Delicate glass ball ornaments have been a staple of Christmas decor for decades (and are currently seeing a resurgence in the form of elaborate, glittering vintage-ornament wreaths). Hated by bare feet everywhere, these spherical wonders are one of the least expensive – and most effective – ways to fill up a tree.
The only problem is: with mysterious frequency, the ornament tops fall off and go missing. Where do they go? To a magical place in the North Pole, no doubt — but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a fun new way to use the ornament bottoms at home.
Hack #1: Glass Bulb Vases
This project is fast and easy, so you can make just one or a baker’s dozen. Your call. Let’s go!
You will need:
- Glass ball ornaments sans tops. If you’re using these as vases for real flowers, avoid vintage glass balls that are painted on the inside, as contact with water can wear down the paint.
- Tacky glue. It’s important to use a thick, sturdy white glue, rather than hot glue, because the heat from the adhesive could shatter the ornament.
- Washers. You’ll find these in any hardware store, and the size of the washer you’ll need will depend on the size of the sphere. It’s not a bad idea to take your ornament directly to the hardware store to find the best fit.
Step 1: Draw a thick line of glue around the top of one washer.
Step 2: Set the center of the bottom of your ornament directly on top of the washer. Allow to dry overnight.
Step 3: When the glue has thoroughly dried, fill the bulb with flowers and garden snippings. Display just one as a charming bud vase, or cluster a group together to form a centerpiece.
Hack #2: Place Card Holders
No flowers around? Follow the steps above plus a few more to turn the ornaments into place card holders for your next holiday dinner party.
You will need:
- Glass ball ornaments
- Tacky glue
- Extra ornament tops (for a total of two per bulb)
- Place cards
Step 1: Remove the hanging wire from one ornament (or a package of replacement ornament caps) and insert it into another one, right next to the existing wire. The two wires should sit very close together.
Step 2: Slide the place card between the two wires and reattach the top of the ornament.
Step 3: Follow the instructions in the first hack to attach a washer to the base of the bulb; this will keep the ornament upright and stable.
Step 4: Set the table and step back to admire your work.
No matter which approach you choose, your guests will be so impressed! Now that your table is dressed in style, go forth and enjoy the season. Happy holidays!
All photographs by Aunt Peaches.