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Project

Snowy Balloon Ornaments

With little more than some balloons and glitter, you can fill your home with decorative snowballs.

Materials

  • Balloon
  • Ball of cotton string
  • Craft glue
  • Clothespin
  • Dowel
  • Glitter
  • Pin
  • Tweezers
  • Metallic thread
  • Spray mount
  • Evergreen branch

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Blow up the balloon until it's slightly smaller than your fist. Tie the end of the cotton string to the end of the balloon.

  2. Step 2

    Thin the glue slightly with water and brush some on the bottom of the balloon to tack down the string. Begin wrapping the string vertically around the balloon. When 3/4 of the balloon is covered vertically, begin wrapping the string horizontally. To change direction, wrap the string around the tied-off end of the balloon. Continue until 3/4 of the balloon is wrapped horizontally.

  3. Step 3

    Cut the string and secure it with a dab of glue. Brush the watered-down craft glue all over the string-covered balloon. Pinch the top of the balloon with a clothespin and thread the clothespin onto a dowel that you've suspended between two points. Allow to dry for several hours.

  4. Step 4

    Once dry, pop the balloon with a pin and remove it, using tweezers, if necessary. Add a loop of metallic thread and brush the balloon with glue again. Working over a bowl, spoon on glitter and set aside to dry.

  5. Step 5

    Spray the branch with spray mount and spoon on glitter. Allow to dry. Affix the ornament to the branch.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Television

Reviews (44)

  • 29 Nov, 2012

    using wheat flour and water paste, instead of commercial glue, will have your decorations drying hard every time.

  • 28 Nov, 2012

    I USE PAM ON THE BALLOON AND LIQUID STARCH ON THE STRING... THE STRING COLLAPES BECAUSE IT IS NOT DRY.. IT MUCH BE DRY TO POP THE BALLOON.. IS JUST UNTIE MINE INSTEAD OF POPPING IT.. LOOSEN THE STRING FROM THE BALLOON FIRST.. THAT MIGHT HELP.......i HAVE BEEN DOING CRAFTS FOR MY STORE FOR ABOUT 35 PLUS YEARS AND NOT ALL OF THESE CRAFTS WORK LIKE YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TOO..

  • 26 Nov, 2011

    I made something similar years ago and depending on where you live, the more humidity in the air there is the longer they can take to dry. You also have to make sure you get enough glue on the string but they are fun and I love the aspect of adding glitter so can't wait to try this one!

  • 13 Nov, 2011

    I did follow the instructions but it didn't work. I used elmer's glue and let it set over night. When the I popped the balloon, the ornament just crashed about itself. Any suggestions - not enough water to clue. Plus the string actually stuck to the glue..... Help!

  • 5 Nov, 2011

    These are so fantastic! I followed the directions, let them sit over night....popped the balloons and they retained their shape. They look great! I am so excited to move on to the glitter today!

  • 7 Apr, 2011

    my mother did this for us during easter. she colored it with food coloing and it was larger. she cut a [filtered word] and filled the inside with fake grass. she also put candy and eggs inside. Im older and this year i think ill do it for my son. Ill try this idea for chsistmas too.

  • 31 Dec, 2010

    I haven't tried this yet, but I found a similiar idea in an old craft book that used liquid fabric stiffener instead of glue. They applied it to the balloon first, then re-applied as they added string, finishing with a final coat over all. When it was dry they sprayed it with an acrylic sealer.

  • 22 Dec, 2010

    I did this and found the more string the better the ones that had less did get soft. water down the glue helps and i made them sopping with glue before I dried them. Also the glitter was tricky the fragile ones colaps but the sturdy one survived. I think spray glue is a good option when apply the gilliter i am trying it with my next batch.

  • 20 Dec, 2010

    I bought normal party balloons at the store and when I blow them up, they all come out to be shaped like ovals. Does anyone know how to prevent this?

  • 19 Dec, 2010

    Not all of martha's crafts work out according to direction and unfortunately Martha doesn't give very explicit directions for most of her crafts. I think she should have a difficulty rating in her projects.I tried this project and had the same problems as everyone else. I'm moving on.

  • 15 Dec, 2010

    I NEED HELP!! I have tried this numerous times and each time, after coating my balloon and string with watered down glue, and the glue dries, I pop the balloon and pull it out, but there is dried glue in the holes between the string.....what am I doing wrong??

  • 14 Dec, 2010

    Using water balloons was best for me. I realized after getting started that I needed to apply extra glue and it worked.

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    Mine didn't work :( I tired this twice and each time I popped the balloon, the string structure deflated as well..it wasn't strong at all and Im not sure why! :(

  • 3 Dec, 2010

    Blow up balloon all the way squeezing air into the pointed tip. Let as much air out as desired and tie balloon end as far towards pointed part as possible. All round, all sizes....any pear shaped balloon.

  • 23 Nov, 2010

    A water balloon is the roundest small balloon that will work for this.

  • 18 Nov, 2010

    what kind of balloon was used to avoid the teardrop shape?

  • 15 Jan, 2010

    Thanks for adding my comment

  • 10 Jan, 2010

    The easiest way, I found, is to use vaseline on the balloons, wrap the balloons with the stirng, dip the stringed balloon in watered-down glue (glue should be the consistency of a thin milkshake) until thoroughly soaked. Let dry thoroughly overnight, loosen balloon from sting by poking through the strings with a blunt object which will loosen. Then pop the balloon.

  • 16 Dec, 2009

    I tried making these with 2 different types of string.With and without pam.They collapsed each time.????

