Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tutorial: "Yule Have A Ball" Ornaments

Wow, who says December 1st is too early for a bad pun? I can't help it...we're full swing into the holiday season and I've spent the weekend decorating around the house...so I'm feeling a little giddy and festive.

Just before Thanksgiving, I was doing my daily blog reading when I came across a fantastic idea at Pocket Full of Pink for making scrapbook paper ornaments. This got me excited because I'd been looking for more fun ideas for gifts that I could make with my three year old, SweetPea. Not only are these easy and inexpensive to make, but the creative possibilities are endless, and hey, let's be honest, what kid isn't going to love being allowed to shove stuff into a glass ball?

I'm going to list a bunch of supplies I used for my ornaments, but the truth is, this project is so flexible you can let your creative streak go wild and use whatever you want to make yours (within reason and a certain weight...these are glass after all).


Clear glass ornaments
Festive scrapbooking paper or remnant holiday wrap
Polyester craft ribbon or curling ribbon
Glittery pipe cleaners
Packets of sequins or shiny confetti
Wooden dowels or chopsticks (to curl the craft ribbon and pipe cleaners)

So...I'm going to give a little disclaimer...since these are glass ornaments, I wouldn't recommend this project for kids under age three...and (as always) a grown up should probably lend a hand.

OK then...roll up your sleeves...

  1. Cut strips of paper about 1/2 inch wide and 6-8 inches long.It's up to you how many pieces of paper you use, but to fill 8 ornaments, I cut 40-50 strips of paper. The nice thing is, it's really easy to cut more paper if you need it. Next, roll up or spiral curl the paper (I used my wood dowel or a pencil for spiral curling the paper). If you roll the paper, make sure to wind it tight...it will unroll into a nice curl when you put it in the ornament.
  2. Curl the ribbon and pipe cleaners. I used a wooden dowel again to spiral wrap the pipe cleaners. If you want the easiest and fastest curling ribbon, I'd suggest curling ribbon...since all you'll have to do is score it and voila...you have curly ribbon. I decided to use polyester craft ribbon (it was so silky, shiny and colorful...I just couldn't resist), so I had to curl it the same way you would if you were making korker ribbon. To do this you'll need to wrap the ribbon around wooden dowels and secure them with wooden clothes pins at the end. Once you have all of your ribbon wrapped, place it on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes. After they've cooled, slip the ribbon off the dowel...and you'll have yourself curled ribbon.
  3. Next, cut your curled ribbon, paper and pipe cleaners to whatever length you like. I cut mine about an inch and a half long.
  4. Here's the really fun part! Pull off the top of the ornament (press lightly on each side of the wire and pull up slowly) and start shoving in the pretties! As you put things inside, shake the ornament up to let the paper and ribbon settle. It will help you decide if the ornament needs more stuffing.
  5. If you decide to use glitter or confetti, pour it into the ornament last. I'd suggest using bigger confetti pieces, since the small star sequins I used sort of fell around the paper and collected at the bottom of the ornament. To spread it around, I shook the ornament up (with the top of the ornament back on!) until the confetti nicely distributed.
  6. When you're all done, snap the top back on to the ornament. If you like, add colorful ribbon for hanging the ornament.
Our ornaments are destined for a few relatives, compliments of SweetPea, and to the kids' preschool teachers.

I hope you have a great time making your very own ornaments...and we would love it you'd share any pictures of your creations! Happy crafting!!


  1. Oooooo, that is such a great idea!!! I think I'll be snagging clear ornaments at the after Christmas clearance and this will be a project for next year!!

  2. Oh that is SO cute!! I can't find any of our holiday ornaments, so I can totally make us some of these!!

  3. oooooooh these are fabulous Alyssa!! Perfect for me and the kiddos to make for family, teachers, bus drivers, and all of the other people I need to give a give to!! You seriously ROCK!

  4. Excellent Alyssa.. Thanks for the idea.. :D

  5. I have done calligraphy balls for years for family and friends as well as retail but to make these really pop, why not let your little artist sign with a permanent silver or gold pen and you can put the year on it somewhere so the recipient always knows when and from whom the precious gift came.

  6. Really cute! I have made some ornaments with the shiny shredded paper, they look pretty. Dollar Tree and Walmart sell bags of shreds in different colors.

  7. I soooo love this idea. The best part is that I can get all of the materials at our local dollar tree store which will help keep the cost down. Now I can make these ornaments for friends, neighbors, postal deleverer, Sunday School class and a host of others.


We love comments! Please let us know you stopped by.