A while back I started collecting glass containers. Tall ones. Short ones. Fat ones. Curvy ones. Straight ones. I decided they were so versatile I could fill them up with various things depending on my mood/what holiday it was/whatever.
The problem is, aside from filling them with round Christmas ornaments during the holidays, they’ve been sitting empty! I soon realized that a lot of those things people normally fill them with are somewhat expensive. Plus, I’m the WORST at accessorizing. I’m the same way with outfits…I can put on a shirt and a pair of pants but necklaces? What? I wear the same pair of earrings almost every day (silver hoops).
But I’m determined to be more of a “it’s all in the details” kind of a girl and this is where I’m starting. My glass vases.
Here are some cute thumbtack vase filler balls I made this week. I’m quite pleased with them. Pleased as punch actually.
Here’s the what’s what on making them:
Get inexpensive thumbtacks from your junk drawer or nearby office supply store. Each ball took about 100-150 tacks depending on its size.
I started by creating a line of tacks around the center and then working my way up & down overlapping the tacks a best I could.
I also did a couple where I started at one end and worked my way down. Both ways turned out fab.
Worried about the color? Don’t be. After the ball was completely covered in tacks, I took it out and spray painted it! It was awesome. Totally customized to what colors I wanted and very easy to do. I did prime it first as well… I’m not sure if it was necessary but I felt better doing it. I also finished them with a nice coat of clear enamel spray paint for a shiny finish. That is entirely up to you, of course.
Now, if you do happen to get some metallic thumbtacks and want the silver or gold look then, by all means, do not paint!
Gorgeous, right? I loved them unpainted, but I had a colorful vision in mind so I had to proceed with the spray painting.
I think they’re great all together in one big vase. But I also like them mixed in with other decorative balls (which I will show you how I did next time).
Or maybe you want them in a bowl or basket?
I think they added some funkiness to my living room space which was lacking in the accessories department.
The only problem I’ve had so far is my kids won’t stop touching them! There’s something about that shiny smooth, yet bumpy texture they can’t leave alone. Plus they love that they are made out of thumbtacks. I guess we’ll see how durable they are!
Hey, check out THESE thumb tack decorative balls using silver thumb tacks and duct tape!
Here are the spraypaint colors I used:
Valspar: Everglade Glen
Krylon: Blue Ocean Breeze
*************EDIT on July 25, 2011************
I’ve had some people email me/leave a comment who have had some trouble creating these. Unfortunately their comments are not attached to their email so I can’t write them back!! So, I figured I’d address the issues here…
You: My thumbtacks are not staying in!
Me: I had no issues with the thumbtacks until I got to the very end. The last thumbtack always seemed to be loose since I was unable to push that one in as far as the other ones (it sat up on top of other thumbtacks all the way around). On the couple that happend, I simply dipped the point of the thumbtack into white glue and then put it in. Once it dried it was sturdy. They were also sured up quite a bit after a couple of coats of spray paint.
I have also been thinking that the styrofoam on these balls must vary quite a bit from brand to brand. Maybe mine were quite a bit denser than yours? Perhaps as a remedy you could do a quick coat of Mod Podge over your ball and allow it to dry first? That might make a sturdier surface for you to push in your pins.
You: My styrofoam is disintegrating when I spray paint it!
Me: Again, maybe it is the brand of the styrofoam ball? I had very little styrofoam even showing when I got to that point but what was showing had no problem with this. I’m guessing a quick coat of Mod Podge would help this as well…. yes, Mod Podge is the miracle crafting drug!
Other unsolicited tip from me: I didn’t mention above how I spray painted these bad-boys. I actually took inexpensive bamboo skewers from the grocery store and stuck them into one of the small places the styrofoam was showing. I then held on to that as I spray painted them, leaving them stuck upright in a bucket (sticking out the top) as they dried between coats. If you picked one up now and looked closely you can still see the small hole it made. But really, who is going to do that? No one, that’s who.
Please let me know if you have any other issues or if the Mod Podge helps! The world needs more thumbtack balls so let’s figure out all the problems, k?