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Woven Ball Ornament

These weightless ball ornaments are crafted from thin wooden-basket strips, akin to American Amish and Shaker design.

folk art christmas tree

Photography: Lennart Weibull

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2020

Introduction

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of handmade Christmas ornaments and folk-art Christmas décor.

materials

  • Maple basket strips, 1/2 inch (Suzanne Moore's N.C. Basket Works Maple Basket Strips, 1/2", $5 for 8, ncbasketworks.com)

  • Ruler

  • Pencil

  • Superglue gel (Gorilla Super Glue Gel XL, $7.99, amazon.com)

  • Mini clothespins or binder clips

  • Hole punch, 1/16 inch

  • Red waxed twine (Nashville Wraps Bakers' Twine, in Cherry Red, $9 for 240 yd., nashvillewraps.com)

steps

  1. Cut three basket strips, each 9 1/2 inches long. Lay them so outside of curve faces you. At 1/2 inch from bottom end, mark a line across a strip, as shown, left. Repeat to mark remaining strips.

    folk art christmas tree illustration
  2. Turn strips around so that inside of curve faces you. Mark lines on one strip as shown, right: at 2 1⁄4 inches from bottom and 1/2 inch above that line; 4 1/2 inches from bottom and 1/2 inch above that line; and 6 3/4 inches from bottom and 1/2 inch above that line. (Marks will ensure ornament is centered and balanced when you assemble it.) Repeat to mark remaining strips.

  3. Carefully bend ends of one strip toward each other, overlapping one end to sole 1/2-inch mark. (The other marks should be on the inside of this loop.) Hold strip like this for a few seconds to help shape wood, then add a small drop of glue and press the two ends together. (Don't add too much glue, or it will get messy and take longer to dry.) Secure with mini clothespins or binder clips, and let dry. Repeat with remaining strips.

  4. Take two circles and place one inside the other so that they're perpendicular, lining up marks. (You should now only see one set of lines, on inside circle.) Secure circles together at the two spots where they intersect with small drops of glue; clamp with mini clothespins and let dry.

  5. Take third circle and place it inside other two, lining up marks. Secure with glue; clamp with mini clothespins as in step four. Let dry.

  6. Remove clothespins and erase pencil marks. Punch a hole through an intersection. Loop a piece of waxed thread through hole and knot for hanging.

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