Monday, February 1, 2010

DIY West Elm-esque Decorative Balls

I forgot where I saw this tutorial so if you know where this is from, or if it was yours - let me know so I can give credit.


I need some knick-knacks for my built-in in the dining room, but here's my problem.  I just can't buy knick knacks.  Yes, I've done it before - but usually only when staging a house, so I considered it more of an "investment" to get the house sold.  Don't get me wrong - I love knick knacks.  I walk through the aisles of Home Goods and drool.  It's one of the first things I envy in others homes.  But when it comes to forking over the cash for a ceramic dog, or in this case, "balls of string" (as my husband named them), I just can't do it.  I can't pay for something that doesn't have meaning or function or sentimental value that will just need to be dusted.  I hate the idea of spending money on something random purely to take up space. 

But that doesn't mean I won't accept a gift!  Or re do a tacky good will find, or make something from scratch.  That I can handle.

So this time, it's made from scratch.

This is so easy, and I am pleased with the result.

All you need is a few balloons, a ball of twine and some Stiffy

(make sure you have your search engine on "safe mode" when googling an image of this product)

Blow up your balloons to your desired size, then wrap them in twine.  You're just wrapping them at this point to determine how much twine you want. 


Remove the twine from one of your balloons, and put it in a ziplock baggie

(this baggie was left over from a diaper consumer research that I participated in.  If you are ever asked to participate in one of those - don't do it! Gross)

Then pour some stiffy in the bag to saturate your twine, rewrap the balloons, and hang 'em up to dry

(that poor little one on the bottom.  the balloon deflated when it was already wrapped and it didn't quite turn out right.  I was sad for it, like the runt of the litter.  He did make it into the arrangement - I didn't have the heart to throw him away, but he's toward the back.



Tip:  it may be worth it to invest in new balloons, rather than using some that has been kept in a tupperware tea pitcher at your mother in law's house dating back to at least 1985

The largest chiming in at $50! Followed by the next size at $30 and the next at $10.  My arrangement would have cost at least $75 from West Elm, but it only cost me about $8 total!  Granted theirs does look way better - mine has the same-is effect for WAY less money. 

I'm linking up to DIY day



DIY Day @ ASPTL

39 comments:

  1. I think your version looks great- plus you can't beat the price!

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  2. I love these!! I am definately going to try this. I'm looking for new knick knacks that my 10 mo. old can't break!

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  3. Very nice, been wanting to make some myself too!
    I've seen tutorials that use wallpaper paste for this instead of the stiffy, and I believe white glue mixed with a bit of water would work also!
    Please drop by my blog linking party every Sunday at http://www.creativejewishmom.com Would love to have you!

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  4. I actually like yours better, they look rustic! <3

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  5. What a great idea! Can you use Stiffy on any material? Fabric? Rubber bands?

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  6. so cool! I am going to do this!

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  7. I knew there had to be a way to make these! thank you so much for doing this because I almost broke down at Michaels on my last trip and bought some similar decorative balls, now I can make my own, Woo HOO!!

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  8. I just added this to a post about awesome decor balls at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com cecuase these are awesome. Grab my "featured" button.

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  9. I love these! I have a few but needed a few more and these are great!

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  10. You are very creative. Great idea.

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  11. For me, one essential aspect of good dining room decor is a sturdy yet classy, dining room set .

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  12. Hey there! Thanks again for the faux wainscoting post back in October. It's currently going up in my room. I just wanted to say thanks and let you know that I'm posting on your lovely post. :)

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  13. I see these everywhere and I always think that these are the ONLY accessory that I can have safely in my home with my twin boys. They can throw them at eachother and nothing breaks! haha

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  14. I just saw my site on your "blogs I like" on the side. I LOVE your blog and follow you, now I am adding you to my site! Keep it up girl!

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  15. Yep white glue mixed with water does indeed work...
    http://www.thecountrychiccottage.net/2010/01/balling-in-love-with-burlap.html

    :)
    Love yours!!

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  16. super cute, I'll have to try this! thank you!

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  17. super cute, I'll have to try this! thank you!

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  18. I have seen these balls at the dollar store

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  19. Very cool idea! Thank you for sharing. Plus, your warning is hillarious!

    Mermaid Debbie

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  20. These are great! What a cool project! Love your Baby Einstein cake post too. My daughter (now 17 months) still goes wild when that caterpillar ("laba", in her language) appears on the screen.

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  21. I just found your blog--what great ideas!!! Love everything you've done! My new favorite!

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  22. I love this idea! And thank you for the "Safe Mode" warning...that could be disastrous!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I haven't posted in a while, but I'm getting ready to "revamp" and focus a little more in one direction (my posts are pretty random as of now). I hope you'll stop by again soon! Love your blog, I'll definitely be checking in regularly...

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  23. I'm gonna have to try this! Great idea!

    Feel free to stop by and link this up at today's Bargain Brag Wednesday, too: http://www.bargainshoppingparadise.com/2010/04/bargain-brag-wednesday-414-420.html

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  24. I bought a decorative ball like this but for a light fixture also for 15 dlls now I can make my own!!! looks great but with a energy saving light. Also looks great!!

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  25. These look great!! I'm having a twine themed party over at my blog (http://thesimpler-life.blogspot.com) and I'd love for you to link this up!

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  26. Once you've made your balls, you can use them like this, too!

    http://sillybeeschickadees.blogspot.com/2010/06/orbs-of-coolness.html

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  27. Ah, very cool idea! I am going to try this! Then I think I'll use spray painted twine to have it be bright green!

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  28. I really loved your tutorial! It was so helpful that I decided to share it in my Posh Purpose blog post about interesting flower arrangements that one can do for the home, party, or wedding! We would love for you to check it out and maybe get some new ideas for how to use your twine balls!

    http://poshpurpose.blogspot.com/2011/08/fresh-idea-friday-flower-arrangements.html

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  29. I just tried this this afternoon, I was wondering where you found such round balloons? Mine are kind of lop sided...still totally cute though. I also tried to use the baggie idea, but my string got all tangled and stuck together. I ended up just coating my fingers in glue and running the string through them. The baggie would be much more efficient if I could get it to work smoothly...yours look so good...any tips?

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  30. These are great!! Thank you. Going to make some

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  33. Those are definitely clever and less expensive art and decoration ideas. Thanks a lot for sharing that tip. I really find simple, classic and unique. Now that I know how to make them, I might try making those tonight and place it our living room, too. Thanks again for sharing! Have a cool and enjoyable week!

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  35. It looks simple to make - thanks for the idea!

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