Introduction: Oversized XMAS Ornaments

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My new house has a large balcony and the old regular ornaments I have would look really silly on it... So I went to Lowes and the oversized ones are $7 a pop!!! No way I would spend that kind of money and an idea came to my mind.... I will make my own and customize anyway I want!

The good thing is since I will hang it up on the balcony, it doesn't have to look perfect, it just need to be large with some details on it.

Step 1: Materials

White Glue - $1

Latex Balloons from Dollar store $1 - any color, choose the appropriate size you want
Cheap paint brush - free from other projects, a medium to paint the ball and small ones for details
shreaded Newspaper
acrylic paint of your choice - $0.5 to $2 in walmart, each bottle can paint about 2 ornaments, if you plan on making a lot, get the large size bottle.
Some cardstock formed into a ring to put the balloon on so it won't roll
Some kind of disposable dish to squeeze the paint on (maybe cling wrap on a plate?)
Some flour/corn starch
Disposable Gloves - optional

Step 2: Mix the Batter

The whole idea is to create a paper mache sphere to paint on, so we will need to prepare the glue.

Mix the white glue, some flour/corn starch and water in a disposable container. I would say 1 part of glue, 4 parts of water and whatever amount of flour to make it a light syrupy consistency.

Then blow up the balloon to the desired size, tie it and put it on the paper ring so it won't go anywhere.

Shred the newspaper and dunk them in the batter. make sure it is all soaked on both sides then use your fingers to remove any excess glue.

Lay the newspaper on the balloon until completely covered, make sure the paper overlapped for strength, I repeat the X patterns until it is all covered. Let dry at least 8 hours in room temperature before second layer, you will need at least 3-4 layers for a strong enough sphere.

Tips: Don't use blow dryer or put it under the sun. the air inside the balloon will expand and crack your work. I put it under a ceiling fan on low overnight to dry.

You need more layers towards the top to withstand the hanging force

Step 3: Finished Paper Mache Would Look Like This

After its completely dried, if you depress a spot and it's not completely solid or even bounces back, you need more layers or it will not withstand the popping and paint.

Then use a toothpick to pop the balloon, you will hear some cracking and sizzling but it won't "pop" because of all the glue. be patient and wait, if the balloon collapsed....too bad. you don't have enough layers. try again on your next one. ;)

Step 4: Paint the Ornament and What Not to Do

Start painting the sphere with your desired color. Paint very very lightly and do not soak it in any way. Paint thin layers instead of a big glop of paint. if you look at the second picture, you will see the sphere collapsed when its became too wet. :\

keep painting, I painted 3 layers of red and 2 layers of gold. For perfectionists, it may take 4-5 layers to completely cover the newspaper print. Since it will be hung on the balcony, it only needs to look good from far away. this is good enough for now.

Step 5: Hanging It

I decided to put a thin strip of cardboard with a string tied to it through a hole. Then drop it in and when you pull on the string again, it will get stuck horizontally. You can also do this with a Popsicle stick. Then the ornament is finished and ready to hang!

I will probably add a gold "cap" to make it look even more like an ornament when I get a chance, cutting a foam cup in half, spray the bottom part in gold, make a small hole at the bottom, fish the string through the hole then hot glue it to the sphere upside down. Ta-Da!

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