Making decorative balls to adorn your coffee table is a very versatile craft, adapting itself to decor from sophisticated to whimsical, and supplying inexpensive ornamentation for events from elegant coffee gatherings to little girls’ tea parties. Use polystyrene balls as a base to be covered with all manner of notions and embellishments. Make the job your own by varying the dimensions, quantity and arrangement of their decorative balls. Choose styles to coordinate with the season, a vacation or maybe to complement the existing decor of the room.
Cover your work surface with sheets of old newspaper. Paint the polystyrene balls with acrylic paint and a paintbrush, should you want. Await the paint to dry.
Cover the entire surface of a polystyrene ball with flat-headed pushpins. Overlap the pins slightly and press them firmly into the ball to conceal the polystyrene. Use bronze, silver or multicolored pushpins, or to get a custom color, spray paint the pushpins beforehand.
Slide the end of a length of yarn, string or twine into a flat spiral of approximately four or three concentric circles. Apply glue generously above the top layer of the spiral using a low-temperature glue gun, then press and smooth the spiral on a polystyrene ball. Keep the spiral, applying lines of glue across the ball and wrap the yarn, string or twine around it till you have covered the whole ball.
Replacing a polystyrene ball with a thick layer of white glue and roll it around in a pile of glitter, confetti, lentils, seed beads or miniature aquarium gravel until the whole surface of the ball is covered. Stick with just a couple of colors for a more subdued appearance, or combine many colors for a brighter effect. After the glue has dried, coat the surface with another thick layer of white glue or wax sealant.
Affix java beans, black-eyed peas, hard candies, buttons or mini pompoms all around the surface of a polystyrene ball working with a low-temperature glue gun. Consider red, blue and white jelly beans for Independence Day decorations, heart-shaped candies for Valentine’s Day, or red-and-white swirled peppermints for holiday decor.
Cover polystyrene balls with white glue and affix strips of newspaper or magazine pages, patterned gift wrapping or shapes of colored paper all over the surface. You may also print scaled-down photographs or artwork onto standard printer paper, then cut the images out and fasten them to the balls. When the glue has dried, seal the paper with spray sealant or an extra layer of white glue.
Cut the stems of artificial flowers down to approximately 1/2 inch in length with scissors. Poke the stems into a polystyrene ball, arranging the flowers carefully together until the whole surface is covered. For more safety, dab a tiny white glue or hot glue on the stems before poking them into the ball. The procedure works with a single kind of flower or several, paper or silk flowers, and large or small blooms.