How To Make A Pomander Or Kissing Ball For A Wedding Decoration

What Is A Kissing Ball Or Pomander?

You see them everywhere at weddings these days...perched atop Eiffel Tower vases, stacked one on top of the other on a topiary, hanging by organza ribbons from iron shepherd's hooks. Even the beautiful country singer Carrie Underwood got married underneath a gargantuan one covered in flowers. But what is a pomander or kissing ball and why are they so popular now for wedding décor?

Kissing balls, as they were called in Victorian days, were usually made from an apple or potato, (since Styrofoam hadn't been invented yet!), and were decorated with all sorts of sprigs of herbs and flowers, each having a specific meaning. Mistletoe in particular became associated with fertility and naturally, also became associated with kissing. It wasn't long before most kissing balls were made almost exclusively from mistletoe. This tradition lasted quite awhile, but eventually dwindled to just a sprig taped to a doorway during the holidays. However, many families still carry on the "kissing ball" tradition.

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Decorating With Pomanders Or Kissing Balls

Lately, there has been a big resurgence in the use of kissing balls and pomanders...this time as wedding décor. Perhaps it's because they make such a huge impact wherever you use them and can be made in a multitude of colors to match any wedding theme or décor. They can be done with real flowers or silk flower...even tissue paper flowers, and the flowers can be any flower the bride happens to like...daisies, roses, sunflowers, the choices go on and on. Plus, they're not beyond the capability of the average person if they are careful and take their time. Pomanders can be placed inside vases and stacked to make an elegant centerpiece. Flower girls can carry them and not have to remember to drop petals at all in case they become stage struck! They can be hung from trees for an outdoor reception or from the ceiling for an indoor one. They can even be lined up in a very elegant row on the head table where the bride and groom are sitting.

Pomander For A Beach Wedding

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Make Your Own Pomander

It's not hard at all to create your own pomanders or kissing balls, although a little time consuming if you are trying to create multiple ones. You'll need:

A styrofoam ball in the size that you want your kissing ball (they look best done on a 4" and up ball)

Silk (or real flowers) Amount is hard to judge, because it depends on the size of your flowers

NOTE: In the picture with the yellow pomanders, it took 33 daisies to cover a 4" ball. So be prepared for this project taking more flowers than you think.

A bamboo skewer or thin knitting needle

Ribbon of your choice for hanging

Hot glue gun and glue or regular glue (if you're very patient)

The first thing you will need to do is use your skewer or knitting needle to create a hole through the Styrofoam ball to run the ribbon. Hold the ball tightly and stick the skewer all the way through from one side to the other. I'm absolutely not joking when I say this is the hardest part of this project! Once you have made a nice hole all the way through the ball, cut your ribbon into about a one yard length depending on how far you want the ball to hang. Put the end of your ribbon on the tip of your skewer and reinsert the skewer, using it as a guide to push the ribbon through. Leave a tail about two to three inches. Now take the other end of the ribbon and repeat the same process, running it through the ball. You will now have a loop on one side of the ball for hanging and two tails of ribbon on the other side. Take the two tails and tie them into a knot tightly. Trim the knot close to the ball.

Putting The Flowers Onto Your Pomander

If you are using silk flowers, pull them off of the wire stems, so you are left with the little plastic nub on the underside of the flower where you detached the stem. Use that little nub to poke a hole in the Styrofoam ball and press the flower into the ball. The flowers aren't going to stay well without glue, so remove the flower from the hole you just made, put glue in it and re-insert the flower. Continue doing this until you completely cover the ball, turning the ball as you go to make sure you don't miss any spots. Glue flowers as closely as possible to the ribbon coming out of the top of the ball. You can glue the flowers completely over the knot at the bottom of the ball if you want.

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!

Variations On The Flower Pomander

Although the flower pomander is gorgeous and can be done in any color and style, there are tons of alternatives to using flowers. Got a beach wedding? Use seashells! Got a fun luau-themed wedding? Completely cover your kissing ball with colorful drink umbrellas. How about a vintage-themed wedding? You could use antique buttons. Using the hugely popular feather or peacock feather in your décor? Incorporate feathers into your pomanders. There are endless options for decorating the lowly pomander whose status has (literally) been elevated from branches nailed above a doorway to a fabulous way to decorate for your wedding.

A Clove Pomander

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Comments 24 comments

kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

These are so pretty! They look complicated, but you have given clear directions.


pam  5 years ago

Very pretty! I think I know the bride. :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Nice! You can use decorations for these to fit any season.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

You're right! I'd love to see one done with fall leaves or acorns...maybe even sweet gum balls!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks, kschimmel. Really the hardest part is getting the ribbon through the ball and even that is not that hard.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Do you now, Pam :) I think they may be being used in the prettiest wedding this side of...anywhere!


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

LOL! I always thought those sweet gum balls were just an annoyance. Now you are suggesting a way to use them. I will consider this in the fall when my kids are raking them up by the bushel!


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Love this hub. Beautiful ideas! No weddings in the near future, but we can always use your ideas elsewhere.


C-Bless profile image

C-Bless 5 years ago from Canada

I enjoy seeing your creativity at work. The pomanders are beautifully made. Looking forward to trying my hands at making some. Thank your for sharing...


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

C-Bless, you're so welcome. Send me some pictures when you're done!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Truckstop, I think these can be used for decoration anywhere. I've seen smaller ones look great stacked one on top of the other inside a cylinder vase. They look so complicated, but really are so easy.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

These pomanders look so beautiful.

I remember making orange and clove pomanders years ago, they still smelt lovely months later.

Thank you for the clear instructions I am looking forward to having a go!

Many thanks for sharing.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Oh, I've made those, too, Movie Master! But cloves here cost a ridiculous amount of money, so its good that at least the smell lasts so long!


wonderingwoolley profile image

wonderingwoolley 4 years ago from Madison, WI

These are super ideas! I was thinking about something similar for my wedding, since we'll be outside and these will look great with the background. I didn't want to pay my florist a bundle though, so maybe now I will make my own. Great information!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks, Wondering, they really have a huge visual impact. I made some big ones and put them on the top of green depression glasses as table decorations and they looked awesome. So easy and really simple to do.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

What great flower ideas!


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks, Ruby Rose! Coming from someone with a flower for a name, that's a double compliment!


Celiegirl profile image

Celiegirl 3 years ago

Thanks for the history as well as the instructions, i love it. too cool, i love pomanders.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 3 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks, CelieGirl, finding a lot of uses for them I never thought of before since I wrote this article!


kenson145 profile image

kenson145 3 years ago

Hi, all the designs are amazingly beautiful. Love your article. Thanks.


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 3 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

Thanks, Kenson. I think the next ones I'll try will be with peacock feathers!


OohSixtuh profile image

OohSixtuh 2 years ago

Instructions seem really simple and I cannot wait to get started on making my own for my wedding, but I have one question. How would I apply real flowers? Same was as silk or is there a different method?


DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 2 years ago from South Carolina, USA Author

You have to use a ball of oasis foam instead of styrofoam if you're planning on using real flowers. Follow the directions on the oasis for wetting it just enough but not so much that it's dropping wet. You can use floral glue if you want but not hot glue.


Amy Clark 10 months ago

What if yiu are using peacock feathers. Im having a really hard time!

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