Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Finished Project - A Catskill Christmas Tree

Well, I need to show off what has come to be about 6 months of work. Yes, my warped mind thought it would be great to start this project back in June, 2007.

See below for pictures of the 8.5 foot beast: Fraser Fir, 1500 lights, 300+ glass ball ornaments, 300+ handmade ornaments.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Moss Ball Ornaments

These are not easy to make but they are much cheaper than buying premade moss balls. I think I saw each of these for about $4.00 in the stores, and even at the wholesale florist places.

I'm not entirely happy with the way they look - I probably should have used large dried rose heads rather than the cedar roses - or even pine cones. Maybe I will dry roses over the summer and try again next year.


Foam ball, 1.5" diameter
Sheet moss
Glue gun
Cedar roses
Star Anise


1. Select pieces of moss, enough to cover entire ball. Don't worry about having to use one continuous area of moss. You can patch holes with tiny bits of moss.

2. Place glue on one end of the ball and place ball in the center of the large piece of moss. Let glue set.

3. Then continue to place small dabs of glue on the ball, pull the moss up and hold it until glue sets.

4. Continue this process until most of ball is covered. Return to bare spots using glue and small pieces of moss.

5. Cut two pieces of ribbon, in equal lengths, each one should cover the circumference of the ball.

6. Glue one end of ribbon and let set. Wrap that piece of ribbon around the ball until it comes back and meets the glued end. Glue in place and let glue set.

7. Repeat with the other piece of ribbon in the opposite direction.

8. Place cedar roses at certain points of the ribbon - attach with glue and let set.

9. Place a star anise at the end where the ribbon ends are showing. Glue in place to cover the ribbon ends.

10. Take a smaller width ribbon and loop it through the end opposite the star anise. Create a loop bow as shown on the left.

Storage: again, better safe than sorry although I can't see bugs liking moss. Wrap in acid-free tissue and store in box with cedar chips or moth balls.

Note: I have also used brass screw eyes instead of the loop bow but it means you need to pierce the ribbon with an awl or scissor end and then glue it in place.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gilded Dried Pomegranates

This is another fairly easy and quick ornament to make. I just wish the pomegranates weren't so expensive! The best deal that I found was at the San Francisco Herb Company - one dozen medium size, dried and dyed red, for $8.80.

I thought about leaving these unpainted but the red dye comes off pretty easily - so I would have had to use some type of spray sealer anyway.


12 medium size dried pomegrantes
Electric drill with small bit
Brass screw eyes
Glue gun and glue sticks
24 kt gold spray paint
Dropcloth or shallow box


1. Place a pomegranate on a stable surface and lightly drill a small hole in the side opposite the "blossom" or stem. This is to hold the brass screw eye - so don't select a bit that is bigger than the screw eye.

2. Attach the screw eye. Use a glue gun of the hole is too big or the screw eye wobbles.

3. On a drop cloth or in a shallow box, apply a coat of 24kt gold spray paint. Wait 10 minutes and turn the pomegrantes. Apply more coats of spray until entire surface is covered

Storage: if you drill too big a hole you will notice that the pomegrantes are black and fuzzy inside - not pretty. That is why I seal the opening with hot glue if the hole is too big. If not, these might get infested with bugs especially depending on your summer climate.