When it comes to decorating for Christmas, I try to stay cheap. After all, these are items that I’ll only use one month a year. So I love a good DIY Christmas project and I’m always looking for fun ways to re-use items that would otherwise go into a landfill. For this Christmas Upcycle, I turned my kid’s deflated toy balls into oversized ornaments to hang on our front porch! It’s an easy and cheap trash-to-treasure story. Here’s how I did it …
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CHRISTMAS PORCH DECORATING TIP #1: GO BIG
When decorating your front porch, keep in mind that little objects don’t work well. While we can fill a vase with standard ornaments for the living room, it’s hard to see these small touches from the street. So whatever you do on the front of your house, remember to MAKE IT BIGGER than anything you’d put inside.
Last year, I decorated our front porch in a Log Cabin theme. I used large Edison light bulbs instead of standard twinkle lights and doubled up the garland for an added effect. The result was a prominent decor theme that people could see easily as they walked or drove by the house.
You can see the full details and photos of that porch here: A Tennessee Christmas Porch.
I even DIYed my own vintage-style lodge sign. You can see how I created that here: DIY Vintage Sign.
The most fun DIY I tackled for this front porch was creating three giant ornaments to hang in a grouping from the porch ceiling.
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Years ago, I purchased three oversized Christmas ornaments from the dollar store and painted them with a classic red to match my decor. At the time, I was using them inside as a wreath alternative on our powder room door in our hold house (pictured above). For that application, they were the perfect size. But then we moved into a new house and no longer had a door on which I wanted to display this arrangement.
However, I did think they’d be adorable on the front porch as floating decor. But when I installed them outside, the impact was low. They were just too small to make a large statement on the porch.
CHRISTMAS PORCH DECORATING TIP #2: Group Small Items for LargeR Impact
When you really want to use objects whose scale isn’t big enough to really make an impression from farther away, there’s a solution! Make a large grouping or vignette of those items. That gives the illusion of one large item.
With the ornaments, the grouping of three was still too small to be impactful from the street. So I knew I needed to add more ornaments. I just didn’t want to spend any money on this project, so I started thinking about objects I already had that I could use to fake the look of Christmas ornaments.
Then I remembered a stash of old sports balls that were destined for the landfill.
HOW TO DIY OVERSIZED CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE YOUR ORNAMENTS FROM TRASH
plastic bottle caps
fishing line or sturdy string
old sports balls, 6-12” diameter
spray paint in desired colors
STEP ONE: Gather + Clean Old Toy Balls
It’s okay if your kid’s old toy balls are deflated (I’m hating every sentence I’m typing right now, just so you know). As long as they maintain a generally round appearance, you can use them! Clean them up in order to assist the spray paint with adhesion. Allow to dry.
STEP TWO: Paint
Once they’re dried, you can proceed to painting them. I opted to paint each of them the same color as the ornaments I already had on hand. This helped to create bigger impact as a grouping. However, you can opt to paint them in colors that coordinate with the decorations you have.
hot tip: place the balls on spray paint lids to raise them while painting. Allow to dry.
STEP THREE: Gather old bottle caps
Did you know that plastic bottle caps cannot be recycled?! I know. It’s appalling. So I dug into my trash and found some old soda caps and one really nice iced tea cap to use as the ornament top. Clean them up and allow to dry.
STEP FOUR: Drill small holes in caps
While the balls are drying (cringe), use a small drill bit to make holes in the tops of the bottle caps. The hole will need to be big enough to fit your string or fishing line through but not so big that a knot in the string will slip through.
STEP FIVE: Add String
You’ll want to use enough string that you can secure a little inside the cap and have slack for hanging at a visible height on your porch. I attached roughly two feet of string to each cap. Secure with a knot.
STEP SIX: Secure Caps to Balls
I used a ton of glue because I was worried it wouldn’t properly adhere in the cold. By turning the bottle caps upside down, I got the best adhesion to the balls.
STEP SEVEN: Hang Ornaments
I used these command hooks that are specifically designed for attaching light strands. They’re clear and tiny so you don’t see them at all!
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Remember to vary the length and depth of each ornament for larger impact. You could also hang them on a line at the edge of the porch for a floating garland effect.
I hope you enjoyed this true Trash-To-Treasure Christmas story. Remember to pin this post on Pinterest in order to refer back to it as you work.
If you recreate this easy DIY, tag me in your post on Instagram @tmoorehome so I can share it!
I’ll be back soon with more holiday decorating ideas. Until then, stay safe and sane.
HOLIDAY DECORATING ON A BUDGET ISN’T EASY
BUT I’M HERE TO HELP.
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