Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Foam Ball Ornaments

When I was in Girl Scouts (many years ago!) we hosted an annual Christmas Bazaar for the community to buy & sell their crafts and baked goods.  One year my troop made ornaments to sell.  We started with ready-made satin-covered foam ball ornaments.
They looked like this:

Then we added beads and sequins to the balls using stick pins.  I LOVED this craft.  It was so much fun and I felt the results were so pretty.  Here's an image I found online that accurately depicts the craft:

Apparently this is a vintage craft. ????  At least the ornaments in the above photo are being sold as "Vintage Home Made Beaded Sequin Satin Christmas Ornaments."  The word Victorian was even used in the description.  Victorian?  I think I need to research this a bit more.  Perhaps one of you, my lovely readers, could shed some light on this for me?

Anyway, I wanted to do this with my kids, but ran into a road block.  Satin ball ornaments aren't readily available like they used to be.  (could that be because they are vintage?) You can order them online (at great cost), but none of my local stores sold them.  Major bummer!  So I improvised and bought some plain styrofoam balls at JoAnn's.  I also bought a bunch of beads and 2 types of stick pins:

Here's a photo collage that shows how I made my test version of this craft:

I started by sticking a bamboo kebab skewer into the ball.  
This gave the kids something to hold while they painted.

After painting my son added a strip of red bias tape around the middle of his ball.  
He secured it with stick pins.

We didn't paint all the balls.  
Here's one made with leather studs.
I think brads would work as well.
What a goofy grin!

Here's another look at Riley's UFO ornament:

The photo doesn't show it, but the surface of the balls
are sparkly even after painting.
Here's the one I made:

Each of my kids has their own little tree in their bedrooms.
The kids love having their own trees and being able
to decorate them with their own ornaments was the icing on the cake!

I'm super curious about your thoughts on this craft.  Have you heard of it before?  Is it really vintage?  Am I at the age now that everything I did in my childhood will be considered vintage????  I know all my favorite music is now considered classic rock.....maybe I am getting old....

Here's to hoping you are well and surrounded by those you love during this holiday season!  

Cheers and big hugs from Montana'
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Before you click away, I'd like to invite you to join in my current sewing/craft challenge.
I party here:


  1. looooove the new site design... ok... of to read the rest of the post.

    1. Thanks Palak! The menu bar had me stumped for a while but I finally figured it out. Now I know why people just pay someone else to do the graphics and html.... Still have button and such to make, but hopefully that will go smoother.

  2. A couple years ago I went looking for some of those very ornaments,and much to my surprise,had the same problems! When my kids were in elementary school,we made the cutest little puppy ornaments from felt and those ornaments. I ended up just using plain ball ornaments this time.

    Your improvised ornaments turned out pretty!

  3. Good Morning - I enjoyed reading this as I made the silk ornaments years go for Christmas gifts. And though I don't consider myself vintage ;-) I have seen these for awhile. My mom told me that she had a tree with these so that would be in the 30's and 40's when she was staying at hone before she got married to Dad. Also, Herrschner's (sp) sells the kits online.
    Enjoyed the tute - thank you.
    Blessings, Donna

    1. The whole "vintage" and "retro" movements are really a bit silly in my book. You are as old as you feel--it matters not how many presidents you've seen or whether your first car had an AM radio, 8-track, or tape deck. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who enjoyed this Christmas craft. I'm hoping I'll find the satin ball motherload at a garage sale one day....

  4. My Mom made sequined and beaded with straight pins ornaments in the 60's. She started with styrofoam balls and covered 'em conpletely!

    I love the crafting you did with your kids!


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