Okay I have a confession to make I am a Christmas Freak! I just love Christmas and the time leading up to it. The decorations in the stores, the last minute frenzy, carols in the domain, getting the kids Santa photo taken and eating way to much. I love it all! So with my first sighting of Christmas Shortbread I've started to turn my thoughts to planning this years Christmas. With my two children being 4 and 9 years old this year, I'm really looking forward to it.
Every year we add to our Christmas decorations and this year I'm planning to make a number of decorations myself. Not only does it get my Christmas spirits soaring but it also adds a beautiful homemade touch to the house. The classic decorations are Christmas balls for the tree, which are really easy to make. Not only are they a great decoration for your tree, but they also make wonderful gifts for family, friends and school teachers.
Here's a picture of the one that I made last year.
Instructions for Making Christmas Balls
- Polystyrene Ball - this one measures 10 cm's, but 7.5 cm's is also a good size
- Adhesive - Cement based adhesive or clear liquid nails
- Selection of tiles
- Two wheeled nippers
- Polystyrene ball hanging kit
All of these items can be purchased directly from our store.
1. Sealing the polystyrene ball
Note: I haven't worried about sealing the ball as it going to be huge on the Christmas tree. But if you are making it for outside etc, I would recommend sealing it first. To seal it you could cover it in a layer of cement based adhesive or plaster cloth.
2. Attach the hook to the ball
To attach a hook to the polystyrene ball I've used a 25 mm screw eye. As the ball is quite light I've just screwed the hook directly into the ball, removed it carefully and squeezed in adhesive, before screwing the hook back in.
3. Tiling the polystyrene ball
For this decoration I've used a combination of: Gold Square Ceramic Tiles, Gold Ripple 1 cm mirrors, green silverfoil glass tiles (cut), red square ceramic tiles, red glass droplets and an XL green glass droplet for the bottom.
The polystyrene ball will have a faint line around its circumference, this represents the middle. You will also find that the centre point of the top is indicated on the ball. Use these points as a guide when tiling.
When selecting tiles you need to think about what will sparkle and shine, adding life to your garden. Mirrors and silverfoil glass tiles are great but you do need to remember to seal them with an adhesive to prevent damage by moisture. I'd recommend hanging glazing balls made with these materials in an area that is protected from the weather (a patio or deck). Another shiny options are iridised glass tiles.
Designs can be simple (like the glazing ball pictured) or complexed; your imagination is your only limitation. For more complicated designs you can use paper cutouts of the shapes and trace the outline directly onto the ball.
Apply the adhesive directly onto the ball using either a paintbrush or pallet knife, small sections at a time so it doesn't dry out. You can use a bowl to hold the ball into position; as it can be difficult to tile if it is moving around.
4. Grouting Time
Legal Disclaimer: No warranty is implied by these instructions. Use at your own risk. The Mosaic Store and its proprietors are not responsible for the results of any actions taken on the basis of this information, nor for any omission in the advice. Please wear appropriate safety equipment when cutting mosaic materials and using grouts and adhesives. Keep out of reach of children.