Time for another decorative ball tutorial to suit the season! Fall is in full swing here in central Alberta, and the leaves have been looking great! The only problem is that it’s always over too quickly.
Enter the convenience and permanence of faux leaves! While natural is almost always preferable, real leaves do have their shortcomings. For one thing, they decay and fall apart. I love that attribute for my garden (compost!), but not in my house.
For this craft, you will need:
• Faux leaves in your choice of colours and types
• Styrofoam balls in your choice of size(s)
• Glue Gun & Hot glue sticks
I bought some glittery maple leaf bushes at (where else?) Michaels and removed the leaves from their branches. The size of styrofoam ball that I used for the ones in the picture above was 3″. I also made some 4″ ones. It is important to choose styrofoam balls the same size as you want the finished balls to be in this case, since the faux leaves are very thin, and won’t really affect the final dimensions.
Step 1: See that brown plastic stem with its leaf veins? You want to pull that off of all your leaves. Do it while your glue gun heats up. They come off pretty easily, and when they are off, the faux leaves become much more flexible! This is important, because you want to glue them smoothly onto round objects.
Step 2: Start gluing the leaves on! Unlike with the decorative floral balls, you will only need about a dozen leaves to cover your styrofoam balls, depending on the size of the balls and the leaves. Just work your way around the ball, covering all of the white. They come together pretty quickly!
Ta-da! A finished fall leaf ball. And even though I only bought one “bush” of each colour, I have extra leaves leftover!
These are the 4″ balls, and as you can see, I used some faux oak leaves for them (in addition to some glittery yellow maple leaves), just to change things up. My favourite fall leaves are maple and oak. You should use your favourites!
A finished oak leaf ball. Notice the glue lines showing through? That’s because the faux oak leaves were thinner than the maple leaves. Lesson learned: don’t cheap out! You want to buy sturdy, good-quality faux leaves. Even though I bought all of my leaves at Michaels, they do sell cheaper and more expensive faux florals. The more expensive ones are pretty much always more realistic and higher quality. I would have bought better oak leaves, but Michaels either didn’t make any last year, or they were already sold out when I went shopping, because I ALWAYS wait for them to go on sale.
This is how I displayed my fall balls last year: on my coffee table, in my favourite bamboo platter, with some other fall-ish balls already in my collection. The burnt orange runner is made from an IKEA curtain panel that I found in the “As Is” section years ago. It needs a lining so that the sun doesn’t shine through it, which I’ll get around to some year. . .
And this is how I displayed the fall balls this year! On my computer desk/bookcase, in a glass lantern intended for candles. See how versatile decorative balls are? I just love ’em!
I also made the acorn ball that you can see in both photos. That one was a little more time-consuming (and a lot more glue!), but SO worth it, and so perfect for fall!
How do you decorate for fall?