DIY christmas ball ornaments {from the letter 4}

by @according2kelly on September 17, 2011

for the entire month of september will be baking, sewing & crafting up a storm, preparing handmade gifts for this holiday season…

welcome to our holiday-inspired “bake, craft & sew along.” we will be baking, sewing & crafting up a storm, preparing handmade gifts for this holiday season all month long. yep! yep! 31 days of projects. so dust off your sewing machine, & head on over to skip to my lou for some fabulous sewing projects. a southern fairytale is spotlighting lots of edible yummies & holiday-inspired recipes you definitely don’t want to miss. & to check out ALL of our crafty & creative projects go HERE.

today, our featured blogger is the very lovely jade, of the letter 4. jade writes…

Hi I’m Jade over at The Letter 4! We are so excited we get to be a part of this craft along and have been so inspired by the projects that have already been shared! Our blog is made of 4 crazy sisters all with a passion to create.
Sometimes, I just sit and look at my little girls and become overwhelmed at the thought, “Wow, they are growing up TOO fast and I’m am not going to remember all this!”  Will I remember how my girly 3 year old loves princesses, yet she would watch the movieThe Nightmare Before Christmas all day if I let her,  and she dances around the house screaming singing, “AND SINCE I AM DEAD, I CAN TAKE OFF MY HEAD!!!”  Haha.  It seems so vile, but I can’t explain it…it is so cute.  I am madly in love with that little ball of fire.  Oh, and then there is my too-sweet-for-words, 19 month old.  I have to remember how it is to hear her talk and learn new words every day.  And how it just melts me when she grabs her stuffed Pooh Bear, or when she sees the Heffalump movie and says, “Mama !  Poo Poo!” or “Mama!  Lump!”  These things are the extra special things in my life that make being a parent the absolute best job in the universe!  Really, in no other job can you have this kind of totally random and completely spontaneous enjoyment out of one person! So, in my searching for a craft to make for a Christmas gift, my two beautiful girls have inspired me once again.  I am going to show you how to make a Christmas Memory Ball.  OR…these are so versatile, that they can be made for so many different things.  (A list of ideas will be at the end of the post.)
Round up your supplies.  First, you’ll cover the ball in paper, then decorate it, so your supplies will depend on how you want to decorate your own ball.
You’ll for sure need:
Christmas ball ornaments
Scrapbooking paper (thinner works best)
Mod podge and 1″ thick brush
Patience and practice (trying this on a practice ball with just a sheet of white computer paper would be a good idea as not to waste your scrapbooking paper)
You might need:
old books
more mod podge 😉
1)  Take the tops off your ornaments.
2)  Measure your ball.  Cut a paper that is the same height as the ball and wide enough to go all the way around the ball and overlap 1/8″.   Paint a thin strip of mod podge down the center of the paper.
3)  Roll your ball up in the paper.  Make sure it is pointing straight.
4)  Overlap the edges and hold for a few minutes.
The top should be center pointing out of the paper.
5)  After its dry, cut 1/8″ strips on the top and bottom of the ball.  If you cut smaller than 1/8″ strips, it is going to be very hard to handle and the strips start getting tangled.  And if you cut them any bigger, it will not lay as smooth.  Also, use small scissors, and cut down as far as you possibly can.
It then should look like so.
6)  These next few steps are KEY to getting a smooth ball.  So this is where you are going to pull out your practice and patience.  SPREAD THE STRIPS OUT LIKE THIS.  THEY NEED TO BE OUT OF THE WAY COMPLETELY.
7)  Work with ONLY ONE STRIP AT A TIME.  Don’t try getting fancy and doing two or three.  You will only get frustrated.  Here’s where we get messy.  Dip your finger in the mod podge and paint a strip up the ball at the seam of the paper.
8)  Start with the bottom flap of paper and tug gently at the base, closest to the ball so there is no bubble, then smooth the strip up the ball with you finger that is dipped in mod modge.
9)  Repeat with all strips, dipping your finger as needed.  The center can get kind of bulky so you can trim the paper slightly as you go, just be sure to not cut too much off or your ball with show through.
It should now look like this.
10)  Now do the top strips being sure to start at the seam.
When you are done, there may be some papers that are longer than the top of the ball.
11)  Just cut those off level and put the topper back on the ball carefully.
Let the ball dry completely, and then go back and put a coat of mod podge all over it or at least in the middle where it didn’t get covered so the whole ball has the same finish.  If you try to paint it all when its still wet, you are going to have a slippery hard time.  🙂
And from here, you are going to be as creative as you can be.  The sky is the limit with this, and that’s why I love it.  *There are countless ideas that people could come up with on how to decorate your ornaments, and here are some that I used:
*Cut words out of a book to give character to the year.  (I got some books at the used book store for $1.00)
*Cut shapes in your paper to let the color of the bulb shine through.  (I used a cricut machine to cut a shape first, then measure your paper around the shape so its center.)
*Add some glittery letters, or even top with a light layer of glitter before the mod podge dries.
*Use two different papers and create a beautiful two-sided ball, or print out a picture or a printable and mod podge it to the front.
*Write the names and years, and hang fun things from the bottom such as bells, pictures, and beads. (I used a bead spacer, beading string, and hot glue to attach trinkets to the bottom)
*Cut words from books to write a love quote on the back of a newly wed or an anniversary ball.
*Personalize with words that describe the person.  Use paper with a favorite character.
Create something unique taken from something you love.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  Then it will be around this Christmas as a reminder to all that it really is a wonderful life!  🙂
Do more with your ornament gift:
– Make it your “Thank You” note
– Give them as an invitation to a Christmas ball or party
– Make them as place setting gifts
– Set several in a vase or for a center decor piece
– Simply hang on your tree fresh new themed tree
– Hang mistletoe from the bottom and put “kiss me” on the ball
– Give them to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s with a loving message
– A newly wed/anniversary ball, or a “will you marry me” with rings hanging from the bottom
– Hot glue balls together to make a wreath, candy-cane, or tree. (see our egg wreath) coming soon!
– Make a “mini themed tree”  (see our tree) coming soon!

“Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.”  -Raising Happiness
for more great ideas be sure to visit jade & her sisters julianna, jamie, and janae at their blog the letter 4. & be sure to connect with them on twitter & facebook.

about the letter 4: We are 4 sisters from a small town in Idaho that grew up like normal sisters. Stealing each others clothes, hogging the bathroom, bickering over this and that. One thing always did bring us together though. Our mom always had something crafty up her sleeve that we would all enjoy. Now we all live in different parts of the country, and to be honest…we miss it! So we started The Letter 4 blog as a way to share and do projects together. But why stop there? We might as well share all of them with you too! We all have different talents, different tastes, so in our blog there is going to be something for everybody! Julianna is the writer and reader of the bunch, Jade is the recipe guru, Jamie is the printables gal, and Janae is the talented photographer.


baking, crafting & sewing along at home? don’t forget to play show & tell… upload your photos to our flickr group HERE. follow along with all of our featured bakers, crafters & sewers on twitter HERE, & tweet about the holiday-inspired “bake, craft & sew along” using the hashtag #handmadeholiday.


Love this idea!  Thanks!  

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