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.
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.
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.
I used floral pins to attach the leaves. These can be found in the craft area of many discount stores.
You begin by placing one leaf in the middle of the ball and securing it with a floral pin.
Then you start to overlap several more leaves on top of it. Here, you see a base of about 5 leaves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can see here how I’ve continued to add the leaves on top of the horizontal layer and have continued to build upwards.
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.
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.
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.
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.