[Editor's note: This post first appeared at A Catskill Christmas in November 2007 and is repeated here for the 2010 Christmas season]
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
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.
© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee