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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Got Balls?

Leaf Balls, that is….

For my recent post to Rhoda’s Fall Decorating Party, I created several leaf balls to include in my vignettes.  Several of you wrote and asked how I made them and suggested a tutorial.

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I had actually thought about posting a tutorial as I was making these last week, so I took some pictures as best as I could. I found out that it’s not easy to hold leaves and a Styrofoam ball in  one hand while trying to hold a camera in the other, and take a non-blurry picture at the same time!  So I’m giving you advance notice that some of the images in this post might be a little fuzzy…

I started out with two sizes of Styrofoam balls that are readily available for purchase. For the two that I used in my tablescape, I used four-inch diameter balls.

 

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For making the two balls, I used four fabric leaf packets that I found at the Dollar Tree store, but you can purchase leaves at any craft store.  For this size ball, I don’t suggest using anything larger than a 3-inch leaf.  Since there were several different varieties of leaves in these packets, I was able to vary the design and color of the ball.

 

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I used floral pins to attach the leaves. These can be found in the craft area of many discount stores.

 

 

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You begin by placing one leaf in the middle of the ball and securing it with a floral pin.

 

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Then you start to  overlap several more leaves on top of it.  Here, you see a base of about 5 leaves.

 

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Once your base is set, you lift the top leaf layer and start adding other leaves underneath them. Make sure that your pins do not show.

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Here, I’m holding the ball to show you what the leaf ball looks like as you start to progress while adding in the leaves. Remember that the top of the ball in this picture is actually the bottom of the ball.

 

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I’ve added several layers of leaves at this point. You can see how the ball is starting to fill in.  You just continue to add leaves until you come to almost three-fourths of the way to the top of the ball.

 

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At that point, begin layering in the leaves across the top. You do this so you won’t be able to see any  of the ball once it is complete. You then continue adding leaves in an upright manner to make it look consistent with the other leaves.

 

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You can see here how I’ve continued to add the leaves on top of the horizontal layer and have continued to build upwards.

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Just keep filling in and building your leaf ball, using the same procedure of lifting and placing the pins so they are hidden. In the places  on the top where some pins may inevitably show, use a dab of hot glue to hold them in slightly.

 

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The leaf ball is almost complete at this point. Just keep adding small leaves and continue to build the ball so that it ends up looking like a head of cabbage or lettuce.

Down towards the bottom of the ball, some of the leaves may protrude more than you want them to. I took my hot glue gun and dabbed at a few spots to bring them to the layer above them. Try not to do this all over~ it won’t look natural if all the leaves are flat.  You still want the ball to look a little messy and loose.

 

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This is the completed leaf ball.  It’s a pretty way to dress inexpensive fabric leaves and a simple Stryofoam ball.  I love it the look of it placed on a thrifted brass candlestick that I sprayed with an oiled bronze finish.

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Here are the finished leaf balls shown in one of my fall dining room tablescapes.  I think for next spring, I’ll make some out of variegated green leaves.

I hope my instructions  are discernable and that you will have fun making your own. Now go out and get balls!   Then let me know how they turned out.

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Stop by and visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, Roeshel at The DIY Show Off, and Kimba at A Soft Place to Land for some great decorating inspiration.

 

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57 comments:

pk said...

I haven't seen a lot of ideas with fall leaves and I REALLY like this one! They're beautiful and very clever. Have a great week...
pk @ room remix

Miss Mustard Seed said...

What a great idea! Your table looks gorgeous in its fall decor. Thanks for sharing the how-tos with us.

Jenglamgirl said...

beautiful! how creative, nothing I have ever seen... and now totally love!

podso said...

Very nice! I wondered at first what it would end up like, but I like them!

Jo said...

Thanks for the tutorial. It really is helpful for me to see the steps. I love the way they open up at the top. This is definately going in my to do file!

Sheri said...

Oh my word! LOVE IT! I really couldn't see where you were going with it at first, but WOW!

The DIY Show Off said...

What a creative idea and it's so pretty! I love it! Perfect for fall and so glamorous too! :)

Thanks for adding your inspiration to the Fall Festival!

Roeshel

Shannon said...

First let me say, this so cool. They look fabulous. I also wanted to tell you that I am doing something similar this week! If you get a chance come by to check it out.

Jenny said...

Wow, that is really neat looking!

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

so pretty! those look super fun (and fairly easy, although I'm pretty sure I'd mess them up!) :)

Tina said...

These are GREAT and turn out looking so pretty. I am def. going to try this myself! Thanks for the tutorial!!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a great idea - thanks for the tutorial. They are so pretty.

Really Rainey said...

Those are really pretty and they look like fun to make too! Great post!
Have Fun~Happy Fall...

~Really Rainey

Happy Nester said...

They turned out great. I love them.

Mrs. G said...

Those are so cute. Thank for showing us how to make them.

Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda said...

