D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper

In the words of my husband, “Welp, better late than never.”

Even though there are only four days until Christmas, I decided to make my own tree topper.  We keep our tree up through January anyway, so it’ll have some quality time on this year’s tree as well as on the trees in years to come.  I found my inspiration atop the trees in our church’s lobby.  Here are a few pics I snapped on my phone after church last week:

D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

For this project, I decided to just figure it out on my own – – sans online tutorials – – which could have resulted in a craft fail of major proportions, but thankfully, we made it through with a tree topper I’m quite fond of.  I think he can stay.

Here’s the how-to:

D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

  1. Blow up a balloon.  Ours had a circumference of 22″.
  2. Wrap balloon in cling wrap.  I figured cling wrap would be less likely to stick to the mod podge than the balloon…but may not be a necessary step.  UPDATE: This is a necessary step; I tried it without the cling wrap on my Glitter Twine Ball Ornaments, and while the balloon detached from the twine eventually, the dried excess Mod Podge detached from the balloon, as well, leaving an ugly webbing in the nooks and crannies.  Don’t skip this step!
  3. Wrap twine or jute twine around the balloon.  To get started I just taped the jute to the base of the balloon.  I found that I needed to keep the string pretty tight against the balloon or it all unraveled.  Make sure to leave a little pocket of room at the base of the balloon; this will help you nest your tree topper when the time comes.  When you feel like you’ve sufficiently wrapped your balloon, remove that piece of tape and glue the end of your string to the beginning of your string with hot glue.D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet
  4. Using a foam brush, cover your twine with mod podge.  Really get into those nooks and crannies!  Alternatives to mod podge that should work: Elmer’s glue, craft glue, wallpaper glue…possibly even spray adhesive.  In retrospect, I probably could have even stood to thin down my mod podge with some water, but since I wanted to make sure the final product was really firm, I just caked it on!
  5. Let it dry!  I precariously suspended my ball from the bottom of one of our IKEA baskets using a wire ornament hanger and let it dry overnight.

    D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

    Round of Carcassonne, anyone?

  6. Pop the balloon.  This is the fun part!  Once the ball is completely dry, pop the balloon and remove it along with the cling wrap.  I had to reach my hand in and pick out some of the bits of clinging cling wrap.  It was strangely therapeutic.
  7. You’re done!  Tuck your Christmas lights inside of the tree topper, and nestle it atop your tallest tree branch.
D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

~ the glowing orb ~

It turned out better than I anticipated!  It even complements our No-Sew Ruffle Burlap Tree Skirt.

D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

Our tree is officially topped!

Now, I’m inspired to try twine ornament balls…but I think I’ll wait until next year on that one.

{Update: I did ’em!  With Glitter Mod Podge!  Check them out here.}

To Close

And a question for you, dear reader: out of curiosity, what rests atop your tree?

Let me leave you with one final picture and a quote from one of my new favorite Christmas songs, “Christmas in the Room” by Sufjan Stevens, which is on my Indie Christmas mix.

D.I.Y. Twine Ball Tree Topper by The Thinking Closet

P.S. I link up my projects at these happenin’ parties.

This is Lauren, signing off.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    OMG! You read my mind!!! I’m planning on picking up some yarn tomorrow and making ball ornaments and a possibly a topper with the same technique. I’m also thinking of making a finger knit garland.

    I tried making these with yarn this past Summer. I used Elmer’s glue and put the yarn directly on the balloon. It was an epic fail! The yarn adhered to the balloon and when the balloon popped it made the balls collapse. I’ve read that using cooking oil or Vaseline on the balloon first is the way to do it, but your cling wrap seemed to do the trick. Was it easy to remove the cling wrap?

    • says

      Love that we’re on the same wavelength with this, Bethany! (And a finger knit garland sounds like fun. Wish we lived closer so we could craft together tomorrow.)

      As for your question about the cling wrap – – I’d say about 10% of the cling wrap stuck to the dried mod podge, and I probably spent about 15 minutes picking it out…but as I mentioned, it wasn’t too tricky of a task, and although this may sound weird, I found it therapeutic. The cooking oil or Vaseline idea doesn’t sound half bad…but then the inside of your orbs might be a bit greasy. Guess it’s give and take with either option.

      Maybe you could try all three in an experiment (cling wrap, oil, and Vaseline) and write up a post on your results! I’m definitely hoping to do more of these next year, so I’d love to know if there is a better method out there.

      Have fun tomorrow!

  2. Nancy Hoffman says

    I made a new topper for our tree this year as the angel we’ve enjoyed for 25 years dominates our new smaller tree & I was suddenly aware of her 80’s vibe. LOL. I used the spirit of a Better Homes & Gardens idea, cutting & sewing together two yellow felt stars. I left an opening on the bottom to slip it onto the top branch of the trip & love the simple look which is somewhat reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s. Thanks for your faithfulness in posting Lauren!

    • says

      Nancy, you made me chuckle with your description of your sudden awareness of your angel’s 80s vibe! I can just picture her now…. (And for some reason, she has double-bangs.) 😉

      The description of your new star topper sounds loverly and very Charlie Brown Christmas, indeed. You know what I think? I think YOU need to start a blog so you can share all of these fun projects you’re doing…you inspire me with your comments alone, so I can only imagine what photos would do!

      And thanks for your faithfulness in reading and commenting and encouraging me! My faithfulness in posting is fueled so much by readers like you. Merry merry Christmas to the entire Hoffman family!

  3. Marmie says

    Beautiful topper; I like that it is “lacy” so the light shines through. Your phrase “strangely therapeutic” made me smile as that’s how I feel sometimes when I iron clothes! So neat how it does match your tree skirt. Our tree has an angel “near” the top…I wouldn’t say the angel is a “topper” but she’s hovering over all the ornaments.

    • says

      I wish I had inherited your love of ironing! Thankfully, I don’t have to iron much with the “wrinkle away” setting on our dryer (I’m so lazy when it comes to anything laundry related).

      And I love the angel that tops the tree at 319! I always loved how her dress looked so soft, yet was firm to the touch. Where did you first get her, Mom?

      • Marmie says

        Somehow Caldors comes to mind (where Kohls is now)….but it’s been so long, I’m not sure. Dad thought Caldors independently of me saying so, too. Her wings have needed repairing over the years but otherwise she’s in great shape!

  4. Mom says

    Really like your tree topper! It completes your beautiful decor on your tree (and underneath!) I think twine ornaments would be so beautiful too ~ something to look for on your tree next year maybe?!

    • says

      Thanks, Mom. Yes! I want to try the same style, but smaller versions for ornaments – – and perhaps try just filling empty glass balls with twine for a different look. They’d make for fun gifts, too!

  5. Debby says

    THANK YOU!!! Have been trying for many years to figure out how to make orbs to hang in our Magnolia tree for Christmas. Hubby and I do not want to spend a fortune filling our tree with them. So we thought we’d make some. Have yet to do it. So hopefully this will encourage us to get this project done.


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