Hang this wreath anywhere -- it's as fresh as peppermint-swirl candy.
1. To make handles for the balls, insert one end of a skewer into each 3-1/2-inch-diameter ball and one end of a toothpick into each remaining ball. Use the foam sheet as a drying rack, inserting the opposite end of the skewers and toothpicks into the foam. For safety, wear a painter's mask when sanding. Remove the sanding dust with a tack cloth.
Prepare the Balls
2. Use your fingers to cover each 3-1/2-inch-diameter ball with a thin even coat of patching plaster. Moisten your fingers with water and smooth out the plaster. Let the plaster dry. Sand the plaster-covered balls with 100- and then 150-grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth.
3. Using a 3/4-inch wash brush, apply a coat of gesso to each plaster-covered ball. Let the gesso dry completely. Sand the balls with 150-grit sandpaper. Use a 3/4-inch wash brush to apply a coat of sealer. When the sealer is dry, sand the balls with 400-grit sandpaper.
Paint the Balls
4. Using a 3/4-inch wash brush and WH, base-coat all the 3-1/2-inch balls. Let the paint dry.
5. For one 3-1/2-inch ball, brush the swirl rubber stamp with FR paint. To remove excess paint, gently tap the stamp on a paper towel. Stamp the image on the ball, carefully rocking the stamp on the curved surface without changing the position. Repeat to randomly stamp swirls over the ball, reapplying paint to the stamp after each impression.
6. For the 3-1/2-inch FR polka-dot balls, use a 3/4-inch pouncer to make large dots and the eraser end of a pencil to make small dots. Dip the pouncer or eraser into the paint; touch the paint to the surface of the ball. Repeat to make random dots over the ball, dipping in paint before each dot.
7. For the 3-1/2-inch check ball, draw intersecting horizontal and vertical pencil lines around the ball the width of the #10 shader. Select one side of the ball for the front. Load the shader with FR and, referring to the photograph for guidance, paint every other square for a checkerboard design.
8. To make the 3-1/2-inch striped ball, place rubber bands around the ball to create eight equal sections. Using the rubber bands as a guide, use a pencil to lightly draw the section lines. Remove the rubber bands. Use a #5 round brush and FR to paint every other section.
9. When the paint is completely dry, use the 3/4-inch wash brush to apply a coat of varnish to each 3-1/2-inch ball. Let the varnish dry. Trim off or remove the skewers.
10. Using a 1/2-inch wash brush and WH, base-coat one 1-1/2- inch-diameter ball, three 1-1/4-inch-diameter balls, and three 1-inch-diameter balls. Using a 1/2-inch wash brush and FR, base-coat two 1-1/2-inch-diameter balls, three 1-1/4-inch-diameter balls, and 11 1-inch-diameter balls.
11. When the paint is completely dry, sand with 400-grit sandpaper. Make a mixture using 4 tablespoons each of WH and Sobo glue. Holding onto the toothpick, dip each WH ball into the mixture to completely cover the ball. Dip the balls 3 or 4 times in the mixture until the surface is smooth, letting the mixture dry after each layer. Repeat with a mixture of FR and Sobo glue for the red balls. When the final layer is completely dry, use the 1/2-inch wash brush to apply a coat of varnish to each mixture-coated ball. Let the varnish dry. Use the wire cutters to trim off the protruding toothpicks.
Assemble the Wreath
12. From the 1-1/2-inch-wide gingham ribbon, cut a 2-yard length for the bow and an 18-inch length for the tails. Use the ribbon lengths and 12 inches of the floral wire to make an 8-loop bow with a center knot. Position the bow on the wreath at the center top and secure with the floral wire. Cut Vs in the ends of the ribbon tails.
13. Arrange the balls on the wreath, referring to the photograph. When pleased with the arrangement, hot glue the balls to the wreath. Beginning and ending under the bow, weave the remaining gingham ribbon around the wreath, wiring it in place as desired.
14. For a hanging loop, fold a piece of cloth-covered floral wire in half. Secure the ends to the center back of the wreath.
*Note: BHG.com is not endorsing this product. Rather, it is a suggestion for a specific product that is necessary to properly complete the project.