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101 Days of Christmas: String Ornaments with Bells

stringe ornaments

I’ve been fascinated with these string balls in home decor ever since I first saw them. With a balloon, some cotton string and regular white glue, you can easily make them in a variety of sizes and shapes.

There are a number of different methods for doing this, but we stuck with Martha Stewart’s, which used straight white glue and a bit of water rather than a more complicated paper mâché mixture.

My mom came up with the great idea of adding bells inside the ball, and while I added mine afterwards, I think you could also add the ribbon and bells before blowing up the balloon so that they’d already be inside as you wrap the balloon.

Either way, I think this ball (which is sparkly, even though the picture doesn’t show it!) looks so festive with the red ribbon and jingle bells inside!


  • balloons, 1 per ball
  • cotton string
  • white glue
  • foam paint brush
  • ribbon
  • jingle bells


Blow the balloons up to form small round balls and tie.

Use a dot of glue to attach the end of your string to the first balloon. Then wrap the entire balloon with cotton string, rotating between vertical and horizontal wraps to get good coverage and a random design.

Note: If adding jingle bells, you’ll want to leave one space large enough to pass the bells through once it is dry.

Next, thin your white glue with a small amount of water and stir.  Use your foam brush to cover the entire balloon generously with glue.

Hang the balls to dry over a paper towel or newspaper and let dry for 24 hours.

Pop each balloon and carefully pull it out of the ball. Gently knock off any extra glue between the strings.

Thread three jungle bells onto a piece of ribbon. Bring the ends of the ribbon together so that the bells hang at the bottom of 6″ or so of  ribbon. Tie a knot 1″ to 1 1/2″ above the bells (depending on the size of your ball) and carefully  insert it into the finished ball. Use an unbent paperclip or other thin object to help you push the loose ribbon ends through the top of the ball. The knot should hold inside of the ball to keep your bells in place.

Finally, tie another knot or bow at the top to form the ornament hanger, and you’re done!

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