I got this inspiration from a failed try at making faux snowballs. The directions were simple, cover Styrofoam balls with glue, batting, more glue, and faux snow. Easy, right? Well not really. The ice pellets wouldn’t stick with the white glue I was using even though I was using the brand recommended in the tutorial. So I got desperate and tried spray adhesive (it just made yellow snow). I finally tried coating the batting with hot glue which resulting in burned fingers and using twice as much faux ice as called for.
Still, I already had the faux ice crystals so I came up with a new idea. I pinned fresh cranberries all over the Styrofoam ball with pearl quilting pins and then used hot glue like a mortar and dusted them with the ice crystals. I think they turned out adorable. I got two sizes by pulling off the batting off the second ball and slicing it about 3/4 of the way down so it sits flat.
I love using fresh berries because they’re not uniform in color or size and that makes these so charming!
Cranberry Ice Christmas Balls
Inspiration: From BH&G Cranberry Balls, Cranberry Mod Trees, and Everlasting Snow Balls
- Styrofoam Balls (or any shape you like)
- 200 Pearl Quilting Pins (for 6″ Styrofoam ball)
- 300 Fresh Cranberries (you’ll need to pick through to remove soft or discolored berries)
- Hot glue and hot glue gun (have plenty of glue on hand)
- Faux ice crystals, snow, glitter, etc.
- Quilt Batting (optional)
- White Glue (optional)
- If you want to be able to hang these (although they’re pretty heavy), tie a ribbon around the ball leaving a loop at the top. Then pin right through the ribbon to hold it in place.
- For a fuller look, use the batting and white glue or to get two different sizes from the same size Styrofoam ball. Wrap the quilt batting around the ball, draw up the four sides and cut along the ball. This will make a petal shape. Glue the batting to the ball and cut any overage or add batting with glue if you’ve cut too small. It won’t show, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Pick through the cranberries and make sure you’re using firm berries. Place the pin in the mark on the berry left by the stem. Place the berry into the Styrofoam I went around the circumference and filled in, but it really doesn’t matter as long as the berries are touching or nearly touching the berry next to it.
- Continue until the ball is completely filled with berries (for the half ball look, use a serrated knife and slice off the bottom half of the ball before you start placing berries).
- With the tip of your hot glue gun, put the glue between the berries right on the Styrofoam. This will help hold your berries in place and is the “mortar” for your ice crystals.
- While the glue is hot, sprinkle with the ice crystals, snow, or glitter. Be sure you’re not getting glue on the top of the berries as much as possible – you want them to shine through.
- Continue until the ball is completely mortared and then pull off all of the inevitable strings of hot glue.
- These may dry in place but if you want to preserve them, cover them with 3 light coats of spray shellac.
I love the way they look and I’ve heard you can use Epson Salts for the faux snow. That wouldn’t work for me because I HATE the smell of Epson Salts, but if it doesn’t bother you, I hear it looks great. You could also use sanding sugar I’m sure.
I’m not sure exactly where these will go in our Christmas decor, but they’re really very pretty in person. For now they’re holding space in one of my apothecary jars.