Twelve Days of DIY Christmas - Day 10 Under the Mistletoe

>> 12.12.2014

Kissing under the mistletoe is such a romantic, iconic part of the holidays, isn't it? Little do people know that they are smooching under a parasitic plant that sucks the nutrients out of its host. But the history of this custom is pretty cool, and any tradition that supports love and affection has my support!

Last year I picked my own real mistletoe, but this year, after seeing this cute little kissing ball at Target, I decided to make my own.

The target version used super thick wool felt, which you can't just buy at your local fabric store, especially in the right color, so I went with the next best option: fleece. I chose two colors close to each other, maybe even a little clashy, to add a touch of realism to it, because no plant is just one color.

Fleece however, is not a sturdy fabric, and I knew that if I were to use it as-is, my kissing ball would look more like a moppy-headed oscar the grouch. So I had to come up with a way to siffen the fabric. Luckily, there's a product out there that does just that called Stiffen Quick by Aleene's. Have you ever said stiffen over and over? It starts to sound really funny after a while. Anyway.........

The supplies you will need are

1/8 yard green fleece in two different colors.
White pompoms
Small styrofoam ball, I think mine was 2"???
Fabric scissors
Sewing pins
Stiffen Quick
Ribbon (about 30" long)
Hot glue gun

First, cut the fabric into small strips and round the corners. You will need almost all of the fabric for this project so go ahead and cut it all up.

Next, put the strips in a place where you can spray down the fabric, like a large bowl, or in my case, a trashed out cookie sheet. Take the spray and saturate the strips. You will want to be liberal with the spray. 

Next, take the strips and put them in the microwave. Yes. Microwave. Unless you want to wait hours for the strips to air dry. Place them straight on to the tray in the microwave. You won't be able to fit all of the strips in one round and will have to do four or more batches in the microwave. 

Microwave for two minutes. Then open the microwave and loosen up the strips from the tray, (they will stick a tiny bit) flip then over or just stir them around a bit, and then microwave for an additional minute. At this point they should be stiff. You can adjust the level of stiffness by the amount of spray, so if they aren't stiff enough, on the next batch saturate them a little more. 

p.s. This will the last time I will ever show you my microwave. Promise. 

Next, take your ribbon and tie it around the styrofoam ball. 

Then, take a felt piece, fold in half and place the middle section on to the ball. With a straight pen, secure the fabric onto the felt. Repeat, making sure not to leave gaps, and also try to avoid placing in straight lines. Change up the orientation or direction of the felt occasionally so that the felt doesn't lay in rows. 

Next, add the pompoms with hot glue, and you're done!

And here it is in it's place of honor. 


Brenda 12/13/14, 12:03 AM  

So clever . . . So cute and I do LOVE your wall color!

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