how to make rag ball christmas ornaments | DIY

rag ball ornaments


how to make rag ball ornaments

I could barely wait to write a tutorial about the ornaments I just made today. I’ve seen rag ball bowl fillers before, but I’ve never tried making one into an ornament until now.

I finally gave it a shot today, and I am so excited about how they turned out THATICANBARELYSTANDIT.

I think it’s because not only are they cute, but they were so easy, and they are a totally perfect way to use up your extra fabric that is otherwise possibly building up in baskets and shoe boxes and behind couch pillows, slowly and methodically taking over your house.

Here’s what I used to make mine:

  • a 3″ smooth styrofoam ball
  • fabric – I used a natural muslin fabric for one of my ornaments, and a pin-striped linen for the other.
  • craft glue or hot glue
  • scissors
  • U Pin (you can find these in the floral aisle at craft stores or even at Walmart, or online, right HERE).
  • twine
  • anything else you’d like to embellish them with…I’ve been on a button kick for the last few days, so I went with that.

At the end of your fabric, make several small cuts about an inch apart from each other. Cut into the side of the fabric that is going with the grain.

make cuts in the end of fabric

Now, tear the fabric the rest of the way into strips. You want about 8 strips, 11 or 12″ long.

tear fabric into strips

Tearing it instead of cutting it will bunch up the fabric just a teeny  bit, and give you this awesome raw edge:

raw edge of fabric

Now just glue a strip around the ball, cutting off any excess where the ends meet.

glue strip of fabric around styrofoam ball

And then glue a second piece opposite the first:

layer second strip of fabric opposite the first

Continue doing this until your ball is covered, except for your last strip. (And don’t worry about everything being just right…the beauty of this ornament is in the imperfections.) Before gluing on the last piece of fabric, create a loop with a piece of twine, and pin it down with the floral pin, so the loop is on one side, and the ends are on the other, like this:

pin twine hanger to top of ornament

Now glue down your last fabric strip, so that the ends cover the twine where it is pinned:

cover hanger and pin with fabric strip

Then wrap the ends of the twine around the bottom of the loop once or twice, and tie a knot:

tie twine in knot at top of ornament

Originally this was all I was going to do. But I wanted to make them a little less “country” and a little more “shabby”, so I glued on a button…and I thought the metal would look awesome in contrast with the natural texture of the fabric. And it does!

metal button on rag ball ornament

And then I made a second one. This is dress apparel linen…how cool is that? I also added a pearl tipped pin and a shiny mirrored button.

handmade rag ball ornaments

You can almost see my horrible orange snoopy shirt in the reflection of that button. I should maybe think about using my dress apparel linen to make…apparel…instead of ornaments…maybe.

So what do you think of these?

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • isaiah43123 December 15, 2011, 9:50 pm

    Glitz, glamour and even cutesy are words I associate with the colorful baubles of this Season. Yet, the simple country charm of these creations are inviting. Looking forward to the next design.

    Merry Christmas!

  • McKenna December 16, 2011, 1:39 am

    I did a little happy dance in my chair! I love those ornaments!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Just Me December 22, 2011, 2:09 am

    Love it! It certainly helps us less creatively crafty girls the chance to let people think we know what were doing when we follow one of your simple DIY’s.

  • Anonymous November 25, 2012, 11:48 pm

    love the idea I have a log home and lots of thoughts but you helped me with another thought instead of button tiny pinecone and berry

  • Anonymous September 19, 2013, 7:19 pm

    FINALLY – a way to use my old (OLD) styrofoam satin string ornaments!!! I can’t wait to give this a try . . . . Great idea!

  • Anonymous October 29, 2013, 11:33 pm

    I love all of your ideas and cant wait to try some myself!!-Excited- I love ornaments anyway but some of these u have could be left to hang somewhere all year long. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • dana September 20, 2014, 11:10 pm

    Hi, these are adorable and I will be making these for an annual ornament exchange I participate in :) I am NOT crafty but I think I can handle this with ease! How much fabric per ornament? I will probably make 20 and use 1-4 diff fabrice (I will let my daughter make some :))

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  • elizabeth schuster March 19, 2017, 1:31 pm

    I’ll make this…. I really like it. sew pretty.

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