Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Leaf Balls – A Re-post for Kate’s Fall Craft Party



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This is a reprise of an old post, written when I was still a blogging newbie, but I wanted to share it at CentsationalGirl’s Fall Craft Party today because it fits the bill as my ‘best’fall crafting project. Truth be told, it is my only crafting project! My talents in that area are not exactly the high point of my repertoire! But if you pay Kate a visit,I know there will be some really inspiring ideas at her party. I hope that these leaf balls and the tutorial don’t pale in comparison to the amazing and fun stuff you’ll be seeing on her party links.


I created these leaf balls two years ago but I’m still using the original balls in my fall vignettes. This year, I’ve set them on the metal and ceramic candle holders on my fireplace hearth. Take a peek at them in the photo below.



                 click on the picture to see more fall decorating of my mantel and hearth





But on with the tutorial….  When I took these photos, I discovered that it is not easy to hold leaves and a Styrofoam ball in one hand; as well as to hold a camera in the other and take non-blurry pictures 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.




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 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 Styrofoam ball.  I love the look of it placed on a thrifted brass candlestick that I sprayed with an oiled rubbed bronze finish.





Here are the finished leaf balls shown in one of my fall dining room tablescapes. 

I hope my instructions  are clear and concise and that you will be able to have some fun making your own.

Now go out and get some balls! Then let me know how they turned out.


And don’t forget to click on the link below to see our backyard reno and sign up for my give-away sponsored by Hometalk.



Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

I am so glad you re-posted this Sue. I loved them the first time I saw them. Thanks!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Sue, those are great. I love how full they are.

Miss Char said...

I was just standing in the Dollar Store yesterday looking at the bags of faux leaves and wondering what I could do with I know. Thanks for the tutorial.

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

Now those are some cute Balls Sue! I love this project. Happy Fall!~

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing this again. Trying to decide if I want to make a trip to DT today. :D

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

I noticed those in your other post and thought they would be fun to make. Thanks Sue!~Hugs, Patti

Sonia said...

Very nice and simple! I love simple...your table looks beautiful..I need to get busy with my fall decor...just got back from vacation and a little behind! Thanks for the inspiration!

Miss Bloomers

Diapers and Divas said...

I LOVE your balls!! They are super fluke there!! Thanks for stopping by today! So glad you did because I really like your blog! I think I may go get some stuff to add some leaves to my ball collection! Great Job!

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Sue, these are great! I amy have to borrow this idea for next fall!! Such a creative idea! Blessings to you!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I remember these from last year...and they are still creative and beautiful!!

Bunny Jean said...

I guess I missed this the first time around. This looks like something I might be able to do. The main problem is getting around to doing it ;)

They sure look nice!

xoxo Bunny Jean
Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

Lina - Fancy Frugal Life said...

OK these are just so fun!! Great idea and thanks for sharing!!
Fancy Frugal Life

Angela Jennings said...

The leaf balls are adorable-great idea and thanks for sharing!