These folk toys—made of papier-mâché spheres and colored thread—are embroidered into beautiful patterns, becoming novelty knickknacks, keepsake gifts, or lightweight ornaments for a Christmas tree.
Temari balls are a form of folk art that originated in China and were introduced to Japan in the 7th century. Originally, they were made from herbs and leather, and noblewomen of Japan developed theirs from silk and kimono scraps. The temari ball is a symbol that represents great loyalty or a valued friendship. In modern day Japan, mothers make them for their children as part of New Year's celebrations.
Pictured here: Temari balls were featured as handmade decorations on Silke Stoddard's wooden Scandinavian Christmas tree.