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Make Your Own Kissing Ball with Fresh Greenery for the Holidays

I’ve found one of the greatest joys of parenthood is tricking your children.

For example: Weston is going through a phase in which he no longer likes to give affection on demand, no matter how urgently I need to kiss those squishy lips.

(This is a temporary phase. I’m sure of it.)

But we’ve found a way to trick him into giving us lots of kisses! If we tell him: “Don’t give me any kisses, buddy. I don’t want ANY kisses!” – then we’ll get smothered with wet, juicy two-year-old affection. He thinks it’s hilarious. We don’t care that his kisses are gained through deception.

Isn’t parenthood wonderful?

And we’ve found one more way to get lots of lovin’ from that little man: a kissing ball. It’s brilliant, I tell ya. Wanna see how I made it?
Tutorial: How to make a Christmas Kissing Ball

(How tragic is my poor old dog staring in the back door in that photo? I let her inside shortly after. She just wanted kisses.)

I made this one completely out of materials I had on hand, except one foam ball I picked up at the craft store for something like $3. I used a six-inch ball, but I think you could go smaller if you want.
Green Foam Ball
I opted for the craft foam instead of floral foam. Craft foam is lighter and sturdier, but floral foam will keep your greenery looking fresh longer (if it doesn’t crumble first).

Straighten out a wire coat hanger, stick it right through the middle of that foam ball and loop one end of the hanger back into the ball to hold it securely on the hanger.
How to hang a kissing ball with a wire hanger
Using a wire coat hanger to hang a kissing ball
Hang it up somewhere so you can work on it, and run outside to cut a bunch of fresh greenery. (This step best done in pajama pants and socks despite the 40-degree temperatures.)

My kissing ball has just about everything I could find: holly, boxwood, spruce, fir and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. (If you don’t have tons of fresh greenery in your area, check out this tip to get some free.)

Cut it into shortish pieces. (It’s really up to you how long to make them. Obviously, longer pieces will make a larger kissing ball.)

Strip the greenery off a few inches of one side. This will make each branch take up less space in your foam ball so you can fit more pieces in and make a fuller kissing ball.
Fir branch greenery
Then just stab that bad boy anywhere in the foam ball and repeat. A meeeeeellion times. Look how poor and straggly this guy looks at first. Like he’s partially balding. So tragic.
How to make a DIY kissing ball using fresh greenery
But look how he starts to fill in and look happier and happier the more branches you stab him with!

I like the loose, natural look, so I didn’t measure or trim my stems. They’re all different lengths and textures and I kinda dig it. I decided to throw in some pinecones at the end. I think technically you’re supposed to use floral wire to attach them to floral picks, but I used what I had on hand: pipe cleaners and floral picks. Whatev. It worked.
Attaching pine cones to kissing balls
Making a kissing ball with fresh greenery
Once it was pretty full with fresh greens, I found a piece of ribbon and tied a loose bow on top.
DIY Christmas Kissing Ball
Then I cut the wire coat hanger sticking out the top and made a loop for hanging. We strung it up right inside our entryway so everyone who comes over has to kiss us RIGHT on the lips.

Just kidding. We may be awkward in our own way, but we’re no Vogelchecks.
Christmas Kissing Ball Tutorial
If you can nab some greenery and have ribbon on hand, you can pull off this pretty little decoration for only a couple bucks. It takes some time to add enough greenery to fill it in completely, but it’s not hard work at all.
Tutorial: How to make a Christmas Kissing Ball


And hey, it’s worth it for the kisses. Even the slimy, wet two-year-old variety.

Do you like to work with fresh greenery this time of year? Do you enjoy tricking your children, or have memories of being tricked as a kid?

P.S.: Check out these other holiday craft ideas!



Let's connect

Comments

  1. JD says:

    Nice kissing ball, I could do mine with cactus…

  2. Well shoot! I need more greenery in my yard! We’re renting and the previous owners had a beachy theme (which is okay, not complaining, my decorating sense has a shabby chic/coastal vibe too) but they favored ornamental grasses and the like. I’ll have to take a walk and grab some greenery from the walking trail because this has to happen! :) Thanks for sharing! I’m pinning it to my DIY board so I can remember! :)

  3. This is adorable. I have the perfect spot for it. Pondering for next year!

  4. Nicole says:

    Too funny about the pj’s and socks. It’s simply true. I did so this past weekend when I decided to make impromptu gifts for all the assistants at our office to spread some holiday cheer. Nothing like ripping little hemlock seedlings out of the ground in my bathrobe and pj’s.

