Curly Wire Christmas Ball

Do the twist, and let it snow -- then hang these ornaments on your tree, or from the chandelier or windows, for festive sparkle.


What You Need:
Enlarge Image These curlicues will shine on your tree.
  • 20 feet of 22-gauge round nickel wire (or use 22-gauge copper or brass wire)
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • 1/2-inch diameter dowel
  • 4-1/2 x 6-inch sheet of white cotton linter for making paper (from a crafts store)
  • Blender
  • Container that is wide and deep enough to submerge the wire ornament
  • Silver glitter fabric paint and/or clear spray acrylic varnish (optional)
  • 18 inches of 1-1/2-inch-wide silver sheer wire ribbon
  • 1 yard of 3/8-inch wide silver wire ribbon
Instructions:

1. Begin about 2 inches from one end of the length of wire, and wrap the wire around the dowel. Use the needle-nose pliers to twist the wire to make a loop. Remove the loop from the dowel.

2. Place the loop at the left end of the dowel and just above the dowel. Wrap the wire tightly around the dowel. Remove the coiled wire and stretch the coil into a 1-yard length.

3. Beginning at the end opposite the hanging loop, wrap the coil around your hand as if you were wrapping ribbon to make a bow. Remove the wrapped wire and pull the hanging loop through the middle. Shape the wire until you have a nice ball shape.

4. Tear the cotton linter into 1-inch pieces. Place half of the torn linter in your blender and fill the blender with water. Blend on high for about two minutes, using short bursts to keep the blender from overheating, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

5. Clean the blender thoroughly, but don't pour any excess pulp down the drain. Instead, pour it outside in the garden, where it can decompose.

6. Stir the water to bring the paper pulp to the top. Holding the ornament by the loop, dip it into the paper pulp, then hang the ornament over a protected surface to let it dry. For a thicker coat of paper, repeat the dipping and drying.

7. If desired, lightly brush the ornament with fabric glitter paint and spray with clear acrylic varnish.

8. Fold 18 inches of the 1-1/2-inch-wide ribbon in half. From 24 inches of the 3/8-inch-wide ribbon, make a bow. Center the folded ribbon behind the hanging loop and position the bow over the base of the hanging loop. Tie the ribbon and the bow to the base of the hanging loop, using the remaining 3/8-inch-wide ribbon.


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