FRIDAY OPEN THREAD!

Man this month has BLOWN by and I kind of can’t cope with it. All of my “oh I’m gonna do ______ for the holidays this year!” where “____” equals decorate, bake shit, etc… hahaha noooope. I DID attempt to make some ornaments because — actually I’m not really sure why I thought this was necessary. Maybe I just wanted to do something with glitter that didn’t involve nail polish? Whatever. Anyway, join me in this journey of “oops, well that’s not what I had in mind at all.”

FIRST, go around to your local shops to procure some styrofoam balls, or styrofoam ball ornaments, preferably kinda plain/unadorned. Lol no, everything is either glass, or hollow plastic mimicking glass so the kids/cats/etc can’t break it. In desperation, go to Big Lots because it’s right next to the drugstore. Find some good-sized styrofoam ornaments! Wow they are FUG AS HELL :

I cannot even tell you how flattering this photo actually is. These bastards were grim. Whatever, now you’ve got half a dozen spheres of styrofoam shrouded in burlap, plastic greenery, and hot glue. Put on your headphones, cue up an episode of Deep Space Nine (don’t judge me, I love Commander Sisko), and shuck them out of their grody “rustic” casings. Yes they looked extra nast naked. Doesn’t matter! We’re gonna paint ’em! BUT FIRST, since we’ve removed the hangy things, we need to add one back in — grab some heavyish wire (this is 18 gauge steel, which is what I happened to have), cut a piece 10″ long or so, shove it all the way through the ball as near to “centered” as you can get. Bend one end into a tightish loop, and press it down flush, leaving quite a few inches sticking out the top. You can bend that end down into a big hook for ease of use while we’re working.

Now paint! These are going to be glitter covered eventually, but since glitter often (invariably) leaves little gaps, it’s helpful to give them a quick solid base coat that matches/coordinates with your glitter. Luckily, I remembered that you cannot spray-paint styrofoam. The solvents in the paint will dissolve it! So I used some plain ol’ artist’s acrylics in black. (Latex enamel house paint is fine too, but it might take a couple coats to get opaque.)

World’s most fucking depressing mobile.

Once they’re dry, IT’S GLITTER TIME. I mixed up a batch of medium/large/superhuge glitters in black and dark greens and put them in a little jar. Then, paint the whole ball with a coat of Mod Podge or glue — just make sure it’s something that’ll stay wet/tacky long enough for you to cover the whole thing and apply the glitter.

Which, the easiest way I found to apply the glitter is to hold my glue-coated ball by its stem over a sheet of clean paper, and just sprinkle/dump the glitter straight onto it. You can do a couple balls, then dump the glitter from the paper back into the jar and keep goin’.

Once each one is done, you can just pop them over a closet bar or hanger to dry. 

Now. Greeny black seemed like a good idea, because I figured it would add “fill” to any bareish spots in a tree, but also not clash with anything, and would be a nice contrast with what I was planning to put on TOP of the glitter later. BUT what I was planning on putting on top of the glitter … well, you push ’em into the styrofoam, but I thought it would be helpful to also have some glue in/under them just in case. But I didn’t want to paint over loose-ish glitter with the Mod Podge because what if I knocked it all off? Unluckily, I forgot that you cannot spray-paint styrofoam. Even when it’s been coated with stuff? There’s still little gaps. So my aerosol enamel Triple Thick clear coat made them unpleasantly lumpy looking, like elderly glitter-bedecked avocados.

:(

Well, shit. ALL THAT WORK. In an attempt to salvage my labor, I mixed up some Mod Podge with more glitter and painted it on, which … did not help much to disguise the now-erratically-lumpen spheroids. I didn’t have any kind of beads etc big enough to do so, but I did have sparkly black pom-poms. So I busted out the hot glue gun, which these poor styrofoam balls have now been subjected to TWICE in their miserable little lives.

Annnnnd now they look like a sparkly Space Virus. What they were SUPPOSED to end up looking like was kiiiiinda this :

Which is a more sorta Punk Rock Satellite kind of thing? (This was the only ball that wasn’t completely gross looking.)

SO. I’ll probably do this again later, hopefully without repeating my mistakes, because who doesn’t want punk-ass studded glitter balls on their tree? (No one, that’s who.) Two of the Space Virus ones actually have a home on a [suitably fake] tree tho :

Not even mad.

If you have your own decorating-failure store to share, this would be an excellent place for it. Otherwise, anything goes!