Make your own special ornaments for your tree this year. These ornament balls are fun to make, a bit messy, and look absolutely beautiful when done.
Approximate Time: 2 days
Strips of newspaper
Tempera or acrylic paints
Christmas ornament toppers (discount stores)
Step 1 - Paper Mache
Mix 1 part flour with 2 parts water in a mixing bowl. The glue should be slightly runny, and definitely not thick. If it is too runny, add 1 teaspoon of flour at a time until it is a good consistency. If it is too thick, add 2 tablespoons of water at a time until it is the right consistency.
Cover your work surface with paper to protect it and to make clean-up easier.
Blow up your balloon and tie it in a knot. You will want to hang your balloon from a piece of string, as this will make it easier to work.
Start by dipping a strip of newspaper into the paper mache glue. Using your forefinger and thumb, rub excess glue off of the strip back into the bowl.
Lay the strip onto the balloon. Be sure to smooth it out to help make the ornament as smooth as possible. Continue doing this until the entire balloon is covered with strips of newspaper. It is a good idea to overlap pieces of newspaper on top of each other to ensure total coverage.
Let the paper mache dry for 24 hours.
Repeat steps 4-6 above the next day. The trick is, the more layers of newspaper you add to your balloon, the heavier and more durable it will become. Two layers is good for this particular project.
Step 2 - Decorating the Ornament
Once the ornament is totally dry, you are ready to paint. Leave the ornament hanging, as it will be easier to paint it this way. Paint the entire ornament in any way that you like. You might paint it all one color or use assorted colors. Let the paint dry.
After your first coat of paint dries, you may want to apply a second coat, depending on whether or not you can see the newspaper through your first coat. Darker colors tend to be adequate for one coat, while lighter colors almost always need a second coat of paint.
Once the ornament is completely dry, you can now add festive designs with glitter glue. You can see some examples in the picture provided. Let the glitter glue dry.
Now you are ready to pop a hole in your balloon and let the air seep out. You will notice the balloon shrinking to the point that you are able to easily pull it out of the ornament. You can discard the balloon and the string at this point.
The last step is to place an ornament topper into your balloon, add a hook, and hang it on your tree!