Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Balls

Thank you so much for the sweet and wonderful comments in regards to my home tour and garland. As I later looked through my photos, I realized how horrible the lighting was in most of them. I am so not good with a camera! Thanks so for bearing with me! I've really enjoyed taking a peek into so many of your homes as your share photos of your decor, trees, and gift ideas.

Speaking of gift ideas, I want to share with you a gift idea I did last year for my sisters. Money was extremely tight for us last year and for the most part, I made my gifts. I had fallen in love with those glass, clear ball ornaments from the craft store and after buying a BUNCH (I still have unopened boxes) I got to work. Last year, one ornament I did was a John Deer theme for my sister and brother-in-law who is a farmer. I made green and yellow coils and on the bottom of the ball, I glued a skinny ribbon that dangeled a tractor charm. It was so cute and I wish I had a pic to share! Just use your imagination. :)

Well, like I said, I still had a number of unopened ornaments boxes this year. So again, I got to work. You may have seen a glimpse of some here. Well, here are the balls I made this year. I loved them so much I ended up keeping them all. Here they are!

This one is hanging on an ornament display hook thing next to my tv. To make the paper coils, choose double sided paper. Cut into strips roughly a half inch thick - about 5 inches long. (Roughly) Tightly wind it around something very skinny. I used one of those cheapy paint brushes. The thinner the item that you wind the paper around, the better. You want these to be tight coils. When I'm done winding the coil, I remove it from the paintbrush and then pull on it and stretch it out and then wind it tighter around itself. I know that makes probably no sense, but the key is to make tight coils. Stuff your different paper coils into the ball making sure to layer and seperate the different papers. Finish off with a ribbon. This one says "And the stockings were hung".

For most of the balls (that do not include coils) I like to add some clear glitter for some sparkel. The finer the glitter, the better. They really twinkle when they are on the tree! The trick here is to add just a touch of glitter, shake it around the ball to coat, and then add a bit more until you are satisfied that the ball is nicely coated. You must remember that if you add a lot of glitter, it has nowhere to go but into a small heap on the bottom of the ball. Not too cute. I had these paper tags (they are double-sided) from last year. I punched a small hole, added the ribbon and lightly curled the tag around a pencil. Lightly. Then slid it into the ball. Gingerly unfold the tag and press into place with the pencil. This can be so tedious! Embelished with a snowflake rub on.

This ball is my favorite. Nothing special about it but I adore the tan and white polka dot paper and the ribbon. They are my favorite. I've used that polka dot paper and ribbon all over my house - including to line the shelves of my linen closet.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, this ball is my least favorite. I like the papers but added some Martha glitter in a bronzey brown and those crinkely papers. If it was just the coils, I would like it but I went overboard. Less should have been more.

I had this fuzzy, iradescent string in this small bag in my craft room. I have no idea where it came from or what it was supposed to be used for so I put it in some ornament balls! I actually made two like this. Added the clear glitter, fuzzed and pulled about the string and added a snowflake rub one. These really sparkel on the tree!

And lastly, this pink and champagne colored number. The champagne colored paper are what our wedding invites were printed on. (Maybe I'll show those someday. I made them myself.) So this brings me to my final tip on making those coils - don't use cardstock. It is way to hard to get a nice coil and it's pretty tough to wind it around your skinny stick. Speaking of, a bamboo skewer would be good for coiling. I added some pink papers and a big pink C rubon.


The Browns said...

I love those ornaments!!! I had the ones you made me last year sitting out to hang. Maddie actually thought one of them was a ball and took it and broke the glass. I saved all the coiled paper so I could restuff a new ball.

Great ideas! Keep them coming.

Jennifer said...

Ok - these ornaments are genius!!!!!!! I absolutely love them - you should do a Christmas giveaway so I can enter 50 times and win one! (o:

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Those ornaments turned out so cute! And I am absolutely in LOVE with the trees with the ribbon curls!!! I want one. Can you do a mini tutorial? PLEASE!

Jessica said...

I love those!! I bought some clear ornaments and painted some but was unsure of what to do with the rest! Well now I know thanks to you! :)

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Such cute ornaments! I love the little ribbons inside them!

Sondra Behne' said...

Hello Mandi...found you from another blogger and so enjoyed all you photos and postings. So glad to meet you...I'll be back again

Holly said...

I like the ornaments! and your garlands are so pretty!
The fist year we were married, I made some similar clear ornaments, one with fabric and lace from my veil, one with dried roses from my bouquet (and a bunch of others).

Genevieve said...

Well you are just jam packed with crafty brilliance, aren't you? ;)

Thanks again honey for everything...
lurrve u!

Cherry's Jubilee said...

I love those! I have been wanting to try it myself. Yours are beautiful. cherry

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I love your decorations~absolutely adorable!
I hope you'll visit soon, I will have my last giveaway of December this Friday.

Anonymous said...

SUPER CUTE! Will you come decorate my house now? LOL

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

I love your Christmas balls. Very cute!

daniella said...

I'll have to keep these in mind for next year. Neat idea!

suprina said...

Those ornament balls are just adorable. Have you ever heard of Quilling? They make a quilling tool that is designed to roll up papers. It is very easy to do and goes SUPER fast. You can make the rolls as tight or as loose as you want.

My husband works at Hobby Lobby. I wonder if they have any of the ornament balls left. I just might have to check and see.

Awesome blog by the way.


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