Love these! Glad you posted a tutorial, cause I think I will have to "borrow" this super idea! ~Rhonda :)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh I love this idea and I think I could pull it off! Thanks for the great tutorial, love when people share this way! Cindy

Dawn said...

Hi Sue, I noticed no one mentioned that catchy title! Being such a good friend and all, I guess I'll have to be the one to go there.

No, I don't have any. But you've got a great pair...
....of leaf balls.

Hugs,
Dawn

Shelia said...

Oh, what beautiful leave balls! Thanks for the tutorial! These are so pretty and you're so very good!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Stacey said...

Sue, they are gorgeous and look like something from a very expensive little shop!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

I'm so glad you did this tutorial because I am one of the ones who wants to make them! They are beautiful.

Frippery said...

Love them and your table centerpiece!

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

I love this ideas. This is my first time to your blog and you has me hooked with your header picture.

Thanks for sharing.

Shanty 2 Chic said...

Your leaf ball looks so pretty! Great job! ~ Ashley

Lori E said...

Good job. Have you ever seen the balls done with only Bay leaves? They really look good too.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for visiting. I used rubons on the candle and pumpkin. Got them at Hobby Lobby when 50% off (I don't pay full price for anything @ HL). I got a couple packages that had different designs and a couple packages of letters, along with some plain white, unscented candles and plan to decorate some candles for small gifts for Christmas. At least I plan to. :)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

This is just stunning. It looks beautiful and your table centerpiece is just gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

Mrs. P. said...

GORGEOUS!! Thank you for sharing!

Blessings!
Gail

Cindy Harvey said...

Absolutely gorgeous! So elegant :o)

Brenda said...

Now that's pretty nifty cute, Sue! You could do all kinds of things with this idea in mind!
Brenda

Jill said...

Those look FABULOUS! I'm bookmarking this one for my "Projects to Try" folder. Thanks for the excellent tutorial, Sue!

Shelley said...

This came out so good! How clever of you to invent it, it looks like something out of a magazine.

Karla said...

Those are SO pretty!! Thanks for the "How-To"...I'm going to have to give it a try!

~Karla @ It's The Little Things...

Jill said...

Hi, Sue! I'm from Butler County in the southwest corner of Ohio. A get-together with other Buckeye Bloggers sounds fun!

Connie said...

Love it. A unique and easy craft project. Hmmm, why didn't I think of that? Thanks for sharing.

Betty said...

Hi Sue ...I can't wait for the dollar store to open so I can make my 'balls' .. they are soo great ...thanks
Also thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment on Daniel's wedding story.
I've been busy getting ready for my Halloween party now that the wedding is over ..but I always find time to visit you even if it's just for a couple minutes.
Hugz ...Betty

Balisha said...

How pretty. Wouldn't they be pretty on an altar at Church?
Balisha

Bellamere Cottage said...

Sweet Sue!

I LOVE this.....gotta go....I'm on my way to pick up supplies! ;-)

Hugs,
Spencer

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

very pretty

Jane (Frugal Fine Living) said...

Wow, Sue, that looks pretty easy! I love these ... inexpensive yet gorgeous!

Jane

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hey, there "Bag Lady." ;) What a great tutorial...I've never seen a leaf ball before, but I am loving it!!! :)

darnold23 said...

So,so pretty. Thanks for the tutorial. I'm anxious to give these a try.

Linda Q said...

Wonderful idea for the leaf ball and your table is gorgeous!!
Linda Q

Anonymous said...

Great idea.....I am a newbie to your blog....loving it !!!

All the best,
Kathy :)

Kathleen said...

Those are so pretty! Thank you for teaching us how!

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Sue, these are just fabulous. Thank you for showing how. I love it!

Barb ♥

Blondie's Journal said...

Sue,

This looks like a fun, crafy project even I can do!! I am going out next week to get my balls (and leaves). Thanks for the tute!!

xoxo
Jane

Dawn said...

Saw you comment to Gloria. Hmmm...how much time are you going to have when you get here? Might have to have a little bloggie get together, invite a few "locals", tell rooster stories...
Hugs,
Dawn

:: flyingstars :: said...

simply beautiful...lovely decorations!

MotherhoodFilm said...

Gorgeous! I really enjoyed looking around your blog! What great ideas!!
*Eliza’s blog*

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

Love this! Thanks for a great tutorial~

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

These are awesome. I featured these at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com Grab my "featured" button.

ceekay said...

Your leaf balls are fantastic. I would love to try this...with my new treatment I don't know, but I think it is a brillant idea! Thanks

The DIY Show Off said...

Hey! Just wanted to let you know I gave you a shout out! Pop over and grab a button! :)

Thanks so much for sharing your creativity!

Roeshel

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Sue, I just saw this on DIY. Somehow I had missed this post. Aren't you clever? I lvoe this idea. Thanks for the directions. laurie

Requi@Tablescaping Escapades said...

Great tutorial. These leaf balls are gorgeous.

All the Best,

Requi

Lisa Montsion said...

There's just something really beautiful about the color of leafs in fall time.

lisa