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How to Make a Snowball Christmas Tree Garland

To me Christmas decorating is about 3 things – family, traditions, and memories.    I like to decorate my home for the holidays with lots of garland inside and out.  To me, nothing says Christmas more than a pretty garland made of greenery, balls, beads, or ribbons draped around a tree, swagged over a mantel, or wrapped around the stair banister.

Christmas Tree Decorating

Perhaps the reason I like to decorate with garland is because my Mom decked the house with it and I grew to associate it with the holidays.  Seeing garland draped all over the house gives me that festive, yet warm and snuggly holiday home feeling. It makes anything it is draped over instantly FESTIVE.  I made this garland for the Handmade Holidays Series over at Under The Table and Dreaming.  You can see 24 more projects made with STYROFOAM by clicking on the above links.

 I got the idea for this garland out of a 1974 Better Homes and Gardens Christmas decorating book I found at a thrift store. I loved how simple the white balls looked on the tree – such a fun and festive contrast.

Vintage Christmas Tree
BH&G Holiday Decorations You Can Make 1974

I also thought the Christmas tree garland would look fun and festive draped over a window.

Decorating for Christmas

I like lots of color on my tree and like to have a touch of white to add some contrast to all the piled-on color.

The shiny beads reflect the light and make the tree dreamy at night. There is nothing more comforting than laying under a lit Christmas tree at night and watching all the shadows dancing on the ceiling – the perfect holiday ambiance.

Christmas Tree Ideas

How to Make a Snowball Christmas Tree Garland

Supplies-Needed

supplies needed:

To make one 9 ft. garland. I made 3. Break up the total length you will need into sections. This will make it easier to handle and to decorate with.

  • 45  1-1/2 -inch balls of STYROFOAMTM Brand Foam
  • 130 beads
  • Flexible jewelry stringing wire – I used Beadalon .018 diameter that I bought at the craft store
  • White glue
  • Glitter
  • Small flat tip paint brush
  • Toothpicks
  • A sheet of STYROFOAMTM Brand Foam
  • 2 small bowls
  • Long needle
  • Pliers

I got my shiny metal beads the last time I was in New York City at a wonderful store called – Metalliferous. 

Metalliferous-Metal-beads

It is a treasure trove of beads and jewelry making supplies among other “crafting goodness” that they don’t sell in craft stores. 

Some of the stuff is a bit pricey, but I like to go to get the bargain bags of metal beads that are lined up along the floor. This is a must have stop for anyone who likes to make stuff.

They have an online store at Metalliferous.com, but it is not nearly as inspiring as going to the store and browsing. It is not a pretty place, but one of those one-of-a-kind places that will become a favorite resource.

white-Glue-and-glitter

1.  Pour glue and glitter each into separate bowls.  Spear a ball of STYROFOAMTM Brand foam on a toothpick.

Brush-glue-on-each-ball

2.  Roll the ball in the glue and use a paintbrush to makes sure the entire ball is covered with glue.

Roll-ball-in-glitter

3. Roll the glue-covered ball in the glitter. You may have to use a spoon to make sure you get the entire ball covered especially around the toothpick.

Let-balls-of-Styrofoam-Bran

4.  Stick the bottom end into the sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to dry.

line-up-balls-to-dry

5.  I like to do the mindless – production line parts of any project while I am watching TV.  I just set up everything on a portable table. By the time the movie is over I am pretty much finished, too.

How to Start the Garland

1.  Making a loop on your stringing wire at the end of your garland will make it easier to hang from the tree branches.

How-to-make-end-loops-to-ha

Cut stringing wire to desired length and add 12-inches to that length so you have enough extra wire to make the hanging loops.

1. Fold over end of stringing wire about 2-3 inches. 

2.  Take the loop and put the two wires together and then make a knot.

3. Push the knot down on the wire to make it tighter.    Trim the excess wire or when you thread the first ball on to the wire, just tuck it into the ball.

4. Thread the opposite end of stringing wire through a long needle.

How to String The Garland

Thread-Styrofoam-on-wire

1.  Push the needle through the center of a ball.

Pliers-to-push-needle-throu

2. Use pliers to help push the needle through the ball.

String-wire-through-ball

3. Use the pliers to pull the needle out from the opposite side.  Add 3 beads to the stringing wire and then add another ball.  Repeat until you get to your desired length.

Christmas Tree Decorating Garland Ideas

Remove the needle from the wire and then make another loop for the end of the garland. Cut away any excess wire.  It will look like this.

Ideas for Christmas Glitter-Snowball-Garland

Drape it on your tree.

Other Ways to Decorate With Christmas Garlands

Garlands are not just for Christmas trees. If you make them long enough you can hook them over two small nails placed on either side of a window and they become a festive holiday window treatment.

Christmas tree garland decorating

At night, the glitter and metal beads catch the glow of the tree lights and looks so sparkly and festive.

Decorating for Christmas-garland ideas
Christmas Tree Garland Decorating Ideas

If you liked this garland, make sure to check out the Christmas tree garlands I have made in the past:

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12 Comments

  1. I love this…I will save it for NEXT Christmas. If I start during the fall, maybe I’ll have them made by Christmas, 2012. :)
    Thanks so much for the great idea.
    xo bj

    1. Thanks Helen-

      I clipped the old photo back in the summer and when Stephanie Lynn over a Under the Table and Dreaming asked me If I wanted to participate in her Handmade Holiday with STYROFOAM series, I knew instantly what I could make.

    1. Hi Ruthie-
      They are snowballs you can make while sitting in front of the fire – staying nice and warm. No mittens or gloves needed to make them. :)

    1. Thanks Janette-
      I did most of it while sitting in front of the TV watching a few movies – the most time consuming part was getting the glitter on the balls, the rest was pretty quick.