My very first blog post! Yay!
I am going to start off with a simple tutorial on how to make decorative floral balls. I LOVE decorative balls. Something about their spherical shape is such a pleasing contrast to the mostly straight lines in my home, and they are so versatile! You can put them in a vase, in a bowl, on a plate; you can hang them from a light fixture, a curtain rod, a decorative branch; you can find different ones to suit the seasons (like I do); and if you make your own, they can be exactly the size, colour, and texture that you want.
I made these to compliment my spring decor in a seasonally appropriate flower: cherry blossoms! I could go on and on about how much I love cherry blossoms, but I’ll get straight to the tutorial.
You will need:
• a glue gun and a bunch of glue sticks
• styrofoam balls in the sizes of your choosing (That’s a 5″ one in the photo below)
• faux florals in the colour/size/shape/type of your choosing
Most (if not all) faux florals are sold in bushes or on stems. I bought five bushes of cherry blossoms at my favourite craft store, Michaels. I figured that I would need two bushes to cover my 5″ ball, using only the double-flowered blooms (the ones with more than one layer of petals), so I bought more to be on the safe side. Plus if I had extras, I could always put them in a vase or something. Since I like to do things more cheaply whenever possible, I waited until spring bushes were on sale for 50% off to purchase mine. That’s some serious savings when buying multiple branches! Michaels has those sorts of sales all the time, so it really is worth it to wait.
I also bought my styrofoam balls at Michaels. They are quite cheap already, but if you want to save even more money, use one of their handy 40% off coupons that they almost always have!
Step 1: As you can see, you will need to first pluck all of the flowers off of their branches. They come off quite easily in most cases. You can plug your glue gun in to heat up while you do this.
Step 2: Start gluing those blossoms on! I found it best to apply the glue to the faux flowers one at a time and then stick them into the foam ball. The heat of the glue melts the styrofoam slightly, allowing for a good, strong bond. You want to pack the flowers quite closely together so that none of the foam is showing.
Ta-da! A finished floral ball. This 5″ one took me just over 1 hour to complete. In the end, I had to use four bushes! That’s twice what I thought I’d need, so it just goes to show you: ALWAYS buy extra. You can return supplies that you don’t end up using, but if you don’t buy enough the first time, the store just might sell out. Plus it’s so frustrating to have to stop in the middle of a craft just because you ran out of stuff, right?
I also made a 4″ and a 3″ ball from the same cherry blossoms. The 3″ one took hardly any time at all, but the 4-incher sure turned out to be quite the headache. I had the bright idea of using the single blossoms for that one (waste not, want not, right?), but due to their smaller size, I had to go out and buy FIVE MORE bushes in order to cover the thing! They were still on sale, but it was an end of the season clearance sale at that point, and I had to go to two different Michaels stores to get enough. Furthermore, I’m not as happy with the appearance of the single blooms. What a bummer! Learn from my mistakes, people! Tiny flowers are NOT recommended.
Another tip: if you are doing this craft with a group of friends for a craft night, use larger flowers or you’ll only finish one ball each. Odd numbers are most appealing in decor, so you really want to make at least three. Besides, decor mavens are always saying, “Go Big or Go Home!”
Flower size also has an impact on the size of the finished ball. In addition to these cherry blossom ones, I have made hydrangea floral balls. A 3″ styrofoam ball with hydrangeas ends up the same size as my 4″ styrofoam ball with cherry blossoms (and only requires two stems of faux hydrangeas).
Here are my finished floral balls, displayed with other decorative balls that I already had. The total cost of my three cherry blossom balls was comparable to what you’d pay for a ready-made product in a store, so this wasn’t really a cheap DIY, but I did get exactly what I wanted! As for the other balls on the dish: the rattan balls are from IKEA years ago, the white balls were a clearance find at Superstore (I think $2 for an entire box of them), I made the moss balls, and I found the beautiful ceramic balls with the butterflies at Benjamin Moore a couple years ago. They weren’t cheap, but I just had to have them, which is why there are only two. I added some blue butterfly clips, arranged the whole thing on a bamboo platter (HULTET from IKEA), and. . .
Voila! A simple spring arrangement for my coffee table.
What do you put on your coffee table in the spring?
(I do not receive any compensation from Michaels for endorsing them, nor do I get special pricing on anything I buy there)