Friday, December 10, 2010
I've been itching to see if the double ball ornaments, demonstrated in the following two videos,
could be done using recyled Christmas cards. I didn't have any hatpins (and few other interesting trimmings) and for my first attempt I picked a somewhat bland card. I alternated strips from the front of the card with strips from the back of the card. In lieu of a hat pin I used a pearl bead that had a long wire stem. I began with the bottom ball and when I finished threading on all the strips and beads I bent the end down into the bead to make a loop for the hanger. This is the result.
I discovered that the stiffness of the card stock means that the strips, especially on the smaller ball, tend to want to fold instead of roll. I think that I can precondition them so that they will roll but before I tried this on some more colourful cards I thought that I would experiment using some ribbon instead.
I don't have a lot of wide ribbon but I did find some vinyl velvet ribbon that was very easy to cut into 1/2 inch strips. For this ornament I used a double thickness of thread, instead of a hat pin, to make the axis of the ornament. Using a needle and thread was a lot faster than threading card stock strips on the wire, and I didn't need to punch any holes in advance.
The one thing that I didn't like about this ornament is that, because of the order that the strips are added, there is a beginning and end point where the 12 layers of ribbon hold the top and bottom ribbons far apart. This is especially noticeable because the velvet ribbon is so thick.
So I decide to do another experiment using ribbon, but altering the order that the ribbon is added. In the two above ornaments I alternated the two colours of paper/ ribbon. This time I put all of one colour of ribbons on first and then added the strips of the other colour. I arranged the ball with the strips that were put on first on the outside of the ball. I discovered that when one does this it is desirable to make the inside loops a little longer than the outside loops so that they keep the loops from shifting position. I'll know better next time but in the meantime I liked the look of this little ornament.
And now I think that I'll take the two ribbon balls apart and make the first one the second way and the second one the first way. After all the ribbon of the second ball is so thin that even 12 ribbons won't stack up very thick...
The next day
Well I took them apart and redid them. The yellow one worked well. As I suspected the stack of ends is negligible. For the velvet one I discovered that I needed to make the ribbons of the inside loops narrower so they could fit between the outside loops. The inside ribbon is now only 1/4" wide.
Though there are just as many ends as before they are now inside the ornament, not stacked between the two balls. This makes for a much smaller gap between the two balls. And now it occures to me that for this style of ornament I can use loops of ribbons twice as long (four inch and six inch) and there would be even fewer ends. Hmmm...
Later that week ...
I dug deep into my craft supplies and found some more appropriate embellishments so I decided to experiment a little more. For both these ornament I started with the beads and bead caps that make up the base of each ornament, added the smaller ball, the larger ball and finally the bead caps and beads that make the top of each ornament. I made the yellow and white one with the short pieces of ribbon (2 inch and 3 inch) and assembled it as shown in the you tube videos. (So each ribbon appears to swirl from under the adjacent ribbon.)
For the blue one I found some 1/4 inch white ribbon to alternate with the blue velvet. I cut all the ribbons twice as long (4 inch and 6 inch) and trimmed about an 1/8 of an inch from the blue ones. (Because they were all going to be on the outside.) Then I made a loop of each ribbon, overlapped their ends by about 1/4 inch and glued them together. When I added the loops I did so in such a way that the very top and very bottom loops did not show this overlap. (For the bottom ball I poked the needle in the first loop through the centre of the loop and for the top ball I poked the needle in the first loop through the overlapped section.) I also alternated the placement of the ribbon so that half the overlaps are on the top of the ball and half are on the bottom of the ball.
For both of these ornaments I used a gold coloured thread. To make the ornaments a little stiffer, and to help maintain the distance between the top and bottom of each ball, I threaded several gold bugle beads onto the thread in the middle of each ball. (I wish that I had one very long bugle bead that I could cut to the required lengths!)
I found that the slippery ribbons of the yellow and white ball were reluctant to stay in place on the bigger ball so I applied a little glue to the underside of the organza flower and pressed it against the top of the ball.
When I finished these two ornaments I redid the burgundy and blue one using the metal bead caps and pearl beads.