One of the joys of the Christmas season is decorating your home with seasonal adornments that reflect the beauty and wonder of this time of year. For many, a big part of the fun of decorating is making homemade ornaments and trimmings like holiday-themed ball topiaries. Christmas ball topiaries might appear complicated to make, but with simple craft items and some imagination, you can create holiday topiary decorations that are quite stunning and that make wonderful decorations or gifts.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- One 4-inch plastic foam ball, or one 3-inch ball plus one 4-inch ball
- 10-inch wooden dowel, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
- Dark green, white, and red craft paint (suitable for plastic foam)
- Decorative planter or container
- Florists' foam block
- Decorations (such as candy in wrappers, greenery, Christmas picks)
- Straight pins
- Lace or grosgrain ribbon
Decide whether you want a topiary made with one large ball, or with two balls---a larger one on the bottom and a smaller one on top.
If you are making a topiary with two plastic foam balls, use a dowel that is 1/2-inch thick. Push the dowel through the centre of a 4-inch ball, leaving some of the dowel at the bottom and some poking out of the top. Push a 3-inch ball onto the top of the dowel. If you are making a topiary with one ball, push a 1-inch dowel halfway into a 4-inch plastic foam ball.
Paint the plastic foam balls and dowel red or green, depending on the kind of decorations you'll use on the topiary. Allow to dry thoroughly.
Paint your planter or container if desired. The Make Stuff website suggests painting the container white, and then add red stripes for a candy cane effect, along with such details as holly leaves and berries. Consider any design that is reminiscent of Christmas (for example, snowflakes, snowmen, angels, candy or Christmas trees). Allow the pot to dry.
Cut the florist foam slightly larger than the perimeter of your container and fit it snugly inside. Cutting the foam a bit bigger than you think it needs to be ensures that it fits securely enough to give stability to the topiary.
Push the dowel into the florists' foam block in the pot. Make sure you push it in deep enough so that the topiary is stable.
Decorate each plastic foam ball by sticking straight pins through the end of candy wrappers and pushing the pins into the ball. With greenery and picks, push the stem or pick end into the ball. If you like, cut short pieces of ribbon and gather them slightly to create a bow or fan effect and attach them to the ball.
Tie a large ribbon bow around the dowel at the bottom of the lowest ball.
Cover the florist's foam block in the pot with candy, ribbon or greenery and picks, using the same technique as for decorating the balls.
Tips and warnings
- When choosing colours to paint the balls, consider what types of decorations you will be using. If you plan to use candy, either red or green will look nice. If you will use mostly greenery and picks, you may find that green looks better.
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