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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.
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
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.