I'm really proud of myself that I'm getting this out to you well before Thanksgiving, even! I think this is the furthest in advance I've ever posted a tutorial for a holiday. Doing the tree for the DC temple Visitor's Center has helped me get all my ducks in a row, although it feels pretty weird to be full-tilt into Christmas stuff before even planning our Thanksgiving feast. I don't even have all my Halloween stuff put away yet!
These are the Baby Cousins to the Big Daddy-O ornaments that I made for the other tree, pictured below. I figured that most of us without 15-foot ceilings and 12-foot trees would appreciate this smaller scale for our 6 or 7 foot trees, but if you want to go big, go for it!
To make ornaments 6" wide like these, you'll need to buy 6" styrofoam or, even better, Smoothfoam balls. These can be quite pricey ($5 to $7 each). I found some great Smoothfoam balls online at Plasteelcorp.com for $3 each. Since I made 15, it made a big difference in the price, plus I got free shipping.
You'll also need to use 2 wordstrips instead of 1 per ornament.
About the text...I used white wording for the large balls, which was not very legible once the glitter was applied. For the small balls, I printed the wording in black, but I should have made the lettering thinner. I went back and fixed that after my ornaments were completed, so yours will look better. Everything's a learning process...
3" or 3.5" styrofoam balls
Music note napkins (I bought mine at PianoSupplies.com), cut into small squares. The squares you see pictured here are too large for this size of ball. After this picture was taken I cut them in half again once I started working. Squares that are 1.5" would be ideal.
Modpodge (mat finish) and a chip brush or equivalent, plus a little container for the Modpodge.
The wordstrips which you can click on and print out here:
"Forever and Ever....Hallelujah..." wordstrip
"Peace, Good Will Toward Men" wordstrip
"For Unto Us a Child is Born..." wordstrip
Cut them into the strips, taking care to preserve the black line which outlines the red. A paper cutter or ruler+rotary cutter are recommended to keep the lines straight.
NOTE: many home printers have ink that smears when wet. For best results, go to a commercial printer or make sure your printer ink doesn't smear. If it does, just let ink dry at least 2 days before attempting this project.
Clear glitter and a tray/large sheet of paper to catch excess glitter
Ribbon: skinny 1/8" for the hanger (9" length per ornament) and 1/4" for the bow (about 12" length per ornament).
Glue gun or craft glue
1) Insert 1 or 2 bamboo skewers into ball. Brush a generous coat of Modpodge over ball and lay the pieces of napkin down one at a time, brushing a thin layer of Modpodge over top of napkin piece after each one is put down. A little overlapping is necessary to ensure that none of the styrofoam is peeking through.
When ball is entirely coated, place bamboo skewer+ball into a heavy vase or jar so it can dry without touching anything.
2) When ball has completely dried, brush a thick coat of Modpodge around the midsection of ball. Wrap word strip all the way around --UPSIDE DOWN--, trimming ends if necessary so that only about 1/4" is overlapping. Take care to center the strip around the "equator" of sphere in relation to where the skewers are so that the ball won't hang crooked like some of mine did.
3) Carefully brush Modpodge over the strip, using the metal part of the brush to help press down any edges that don't want to conform to the curve of the ball. If you have used a printer with smudgy ink, wipe away any pink-tinted Modpodge on the music part of the ball before it dries. Otherwise you will have a pink ball. Let dry.
4) When ball has dried, coat entire ball again with Modpodge and sprinkle clear glitter over entire sphere. Don't worry about how cloudy it looks here - it will become clear and legible when it dries.
5) When completely dry, remove bamboo skewer(s) and use the tip of skewer to push the raw ends of skinny ribbon into hole. Squirt glue into hole to secure skinny ribbon.
Tie a little bow with the 1/4" ribbon. Using another dap of glue, attach bow to ball right at the base of the skinny ribbon.
ps. I am NOT moulting, nor is the skin on my fingers peeling off. It is merely the stubborn remnants of dried Modpodge which had not been scrubbed off yet. Lovely, I know.
And there you have it! Your very first music sphere ornament (insert Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" here). Enjoy!