    • Kelly says:

      Haha! I’m glad I’m not alone in this. I even took a few clippings from my neighbor’s yard (with her permission), so I definitely went across the street in that attire. #NoShame

  5. Melody♪♫ says:

    Gorgeous! It has always been my dream to make a living one like this: http://www.englishcreekgardens.com/how_to_plant_a_kissing_ball.htm
    but I have a terrible time keeping plants alive & nobody wants to kiss under a BROWN kissing ball! :*

  6. It’s so pretty! I love the different types of greenery that gives it so much texture. I also like the use of deception on Weston, whatever works. :-)

  7. Ashley says:

    Too funny! I love The Vogelchecks and your comment about how the ball seemed happier the more you stabbed it…hilarious! Did you see the one Shelley made for Tiff’s house yet? I didn’t know they were called Kissing Balls or had a name at all but if I had to label them something, I’d probably say Christmas/holiday/winter poms.

    • Kelly says:

      No I didn’t see that! I like the idea of calling them Christmas/holiday/winter poms, because Andy keeps referring to it as “your kissing balls” – plural. He’s getting a big kick out of this.

  8. Laura says:

    Love this! And I especially love the Vogelchecks reference. :)

  9. Amy Renea says:

    LOVE IT! I think it totally is a phase too. My 4 year old now won’t give us kisses for ANYTHING, but our 6 year old has “come back” to us and is now a big snuggle bunny :)

  10. I want one of these!!! Wonder if the neighbors would notice me “trimming” their shrubs hahaha.

  11. What a fun idea. But for the record, I will NOT be visiting you this season. :)

  12. Ha!!!! I love this, girl!! Beautiful! I’m wanting to make one after seeing yours! And you can bet I’ll be making mine just like yours…..wink, wink! :)

  13. Kelly this is just gorgeous! I love the look of kissing balls but so far I’ve bought them all because they scare me to DIY! This looks so do-able! And your little man is precious!

  14. I love this! On my list for sure!! Pinning so I don’t forget!

  15. Whatever you do, DON’T mail me all that gorgeous greenery you have access to. DON’T help me out of my greenery wasteland.

    Did my reverse psychology work as well as yours?

  16. Love the kissing ball! I haven’t worked with fresh greenery before, but I’m dying to get my hands on some to freshen up my artificial stuff. Do you know how long it lasts?

    • Kelly says:

      Hmm… no idea! :) This is my first attempt at a kissing ball. But in past years, I’ve used fresh greenery to fill out the faux stuff and it’s stayed pretty green all the way til after Christmas. Depends on the type, of course! I use a LOT of spruce and it seems to hold up well. I also use a lot of branches that we cut off the bottom of our Christmas tree (I think it’s a fir?) and they do pretty well too.

  17. Gwen says:

    OMGSH! The Vogelchecks!!! They are so gross!! and hilarious…

    What a gorgeous kissing ball! I hope those craft foam balls are cheaper than the floral ones! I went looking for some and they were an ARM and TWO Legs!!!

  18. Love it! I pinned it too! Have a great weekend!
    Leslie

  19. So, so pretty!! Off to pin this beauty :)

  20. Katie @pps says:

    This is seriously AWESOME. I love it! (Adlee thinks it is funny to say “no” when I ask her for a kiss, too!)

  21. This is so cute! I definitely need to make some of these for our house next year!

  22. Tricia says:

    Love this! Thanks for the tutorial!

  23. You had me at PJs and socks! Once I even went to the wooded area by our house in PJ’s and a bathrobe with pockets full of eggs to get dead branches for a holiday display.

    Thanks for the tips!

  24. Christina says:

    Love this!! Also love the font you used in your “Christmas Kissing Ball” title. Can you tell me what it is? Thx so much!

  25. Made from 100% cotton toweling at 450gsm, this luxury bathrobe is not only absorbent but fantastically lightweight.

    Abounding stand-ups crave acceptable air-flow to accumulate the tanner and lamps cool.
    A light scented perfume is best it allows him to get close without chocking on your perfume.

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