Wednesday, December 12, 2012

handmade holiday | sequin balls

handmade holiday | sequin balls
Handmade Holiday header
This one's an oldie, but a goodie tedious and painful project: sequin balls. Every Christmas tree needs a little bling, right?

Imagine newly-graduated, twenty-something me sitting in my first apartment at Christmas-time with my sad little fake tree. "What this tree needs is some SEQUINS!" I thought. "Lots and lots of SEQUINS!"

I had seen a photo in a magazine of sequin ball ornaments, so I went to the craft store, bought a metric ton of sequins and set about blinging out my Christmas tree. "I will make hundreds of these sequin balls!" I thought. "I will cover my tree with ALL THE SEQUINS!"

Hours later and with blisters on all my fingertips, I had finished about half of one sequin ball. This project is time consuming. And painful. (Might I recommend a thimble?)
handmade holiday | sequin balls
I only finished one sequin ball that year. A few years later (yes, that is how long it took my fingers to recover and for me to forget the pain of making the first one), I finally made a second one. They look great, but I've officially retired from the sequin-ball-making phase of my life.
handmade holiday | sequin balls
Materials | styrofoam balls, sequins, sequin pins, twine or cord for hanging, glue
Equipment | scissors, finger protection, beer, masochistic tendencies
Optional | seed beads if you're really a glutton for punishment

+ Are you actually still going to do this project? Did you read my introduction???
+ The styrofoam balls I used had a hole in them, and I used this to attach the hanging cord - which I glued in place and secured with a pin.
+ Work in rows as you pin, keeping in mind that the sequins will overlap like fish scales.
+ Keep going. Only 2,763 sequins to go!
+ Do your fingers hurt? I warned you!
+ Drink enough beer to dull the pain, but not enough so that you end up stabbing yourself with a pin.
+ If you're really crazy you can embellish each sequin with a seed bead. This will make an already time-consuming project take even longer since you have to thread a tiny bead AND a sequin onto each pin. I used seed beads for the first ball I made, and left these off to simplify the process for the second ball.

Happy pinning, you crazy mo-fos.


sjlkehl said...

So this isn't actually related to this post, but I've been dying to ask so I'm posting here anyway :)

I've spotted a rhino block print in a number of photos from art markets. Any chance that will be available to order online? I adore it.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

@sjlkehl - Thanks so much! I actually sold out of the rhinos at my last market, but I will probably print more after Christmas!

Michael Wurm, Jr. said...

This hits a magical spot for me. Seriously. Totally modern and wonderful, but still so very vintage and traditional. Love it.

Kristi Fielder said...

I made one of these a few years back... never again! lol!

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

@Michael - Agreed, they are the perfect combination of modern/traditional/sparkly and work for almost any Christmas tree. I just wish they didn't take so long to make!

@Kristi - I know, right? I've seen lots of pretty color combinations for the sequin balls lately...but never again!

Yvonne Stringer said...

So can you use biger sequins and beads??

Yvonne Stringer said...

So can you use biger sequins and beads??

Linda Seyer said...

This really isn't as hard as the maker lets on. I make them all the time but decorate differently. I have taken the red satin covered Styrofoam balls. Embellished the top with a pattern of Holly Leaf's, sequin's and pearl beads. Then I took white pearl beads ad spelled out the recipients name in the white pearl beads. For my hard-to-buy-for Mother-in-law, I made her a family set of her immediate family. It was a show-stopper gift. She was so blowed away to have an ornament with each of her children and grand-children's names. The next year, and every year since, she sets up a separate small tree to display these ornaments. I have also made personal ornaments with just the white Styrofoam ball and just spell the name out of sequins and embellish the rest with a design of some kind according to their favorite past time OR just go wild and have some fun with making them. The only drawback I have found is that you can really rack up some cash buying sequins, beads and pins. The balls aren't too cheap either. But it is a lot of fun to use your creativity. Besides, who doesn't want a personal Christmas ornaments. SUGGESTION: Use Green and Yellow / John Deere colors for the farmer in your life.

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

Holy cow - I admire your dedication. That looks amazing and I know from experience how meticulous work it is! Mine don't look nearly as good - probably becuase I'm not as careful as you... oh well :) Thanks for sharing!