Stuffing Balls for Christmas

Ok, so the title of the post might be a bit misleading – I hate stuffing balls – unless they happen to be apple and sausage meat. But this post is about cramming polystyrene balls into 12cm high papier mache hanging decorations rather than anything edible. The inspiration for these came from Creativ Company, as did the shapes and balls.

Some balls are just covered in gold metallic acrylic paint – it took two coats. I pierced each ball with a length of wire to hold them whilst being painted and drying, sticking them into a polystyrene block. The silver balls were a combination of silver acrylic paint – didn’t cover well, so half got covered with silver metallic alcohol ink mixative with great results (start with that if you have some, sticks well to raw polystyrene) and the other half coated with a layer of in ‘Veil of Smoke’ Pebeo Fantasy Moon. This gave a superb gloss finish.

Various glitter effects adorn the other balls – I coated a third with matte multi-medium and then a covering of Distress Stickles Dry Rock Candy glitter. Several of the gold painted balls were coated with Cosmic Shimmer Glitter and Flake Glue before pressing into Cosmic Shimmer Polished Silk Glitter in Sahara Gold and Golden Sand.

To colourise the white glittered balls, I dropped a couple of drops of Adirondack alcohol inks in Cool Peri, Pool and Aqua on the top of a ball, followed by 2-4 drops of blending solution. I also used the silver metallic mixative with good results. If done carefully, a nice gradient can be obtained.

The kraft papier mache frames were decoupaged with stamped tissue paper (Archival Jet Black), dried and then gilded with Cosmic Shimmer gliding waxes in Enchanted Gold and Pewter. I smeared a layer of Distress Stickles Rock Candy over the surface to add just a hint of glitter.

As to sticking everything in, I used two approaches – the first being Pinflair glue, concentrating on getting the balls adhered firmly to the frame. The second, cleaner, method was to wedge everything in place and then where there were touching surfaces to drip a single drop of super glue and allow it to wick between. Once that was dry, it seemed to hold fine with no glue blobs in sight.

One thought on “Stuffing Balls for Christmas

  1. I love them Neil – wish I had some on my tree. Great project. Happy New Year! x

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