holiday how to


I'm a traditional red and green kind of Christmas person and I wanted to find a way to add the red to my planters full of greens. I'm not sure what to call these giant balls - they remind me of a raspberry - but I love the impact they give my outdoor decor and I can reuse them each year.

Here's what you'll need:

  • giant styrofoam ball (mine's 8" but any size will do)
  • red paint - spray paint is easiest
  • TONS of red ornaments (I used roughly 70 of the 1.5" size)
  • hot glue gun / glue sticks
  • dowel or stick (not shown)
  • evergreens

Spray paint the top 2/3 of the ball so the white doesn't show through in spots. While the styrofoam dries, take all the little hanging doodads off the ornaments and toss 'em. Once the styrofoam base is dry, hot glue around the bare end of the ornament and gently jam it into the styrofoam ball. I made one full row going across the ball then filled in the sides by staggering the remaining ornaments so they didn't sit right next to each other. Cover 2/3 of the ball - the bottom 1/3 won't show when you're done. Jam a dowel or stick into your container and gently slide your 'raspberry' on top. Now go crazy with your greens. I used a mix of cedar, boxwood, tall curly willow and my bittersweet left over from the fall.

Some pointers: I bought a TON of 1.5" glass ornaments in January one year and scored a serious deal - like boxes of 15 ornaments for $1.50 each. The hot glue holds the ornaments all winter but invariably a few balls will break in storage. I use pliers to yank out the ball stems and glue replacements from my stash. It's so much easier if you have a stand or bowl for the big styrofoam ball so it doesn't roll around while you're positioning/securing the ornaments. Having the same size balls is necessary but use what ever color/variety you've got - my first go around was a mixture of matte and shiny balls but it's entirely up to you - no one will know the difference from the street. As far as the greens go - more is more and the crazier the better.

If you make this, or a variation, would you send me a photo? I'd love to see your interpretation - maybe with different colors or size? That and I love a good sneak peek into other people's homes!