maybe Martha has glitter for each birthstone?)
    Thanks so much!

    • ornamentgirl on June 21, 2012 at 2:17 am

      Terri, I actually had kind of a hard time with this when I first decided to make these! For the June, I went with the pearl, since there were already so many blue birthstones. I used Martha Stewart glitter in Crystal…I did find it to be the most difficult color to use because it’s so light, and didn’t seem to cover as well as the other colors, but it still comes out okay. It just looks a little more transparent than the others. Then for April, I used Martha Stewart Sterling.

      The Martha Stewart glitter has a shade of glitter called Aquamarine, but it is actually a little too green in my opinion, for the March birthstone, so I used the Turquoise glitter instead, and that was perfect. For September, I used M.S. Sapphire glitter, and then for December, I used M.S. Blue Sapphire.

      Oh, and the Blue Topaz ornament I sell is for December…. I have seen it called both Blue Topaz and Blue Zircon. :)

      Hope this helps!

  26. Paula on June 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Hi, love the ornaments what color glitter do you use for april i tried crystal color nit so pretty would you use silver for diamond color??
    thanks
    Paula

    • ornamentgirl on June 21, 2012 at 2:05 am

      Paula, that is exactly what I did… used the silver. The Martha Steward silver glitter comes out beautifully.

  27. Bethany on June 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I have been looking for this method for a while now and your picture step by step is amazing! Thank you so much! I just have two questions: Does the glitter stay on for years, and does the chemical smell last?

    • ornamentgirl on June 21, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Bethany, so far it seems that the glitter is staying on pretty well…I have some that are a couple of years old now. But I suppose it would also depend on where they are stored…I would imagine that extreme hot or cold (like in the attic) would probably not be the best idea. However, so far, mine are holding up pretty good!

      And the Pledge actually doesn’t have a very strong chemical smell, but the smell that it does have was gone within days. :)

  28. Candice on July 1, 2012 at 3:05 am

    LOVE THIS IDEA!!
    I’ve gone to two Walmarts and none of them have the Pledge in the with the Blue label! Is there anything else I can use? They do have two other pledge floor finishes with blue caps …can those work?

    • ornamentgirl on July 2, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Hmmm…I wonder if they’ve changed the packaging…

      As long as it is the clear floor finish with “future shine”, I think it would be the same one. The future shine is some kind of acrylic coating, which is what is making this stuff work so great for these ornaments.

      I will see if I can find the right one if they’ve changed the packaging, and I’ll take a picture and post it here. :)

  29. Dan Ornaments on July 27, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Wow that looks so simple! I can’t wait to give it a try this christmas! You are so full of amazing ideas, thank you!

    Dan Ornaments
    http://www.ornamentsandmore.com/familiesandlargegroups.aspx

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  32. Tammy on September 18, 2012 at 2:46 am

    I have made these many times but always used spray adhesive on the inside of the ornaments. It works great on plastic and glass but unfortunately stinks until it dries and it dries fairly quick so you have to work fast! You have to spray enough adhesive inside to swirl all over the inside of the ornament and pour out the excess, which can get kinda messy. But the end result is the same as these, just a little more work!!

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  36. Carol Malone on November 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I have been making these for several years but I found “Glitter It” made for glittering clear glass bulbs. I buy it at Hobby Lobby and I’m sure other craft stores have it as well. They are gorgeous on any tree and I hang them in windows and from the ceiling. They make wonderful Christmas gifts!

  37. Robin on November 8, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Can you apply stickers to these? If so, what is the best way to place them on. Thanks!

  38. Kelly on November 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Hello…I was just wondering if you could suggest using something other than floor cleaner. I would like to do this at my sons Christmas party but I think that they would frown upon the kids using floor cleaner…any sugestions would be great, thanks kelly

  39. becky on November 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Havnt tried it with the pledge yet. My husband had a glue and water mixture made up in a spray bottle of all things it seemed to work well need to check again

  40. Andee on November 22, 2012 at 7:05 am

    This almost sounds like the project that I’m looking for – but the specific one was with Martha Stewart and you stamped a piece of thin tissue with an xmas stamp and put it into the clear glass ornament before you added the glitter. Do you know the specifics for making this particular ornament?

  41. Carole on November 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I didn’t like the idea of the floor cleaner (and it’s not a product that I buy and have on hand), so I tried this technique using a satin varnish that I use for some of my art work. It works beautifully!

    • ornamentgirl on December 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

      Awesome, Carole! Thanks for sharing. :)

  42. anna on November 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

    After I put in the floor cleaner, and pour excess out…do I have to let it dry just a little bit, or just drip it all out and pour in the glitter?

    • ornamentgirl on December 9, 2012 at 6:21 am

      As long as you pour as much as the excess out as possible, you can put the glitter right in. You don’t want to let it dry, or the glitter won’t stick and coat as well.

  43. JennaM4 on November 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    I use cheap White Rain hairspray instead of floor polish. It is much cheaper. You can get it at the Dollar Store. They come out beautiful. Fine glitter is an absolute must. The bigger glitter does not work well.

  44. Janie on November 26, 2012 at 3:04 am

    can you do the same with plastic decorations?

  45. Lola on November 29, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Love your idea of using bling on the outside. And I love seeing that little shot of the KING!

    Creative Hugs,
    Lola

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  47. Tricia on November 30, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I’m following your directions to a T floor cleaner, I cleaned the ornaments with rubbing alcohol & there are spots where the glitter just isn’t sticking as thick as some other places. Any solution??

  48. Dawn on December 2, 2012 at 6:26 am

    This is NOT floor cleaner. This is a floor FINISH, read ‘polish’ to make your floor shine.
    After you clean the floor, you apply this product to protect the finish and make it shine.

    • ornamentgirl on December 9, 2012 at 6:22 am

      That must be why it works so well for this craft. Thanks for the input!

  49. Connie Ryan on December 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Can you use plastic bulbs instead of glass ones?

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