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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once it was pretty full with fresh greens, I found a piece of ribbon and tied a loose bow on top.
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.
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.
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!