DIY String Orb Holiday Ornament

 
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The holidays are approaching so quickly, so I wanted to get in some seasonal projects. More specifically, ornaments! I am nearing the end of my 2 week trip to Patagonia (check out my blog here!), but I still have some cute DIY holiday decorations to share while I'm gone!

Today's ornament is literally the easiest project ever. Inspired by Martha Stewart, this string ornament is really easy and will look great on with the twinkly lights on your tree!

Things you will need:
- Balloons
- Lots of string, such as hemp, twine, cotton
- Ribbon, string, or embroidery floss (about 10 inches per ornament)
- Craft paint or spray paint
- Paint brush or a shallow paper bowl (if using craft paint) 
- Scissors
- (Optional) Safety pin or needle
- (Optional) Tweezers
- (Optional) Craft glue (e.g. Elmer's, Tacky Glue) or Mod Podge
- (Optional) Clear acrylic enamel (e.g. Krylon's Crystal Clear Spray Enamel)
- (Optional) Jingle bells, or other charms
- (Optional) Glitter

Instructions:

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  1. Blow up your balloon to your desired ornament size and tie a knot to secure.
  2. Begin wrapping your string around the balloon.
    It's a bit difficult in the beginning - I found that my string kept getting loose or falling off, but have patience and keep going. The string will stay in place a lot better once you've wrapped a decent amount of string.
    A few tips:
    1. Use the knot as an anchor to wrap the string in opposite angles and directions.
    2. Wrap your string fairly tight so that it stays in place as you continue wrapping.
    3. The more string you use, the stronger your ornament will be. But, it may be more difficult to extract your balloon once finished!
  3. (Optional): For extra security, cover with glue or Mod Podge. Either paint the glue on, or pour some glue in a small shallow paper bowl, and roll the ball to cover all the string. Let dry.
    I didn't use glue because I figured my paint would be strong enough to stiffen the string. However, my ornament is fairly delicate, so if you're worried about the ornament collapsing or getting out of shape (especially if you're shipping this to someone as a gift), do this step just to be safe!
  4. Paint all the strings with your craft paint, or spray paint the entire orb. Make sure to get all edges and sides of exposed string, and be generous with your paint!
    If using glitter, sprinkle glitter onto the strings, or roll the ornament in a dish full of glitter.
    Let dry. Mine took almost 24 hours to dry completely and stiffen.
  5. (Optional): Spray (or paint) the entire ornament with a layer of clear enamel to seal the ornament and give it a nice finish.
  6. Use scissors, a pin, or a needle to pop your balloon. Cut off the balloon knot. 
  7. Use scissors or tweezers to carefully pull the balloon out of the inside of the orb. Try to pull the balloon through the largest opening to avoid messing up your ornament. If needed, cut the balloon in smaller pieces to make it easier to extract.
  8. (Optional): Add decorations to your ornament. Some ideas:
    1. String a charm or bell into the middle of your orb.
    2. Tie some charms or bells to the top of your ornament, where the loop will hang.
    3. Tie a ribbon bow to the top of your ornament.
    4. Add a tassel on the inside of your ornament, or hanging from the bottom. (See my post on how to make tassels here!)
  9. Use your ribbon or string to tie a large loop to hang the ornament. Thread the loop around one of the strings of your ornament.
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Isn't this pretty? I can't wait to put this on a tree and see the twinkly lights shine through!