New Years Table-scape and DIY Twineballs

Ok, I gave up, New Years is happening so I decided to give it a nod and put up something festive.

new years tablescape

Twine-balls are everywhere, I’ve seen them decking weddings, parties, baby showers, and now, you’ll be seeing them at your New Years party if you feel like kicking off 2013 with a little arts and crafts. It took me about an hour and a half to make these guys (not counting drying time) and they make quite the impact I think when hung over whatever table-scape you’re planning.

Twine-balls:

new years decorating ideas

  • Mix the corn starch, water, and glue together until the mixture is starting to thicken. You might have to play around with the proportions a bit to get the consistency right. I had to make this mixture twice in order to coat enough twine for four, rather large balloons. (**confession: I wanted to make the twine-balls gold so I tried pouring gold paint in with the mixture but it ended up making a murky grey color so, don’t try and skip a step, just make the twine-balls and then spray-paint them whatever color you want later. I ended up deciding to paint them a chic black anyway.)
  • Place a rod between two chairs so you have something to tie the balloons on while you’re working.
  • Blow up the balloons to the size you want and tie them to the rod with some twine.

diy twineballs

  • Coat the twine in the glue mixture and then just start winding the twine around    the balloons until you have as much twine as you want coating the balloon. It’s a bit messy so put some paper down to protect your floor and it’s also a good idea to have an extra set of hands to help hold the balloon steady while you are applying the glue-soaked twine:

diy new years craft

diy twineballs

**A note on drying time: this really depends on the weather, how warm your house is, how much glue you have on the twine etc. You should be able to tell if it’s dry by touching the balloons to see if the twine has made a hardened shell.

  • After the twine feels dry, spray paint the balloons whatever color you desire. I’ve done this project before and just left them white and I thought they turned out beautiful. For New Years though, I wanted something a bit more dramatic so I went for the black. (**if you want to hang these outside, don’t forget to also add a protective coat of clear spray-paint, otherwise if the twine gets wet the balls will deflate. Trust me, I forgot to do that step before and I was left with strange, soggy, limp twine.)

diy twineballs

  • After the paint dries, just cut a tiny hole in the balloon to let the air out SLOWLY. The balloon will separate itself from the twine and then you’re left with a pretty impressive globe:

new years decorations

DSC_0285-001

diy twineballs new years decorations

I think these twineballs are so fun because they’re so versatile:  you could hang them around a light bulb for a chandelier effect, make miniature ones to place over twinkle-light strands, hang outside for a garden party, or even over a crib for a mobile. I paired the balls with some vintage decanters I just discovered at Salvation Army. I got the entire tray of decanters plus the champagne glasses seen in yesterday’s post for a whopping $18! Pretty nifty, yes? Hope this inspires you and (almost) Happy New Year!

– <3 A. 

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DIY Anthropologie Inspired Ornaments

anthropologie ornament

Aren’t these little “alpha-branches” cute? I stumbled across them while drooling over Anthropologie’s website. I have a serious case of Anthro-envy, because, more often than not, I really can’t afford to bring a little of Anthro into my world and besides that, my hometown doesn’t boast of a local Anthropologie. When I saw these ornaments on their gift-idea page though, I  immediately knew I had to try them as a DIY.

They were a bit more time-consuming than I thought, but, if you’ve got a little bit of patience they’re such a great, cheap, last-minute gift idea!

DIY Alpha-branches:

diy anthropology christmas ornaments

Supplies:

1.) Yarn: I wanted each ornament to stay in the 
same color family so I cut up long strands of the same color.
Also, cutting off pieces from the whole skein is so much 
easier to deal with when you get to the yarn-wrapping stage. 

2.) Floral wire.

3.) Krazy glue (or you could use hot glue or Elmer's glue instead).

4.) Thick thread.

I already had the thread and the glue so I only spent $2.00 on the yarn skein and $2.00 on the wire. Pretty cheap, yes?

Ok, so the first step is the most complicated:

anthropology diy ornaments

  • The letters are 4.5 inches tall. I decided to double my wire to give the yarn something thicker to wrap around so I pulled out 9 inches of wire and doubled it back on itself to make the longest side of my letter. Then, just work the wire into whatever shaped letter you want.
  • Next, cut out about four or five 1 inch pieces to make the little “branch” marks on the letter. Wrap one end of the “branch” securely around the letter at random intervals (around the ends and joints are the best places). I needed some needle-nose pliers to help me squish the wire down so it wouldn’t slide around.

anthropology inspired ornaments

  • Tie a piece of thread into a loop and then onto the letter BEFORE winding the yarn onto the wire.
  • I kept forgetting this step and had to do a lot of yarn-unwinding so don’t forget!

Step Three:

anthropologie inspired ornaments

Not too bad, right? You just have to work a bit with the yarn to get it to lay right. When you run to the end of a strand, tuck the end under the beginning of the new strand and glue the new strand into place. Don’t worry about matching up colors of new strands, it’s supposed to be a bit rustic:

anthropologie inspired ornaments

anthro inspired diy christmas ornaments anthro inspired diy christmas ornaments anthro inspired diy ornaments anthropologie inspired ornaments

I think they turned out pretty adorable, and for a few dollars, I brought a little piece of Anthropologie home. Hope you’re inspired!

– <3 A.