Sunday, December 8, 2013

How to make an Evergreen Kissing Ball for Christmas

This was one of the first jobs that I had as a teenager. Every holiday season I worked for a florist shop in my hometown of Greenfield Center, NY called Van Arnums Flower Shop. I loved the smell of christmas trees in there as we worked, but by the 50th kissing ball and having blackish sap stuck to your fingers because your rubber gloves tore, again, you pretty much never want to see as much as another pine needle for another 364 days.



But I learned a neat skill and it's one of my favorite things to make around the holiday season. They look beautiful indoors or out, and you can really let your creativity go wild by adding extra elements like pine cones, ribbons, and even lights. Plus you can substitute other materials for the evergreen branches, like fabric, paper, christmas ball ornaments, and more!







Materials Needed



Styrofoam Ball(s)-Comes in assorted sizes, keep in mind that the bigger the diameter the styrofoam, the larger the evergreen branches that you will need, and the more of them you will need too.



Clippers/Pruning Shears- nice pair of sharp shears to trim your evergreen branches.



Wire Hangers-Easy way to hang up your kissing balls when you are done.



Rubber Gloves- Try and get a heavy duty pair, the disposable ones break too easily.



Ribbon/Extras- Whatever creative elements you want to add to jazz it up a little.







Getting Started



1.) Find Evergreen Branches



You can purchase some from a florist shop, or if you have property where you can go out back and trim some off of a tree, you can also trim off the lower branches of your christmas tree to use those, or as a last resort you can take a ride out along the highway or a low trafficked back road at night and "borrow" some.











2.)Trim Branches



Looking at your styrofoam ball, estimate the length of branch cutting you will need to fill your ball. Estimate that each branch you sink into the ball will have to go in at least 2-3" deep to be firmly in place. Cut smaller branches off of the main bough to size that you desire for your kissing ball. If some pieces are too long, cut the branch again where you need it and then cut again closest to the next joint in the branch that protrudes out of the piece so that you don't have any bare wooden ends poking out of your kissing ball. Make sure you cut your branches so that the ends have a nice sharp angle cut. This will make the next step easier on you.



3.) Insert Hanger



Taking a plain wire clothes hanger, cut to specs and poke through the top of your styrofoam ball and push all the way through. Trim with wire cutters if necessary at the bottom, and bend the end upwards against the base of the ball. Don't worry your branches will cover this up nicely so no one sees it.



4.)Start Filling It In



Begin with taking your 4 best evergreen pieces, and put them in the 4 directions N,S,E & W as if you were poking them into a globe. After that, you start at the top of your globe and in circular spirals going down, start filling the rest of your branches into your styrofoam ball, evenly all the way to the base. Make sure that you don't push in the branches too far or too little, you want them to be stable and for them to make an even diameter around the ball.



5.)Ribbons or Other Decorations



Here is where there are no rules, just go with what you like. I would recommend that if you use ribbon make sure that it has the wire in it so that your bows will stay lively looking and not droop when you hang it. You can also hang ribbon streamers from the bottom of the ball too. Again whatever looks good to you!








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