  • 1 Dec, 2009

    HINTS TO MAKE THIS EASIER:

    My mom made these every year with her Sunday School 1st-3rd graders!! Here's what she did:

    1. Water the glue down a good bit (make sure it's still sticky) and DROP THE STRING IN. This coats the whole string in the glue and makes a VERY strong ornament.
    2. Cover the balloon with Vaseline!!
    3. Wrap the string strategically the first few times so the string sticks to itself.
    5. Sprinkle glitter on BEFORE the glue dries!!

    Hope this helps!!

  • 28 Dec, 2008

    I too experienced ALL of the same issues as everyone else. My snowballs also caved in with the second application of glue for the glitter. This led me to the idea of a fabric stiffener and the spray on adhesive for the application of the glitter. However, before spending more money on this project, I am going to try the snowballs again, and apply the glitter after the first application of glue and complete the project in one step.

  • 23 Dec, 2008

    I watched this on her show; she said to spray some PAM on a cloth, then wipe the balloon with it before putting the string on...

  • 18 Dec, 2008

    Martha needs to do what my nephew said. JUST TRY SOMETHING ELSE!!!!
    thestring stuck to the balloon when dry wet in between and the ball caved in and the ordeal was very frustrating I still haven't reached the glitter stage as yet and its going three days now

  • 13 Dec, 2008

    try covering the string in glue first, then wrapping it (gently) around the balloon. it'll stick better, and you won't get glue globs after it's dried

  • 10 Dec, 2008

    i think if you can see the glue, you might need to thin it a bit more. Don't think the string will stick with the Pam on there, sorry. I LOVE playing with the colors. I have a very colorful tree and red, blue, green etc. look great, too! I think I might also try using rick-rack or even thin cloth with this balloon idea. Fun!

  • 9 Dec, 2008

    I DIDN'T WIPED DOWN THE BALLOON WITH PAM!!!! Am I in trouble???? HELPPPPPPP!!!!!

  • 9 Dec, 2008

    It turns out okay but you can see the glue in between the spaces. Any advice..thanks! :)

  • 9 Dec, 2008

    It turns out okay but you can see the glue in between the spaces. Any advice..thanks! :)

  • 6 Dec, 2008

    I've made these in the past and I have found that you need to let them dry completely before popping the balloon. Also, to apply the glitter, instead of brushing on more glue, I use spray adhesive. I find that it doesn't get the already dried glue wet again, and it's less messy.

  • 6 Dec, 2008

    I wonder if you can use Fabic stiffener for this project. I think I'll try it and let ya'll know if it works....

  • 5 Dec, 2008

    I had seen this before with oval balloons as Easter eggs. My kids and I were SO excited to try this when we saw it on TV. We did use the Pam and a few of them still caved in when we popped the balloons. We were able to reshape them but the REAL problem occurred when we tried to brush on more glue for the glitter. Even with minimal glue, the wetness made them lose shape completely. :o(

  • 4 Dec, 2008

    On her christmas special, Martha mentioned to use Pam. She said to spray a paper towel and lightly wipe the surface of the ballon. I did a few last night it worked.

  • 4 Dec, 2008

    On the recent TV special Martha sprayed the balloons with something before she started stringing them. Was it just PAM? My balloons are stuck to the string!! The above directions don't mention a pre-spray.

  • 1 Dec, 2008

    We did these a few years ago. They are beautiful. Use water balloons to get the round shape at a small size.

  • 17 Nov, 2008

    I made several of these last year for Christmas. Yes, they did cave in a little when I popped the balloons, but I just used tweezers and a pencil or the end of a paint brush to reshape them after getting the balloon out and that worked really well. I even made them in different sizes using different sized balloons. And it is quite messy with the glue and glitter, but it's lots of fun!

  • 18 Jan, 2008

    Wow = this seems so easy. I hope to try it next year. They look beautiful. Great for kids (maybe)

  • 18 Jan, 2008

    Wow = this seems so easy. I hope to try it next year. They look beautiful. Great for kids (maybe)

  • 23 Dec, 2007

    Tried this project 3 times and it failed each time....sounds like we are all having similar problems. I won't do this one again....there are plenty of other pretty projects that I know work.

  • 18 Dec, 2007

    Just a note since its cold: My balloon either got a [filtered word] or shrunk up overnight due to the cold. I recommend putting closer to a heater (not too close, it could expand maybe?) or maybe do it during the day. It still came out decent but it not as round as I'd like, it caved in a little on the sides b/c the balloon shrunk. I shall try again. :)

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    jirah-are you letting it dry completely before popping? Also, did you use Pam on the balloon to help it release? Good luck! I'm making mine today...

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    my husband and I tried this and everytime we popped the ballon the ball collasped. what did we do wrong? we tried the cooking spray and it still collasped. we want to make some for senior before Christmas and only have a week. help!

  • 12 Dec, 2007

    If you wanted these to be a color, could you mix acrylic paint in with the glue to eliminate having to spray paint them? Anyone have any ideas? Thank you.

  • 7 Dec, 2007

    The television version added a step that helped us. She wiped down the balloon with cooking oil spray on a paper towel after tying the string below the balloon's knot. ;) The balloon comes out more easily.
    We also did one using natural jute twine, and put it on our mantel. It's very organic looking.

  • 4 Dec, 2007

    My 9 and 10 year old boys did this and loved it. However, they went a little crazy with the glue so I suggest to blot it with a paper towel to keep it from dripping and filling in the holes. Great project for children, their's turned out better than mine. Mine wasn't random enough and looked too uniform.
    Thanks,
    Teri