In Victorian times, apples or potatoes were outfitted with herbs, greens and flowers and hung up over doorways. It was said that those who lingered to share a kiss underneath were bound to settle down in marriage — but even if they didn’t, a sweet romantic moment was a sure bet! I love any sentiment or tradition that brings people together, especially around the holidays, so I set out to make my own kissing ball — the materials are easy to find and the instructions are simple to follow. Pick up a few of your favorite Proven Winners evergreens and make your own version, but don’t say I didn’t warn you if you find some extra romance in your life this month.
(1) 4-or-6 inch Styrofoam florist ball (not oasis)
Clippings/sprigs of evergreens — juniper, holly, ivy, fir
Spanish moss, grey or green
2 yards of ½” ribbon
- Cut evergreen sprigs into 2-3 ½” sections using pruners or wire cutters. Try to get a mix of leaf shapes, and include some with seasonal red berries. I like Berry Poppins™ Winterberry Holly for its bright red berries, Good Vibrations™ Juniper for its greenery and scent, and North Star™ Boxwood for its traditional small-leaf foliage.
- Cut an 18” length of craft wire. String it through the ball from bottom to top. Make a U-shaped hook at the bottom to hold it in place, and a loop at the top for hanging.
- Loosely lay the Spanish moss over the foam ball. With the tip of your hot glue gun, make holes all over the ball.
- Put a small amount of hot glue in every hole, and then immediately insert a greenery clipping. The clippings will keep the moss in place, but it will be a little fiddly until you begin to cover the ball. Continue adding sprigs and cuttings, alternating greenery types and berries to make an even pattern and filling up the whole ball.
- Finish by adding a ribbon bow at the top of the ball, and streamers at the bottom if desired. Use hot glue to keep it in place.
- Hang it up, pull up a chair and wait for the next hottie to stop by and give you a big kiss.
Your kissing ball will remain fresh for several weeks if you mist it regularly with water. If it’s kept outside in cooler weather, it’ll remain green through the holidays. Hang it up or nestle it into a saucer or a bowl on your table, but wherever it lands, expect good things to happen in its presence. After all, if it has to do with kissing and Christmas, it’s all good, isn’t it?
© 2012 Proven Winners, LLC.