Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ribbon Ornament Tutortial

Last year I began looking for craft ideas for our Christmas Craft Night for enrichment. I walked into Pottery Barn one day and saw these ornaments. They were selling them for something like $8.00 a piece and of course my crafty brain went berserk. I splurged and bought one. I took it home and carefully examined it w/out tearing it apart. I figured out my version and figured you could make your own for under three dollars. They are not hard, but do take practice. The one on display today is definitely not the best, but my lazy bum just wasn't up to digging through my Christmas stuff just yet. So you get the, a year later and out of practice version :D

You will need:

3" foam balls

1 roll of 3/8" ribbon-- this will be the main color of the ball

10" of 3/8" ribbon that contrasts with your main color

18" of baby ric rac in a contrasting color

5 " of 5/8" ribbon for the hanger

hot glue gun/hot glue sticks


1. mark the top and the bottom of your ball-- use a marker-- i used what was in reach, a pair of scissors to poke it so i would know where the top and bottom was.

2. place a small dot of glue on the top of the ball and place the end of your main ribbon-- note do not cut your ribbon!!!! once you have wrapped your whole ball then you can cut it. then place a small dot of glue at the bottom of your ball and wrap the fabric around to this dot. Make sure that you don't use a lot of hot glue or you will end up with something other than a ball-- it will be kind of pointy at each end rather than round.

2. You will then begin wrapping your ball. Always crossing the same point at the top and bottom, but moving the ribbon over just slightly. Make sure as you wrap to keep the ribbon tight and to find just the right angle so your ribbon is not bulgy or gappy-- are those words??? you will see what i mean. this is also why you need to use the right width of ribbon-- anything bigger will not wrap tightly to your ball.

3. You do not need to glue every pass of the top or bottom. Remember too much glue will make your ball look weird. I just wrap tight and glue intermittently. Every two or three passes.

4. Once you've wrapped your whole ball you want to end at the top. Cut your ribbon closest to the middle and make sure its glued, make sure the last pass of the bottom is glued too. It will look like this. The left one is the top and the right one the bottom

5. You take your 5 inches of your 5/8" ribbon and place a small line of glue at one end. Then fold up the end over the glue, to make a finished edge.

6. Then on your finished edge place another small line of glue and fasten the other end of the ribbon to it, to make a circle.

7. Then place a small amount of glue at the top of your ball, where you finished up with your ribbon and attach the loop you just created. Make sure that your unfinished edge of ribbon is covered up by the ribbon you're attaching-- so it looks pretty :D Then hang your ball, so that you can visualize what the front and back of your ball will be-- you may not have to do this, but for some reason if i don't i always do it backward and have a seam showing when i hang it on my tree.

8. Once you've established where your front and back will be, take your ten inches of 3/8" fabric and find the center. You want to glue the center of your ribbon to the exact center of your ball in the front middle. Once again, small amounts of glue intermittently. And try very carefully to wrap your ribbon in a straight line around the center of the ball-- trust me it is very noticeable if its not straight, as you can tell. When you reach the back create a finished edge, just like you did when you made the loop in step six. Then glue it over the other unfinished edge to cover it up-- make sure this part is at the back of your ball.

9. You will then cut your 18 inches of ric rac into two 9" segments and repeat what you did in step 8 excluding finishing the edge. Let me emphasize again-- be careful and make sure that you keep straight lines-- if you look at the following pic you will see why its so important.

p.s. hot glue is really hot, for some reason i always forget this--


Janie said...

VERY VERY cool. I love it. you are amazing! could you do a bigger ball if you wanted?

Bethanne said...

Awesome. You are amazing as always!

Christina said...


Chella said...

Really great! You are uber-talented.

Janette said...

I seriously cannot believe you were up doing this ... what time does your alarm go off these mornings? You're crazy!

It's a VERY cute ornament, btw!

Gentry Family said...

Just adorable!

Claire said...

I wish I had your skills!! Maybe Olivia and I will try them closer to Christmas.

Amanda Sewell said...

YAY! I am SO making one of these as soon as I can dig up my leftover foam balls from last year!

Becca said...

Those are so cute!!!

Juli said...

Thanks for sharing! I knew that we did them at your house last year for enrichment but I didn't do that project and was wanting to this year. Thanks for the info!

Amber Hooten said...

I LOVED doing this last year for a craft night! I think I am going to make more to go around our Christmas tree. Although we might not even put our Christmas tree up this year because we will be in the process of moving. We shall see! I love all the projects that you do. You are very talented, Sarah!

Practically Perfect In Every Way said...

I LOVE YOUR TUTORIALS! i just ordered my $25 worth of bare books to make christmas gifts!

Bugzmommy said...

Love this tutorial! If I try one of these, may I link to your post?