String ornaments can be a lovely addition to your Christmas decorations, and now you can take them outdoors without worrying about them "melting" if it rains. The step-by-step instructions in this gallery aren't difficult, but they do take a bit of time, so be sure to set aside a few hours before tackling this project.
To make your outdoor ornaments you will need string, balloons, matte medium and petroleum jelly. Your string can be yarn, twine, crotchet thread or anything else, although natural fibers will work better because they are more absorbent. Cut the string into lengths you feel comfortable working with, we suggest about 36 inches. Before you begin creating your ornaments, assemble the necessary supplies in an area where you can get messy. A drop cloth is a must! Matte medium will wash off your skin, but not out of fabric.
Soak the string
Begin by dipping the string in the matte medium, making sure it is completely coated. Synthetic fibers may need to soak for a few seconds to be sure the medium penetrates. Gently squeeze off the excess liquid before you begin wrapping. The matte medium will dry clear and will be water resistant so your ornaments can survive outdoors.
Wrap the Balloons
Blow up your balloons to your preferred size. To make sure your final ornament is round, don't blow the balloon up all the way, or buy round ones. Smear the entire surface of the balloon with petroleum jelly before beginning to wrap the string. It sounds messy, but it will make your job much easier! Begin wrapping your balloons horizontally, then vertically around the middle. This will help keep your balloon round. Continue adding string, wrapping randomly until most of the open spaces are smaller than a square inch.
Hang to dry
Hang your wrapped balloons to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, pop the balloon and pull it out of the ornament.
Add a ribbon and your ornament is ready to hang! The ornaments are weather resistant, so enjoy decorating your yard for the holidays! You can use this basic ornament, or try some of the following ideas to add a bit of variety.
Filled with berries
To make this ornament, make sure to keep most of the spaces between threads very small when wrapping. Leave one or two slightly larger openings near the top. When your ornament is dry, use those larger openings to fill your ornament with cranberries. The berries add a pop of color that looks especially beautiful against a backdrop of evergreen.
A sprig of mistletoe
Turn your ornament into a kissing ball by hanging an arrangement of mistletoe and berries in the center. Add a red ribbon at the top to complete the look.
Add touches of color
Before you dip your lengths of string in the medium, try threading brightly colored berries or beads onto the thread. Then dip and wrap as normal to add little pops of color to your ornament.
Consider branching out from traditional single strand yarn. Try using yarn that is pre-crocheted, or crochet your own before wrapping. You can also use strips of lace or even fabric for a quick and unique ornament. Have fun and enjoy your new yard decorations!