Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kissing Ball

I cannot claim the idea for the kissing ball. I saw it on Williams-Sonoma’s website but they were $50 so I thought surely I could make that! It turned out to be a very fun craft and looks fabulous! It would look great hanging on a porch or in an entry way. And you can personalize it to be more glittery or add beads or pinecones or eucalyptus too! According to the English tradition of the kissing ball, when a lady stands beneath it and receives a kiss, she removes a berry till there are no more berries, and no more kisses.

4” floral foam ball
Wire (I got the brown 22 gauge. They come in about foot long pieces near your floral ball.)
Lots of greenery (You can go for another nature run or just go to the floral department or nursery to pick up different pines. I would definitely recommend some holly and some greenery with pinecones if you can find it.)
Metal kitchen skewer or kabob stick.
Sharp scissors or pruning sheers

While you are prepping let your foam ball sit in water. Make a knot with your ribbon so that you have a loop that is as long as you want your ball to hang down. Fold a piece of wire in half and catch it in your knot so that the loop is tied to the fold in the wire.

Stick the wire straight through the ball. Fold them over on the other side into your ball. You should be able to hold your ribbon loop and your ball will hang securely below it.

Cut all your greenery into about 6” long pieces.  Use your skewer to make a hole in the foam (about an inch deep). Then stick a piece of greenery in! Yay aren’t you excited now!!!

Now you want to work systematically about this. I started by giving my ball a mohawk and then slowing make the mohawk wider. I put a branch in about every centimeter or half inch depending on the type of branch.
Mix up all your different kinds of greenery so that it has lots of dimension to it. The last little bit gets pretty difficult as you are trying to hold it, and not stab yourself too much! If looking great isn’t painless, then great looking kissing balls certainly aren’t an exception!

Once your kissing ball is completely filled in hang it up somewhere you can keep working on it. Take another piece of ribbon and cut the ends nicely. Fold it in half and then use a sewing pin to stick it in the bottom so it hangs out longer than your greenery. Now I left my kissing ball as it. However if you are after a more polished look then you want to start pruning so that the ends are more even. Just be careful pruning so that it doesn’t look like you hacked off the ends of all your branches.

I’ve heard this can last way over a month. I’m sure it lasts much longer outside. Be sure to take care of it and hang it in the shower and give it a water occasionally.

Jazz’n it up ideas:
Put some big silver bells at the bottom.
Twist a 6” piece of wire around the tip of a bead and then stick it in your ball.
Twist some little jingle bells on wire and stick them on.

Now your ball is done and ready to hang! (And maybe be kissed under!) Merry Christmas and happy kissing!

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