black spray paint (optional in case your seeds need to be painted)
straight pins, dowel, and styrofoam
large, black seeds (I used Wisteria seeds)
Put two straight pins about 2 inches apart in a piece of Styrofoam. Holding one end of the twine, start winding the other end around the pins.
Wind about four times around the pin. This is going to give the “flower” its “petals.” However many times you wind is the number of “petals” you’ll have.
Cut off your twine and bring the two ends across the center of the “petals.”
Tie a secure knot.
Pull the loops off the pin and spread the loops out. This is only one half of your flower: repeat steps 1 through 4.
Place your two flower-halves perpendicular across each other and glue together with a dab of glue.
Paint: I mixed white, yellow, orange and brown to get the color I wanted. **The easiest way I figured out to coat the flowers in paint was to simply dip my fingers in the bowl and apply the paint with my fingers. Dipping the twine got it too saturated with paint, and “painting” it on with a brush took too long so, get messy and use your fingers!**
Glue large seeds to the center of the flower. **I used wisteria vine seeds. They started out green because the pods weren’t dry yet so I ended up spray-painting them black. Any large seed would work though if you don’t have a wisteria vine. You could even do felt or paper but I wanted to keep the garland all-autumn-natural.**
Tie three pieces of twine each 9 feet long to a dowel stuck in the styrofoam.
Braid. **this is the trickiest part–keeping the long pieces untangled to get a tight braid! Go slow though, if your braid is messy, the garland won’t turn out as cute.
Secure both ends with a knot. The nine feet will give you about 8 feet of garland.
Sew the flowers onto the braided twine about every 8 inches. You’ll need about 12 flowers.
Done! It seems like there’s lots of steps but the flowers really whip up in no time once you get the method down. You could just glue the flowers onto the braided twine as well if you’re not much of a sewer, but I wanted to make sure they were super secure so I opted for a needle and thread: The hardest part for me about this DIY was getting the wisteria seed-pods away from Lola:
She very specifically mentioned she didn’t want any plucked from her vine, and if anyone was going to pluck them, she would be the one to do it.Once she saw how cute it was going to turn out though, she was ok with it… …and it really did turn out so, so cute. I figured out six ways to use the garland so stay tuned because I’m going to share later this week…it was just too much cuteness to squeeze into one post.
Ok, I gave up, New Years is happening so I decided to give it a nod and put up something festive.
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.
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.
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:
**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.)
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:
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!