Happy Saturnalia and the start of the 32 Days of Yuletide. Yep! Forget the 12 days of Christmas. Turns out Yule actually lasts 32!
According to “Have A Cool Yule: How to survive (and enjoy) the Mid-Winter Festival” Yuletide starts on 17 December – the first day of the Roman Saturnalia – and ends on Old Twelfth Night, January 17th. It’s not that much of a stretch if you think about it. Hands up if you put up your Christmas decorations by December 5th and take them down on what is now commonly considered Twelfth Night… January 6th?
Food for thought, huh? It certainly makes more sense of that song. I mean, if the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, your true love will still be giving out gifts into the New Year. Who wants a bloody partridge in a pear tree in January?!
Anyway, to celebrate the start of Saturnalia and the Yuletide season, here’s a cute little DIY to top up your decorations and get you in the mood for next week’s Winter Solstice.
How to make a pair of DIY Snowball Topiaries
When I planned these DIY Snowball Topiaries, they were going to be green… and there was only going to be one pot with a fair-sized ball. But this year, circumstances dictate that I must work on a tighter budget than usual, so I was determined to go with whatever I had in my stash. And just like that, the single Yule Topiary ball I had in mind, morphed into a pair of snowball-type arrangements!
And you know what?
I rather like them!
To begin with, I needed a small pot. And wouldn’t you know, when I went looking (specifically behind the shed where I knew the previous owner had left some terracotta), I found two! OK, they’re not the same, but who needs matchy, matchy anyway?
I knew I had a stray block of oasis somewhere and yes, the green stuff is supposed to be for fresh flowers, but beggars and all that.
It was a similar story when I went looking for balls (oooh err!). But I knew that bag of polystyrene spheres I picked up in The Range a few years ago would come in handy. Unfortunately, none were the size I wanted, but hey ho. We all know a trio of shapes makes a great combo!
Then it was just a matter of paint and assemblage.
I taped together a couple of hunks of oasis and inserted a dowel into the centre to make the holes.
Then I painted the dowels with brown acrylic and decorated the balls.
Personally, I’m not keen on seeing the texture of polystyrene so I coated the balls in Mod Podge and rolled them in some faux snow.
Even I’m amazed at what I have lying around!
If you’re not a hoarder like me, other (non-snowball) options might include decoupage, covering the balls with moss or other natural elements, or even glitter (if you’re a fan).
Weighing down the pots
Being a skinflint, I didn’t want to pack out the pots with oasis (you never know when you might need the rest!). So, to fill the gaps and provide some much-needed weight, I added a mixture of decorative stones and glass beads – the kind you get for flower arranging.
I’d intended for this to be a quick temporary display but at the last minute, decided to whack in a load of glue to make it permanent. I ended up using about 2 or 3 glue sticks for each pot which was more than I thought, to be honest.
The other plan was to light them up with battery-operated micro lights, because what kind of DIY Snowball Topiaries would be without some festive sparkle? But I detest seeing wires, so I shelved that idea!
A final topping of faux snow and my DIY Snowball Topiaries were ready for a very merry School House Kitchen.
What do you think? It’s not much, but these little festive fillers are the sort of thing I’ll drag out year after year. Maybe it’s something you could have a go at, too.
A hui hou,
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