Winter Snowball Wreath

I’ve had this idea bouncing around in my head to make a winter wreath out of “snowballs” that consist of Styrofoam balls covered in Epsom salt ever since I made the cute little mini pumpkin vase with Epsom salt.  Remember that?  That project was so easy.  I fully expected this one to be easy as well.  Not so much.

But before we get to that, here’s how it turned out…

Winter snowball wreath made from Styrofoam balls covered in Epsom salt

I love the way it turned out.  I really do.  In fact, it looks just like it did when I pictured it in my mind.  I only wish my photo would show how the salt glistens and sparkles in the light!

But while I’m happy with how it turned out, I admit that I’d never make one of these again, for one reason alone…

THE COST!
 
Oh my gosh…have you priced Styrofoam lately?!  It’s obscenely expensive.  I mean, I strutted right into Michael’s, knowing fully what I wanted to purchase, and gave little or no attention to the prices.  So when I got to the register, and the cashier told me the total, I nearly fell over in shock.  I’m sure it showed on my face, but I was too embarrassed to tell him to cancel the purchase, so I went ahead with it.

Seriously…obscenely expensive.  I did notice a few days later that the very same Styrofoam is cheaper at Hobby Lobby, so if you decide to make one of these, definitely go there, and USE THOSE COUPONS!!!!

winter-snowball-wreath-1e
The process is pretty simple, as long as you’re willing to wait patiently while the little balls dry before assembling the wreath.  If you’re anxious and impatient like I am, and refuse to wait for the balls to dry completely before trying to hot glue them onto the wreath, then it’s a complete headache because the glue won’t stick, the balls will fall off, you’ll burn your fingers and curse your glue gun, and your “simple” project will end up being not quite so simple.

If you’d like to make your own (after purchasing the Styrofoam using coupons) :) here are the details:

Tools & Supplies:

  1. Styrofoam balls (I used 2” and 1.5” balls for mine),
  2. Styrofoam wreath form (I used a 12” form),
  3. Epsom salt,
  4. Mod Podge,
  5. Large bowl for Epsom salt,
  6. Small bowl for Mod Podge,
  7. Paint brush,
  8. Fork or skewer,
  9. Cookie sheet (or something to place balls on while drying),
  10. Hot glue gun,
  11. Long toothpicks or wood skewers.

 

Instructions:

1.  Using a fork or a sewer to hold the Styrfoam ball, brush the entire thing with Mod Podge.

winter-snowball-wreath-2
 
2.  Next, do a little move I like to call The Dunk & Swirl (patent pending).  :)  Be sure that the whole thing is covered with Epsom salt.

winter-snowball-wreath-4
 
3.  Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess Epsom salt, and then place it on the cookie sheet.  Repeat this process approximately 750 times (that might be a slight exaggeration) until you have all of the Styrofoam balls completely coated with Epsom salt.  Leave them overnight to dry completely.

winter-snowball-wreath-5

Now I know you might be wondering why I went to the trouble of covering these in Epsom salt when Styrofoam is already white and a little sparkly.  I hope you can tell the difference in this photo, but the Epsom salt really did make a big difference.  The plain Styrofoam ball on the left has lots of holes and “pores” in it, which gives it a very light and airy look.  The Epsom salt-covered ball on the right looks more dense and icy, like a real snowball (at least, like the few snowballs this Texas girl has seen).

winter-snowball-wreath-1f
 
4.  When all of the Styrofoam balls are completely dry, use long toothpicks or pieces of wood skewers to attach them to the foam wreath form.  I also used hot glue to attach some of the pieces.

winter-snowball-wreath-6
winter-snowball-wreath-7 

5.  When they’re all attached, hang the wreath, and enjoy!

winter-snowball-wreath-1a
winter-snowball-wreath-1c
winter-snowball-wreath-1d

I’m already thinking of more ways to use Epsom salt.  I just love the way it glistens and sparkles, and it adds such a pretty touch to fall and winter projects.

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Comments

  1. Jgreen198 says

    Love that is a winter wreath and can stay out after Christmas.  We will be making this during break.  Thanks for sharing.

  2. Barb Tilton says

    Finally!  I have something I can do with the bags and bags of styrofoam balls that my poor husband was asked to pick up last year when I thought my gal pals and I were going to create TONS of ornaments at a crafting session and I thought we were going to run out.  (HA!  We each did two.  But we had fun and talked a LOT!)

  3. Jen says

    The dollar tree has 1 inch to 2 inch styrofaom balls 8 to a package for, yes, $1. Too late for you ($o $orry about the co$t!), but could help others…

  4. Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says

    Thanks so much for the tip, Jen!  I don't know why, but I never, ever, EVER think to go to the dollar store.  It's just not on my radar at all!  I need to get better about checking out what they have.

  5. Vivienne @ The V Spot says

    Oh, super cute!  I love it!! 
    I am on an epsom salt kick right now.  I just posted a "frosted" pumpkin using it and made a STYRO snowman for Under the Table & Dreaming's Styro series.  I have another one coming up next week.  I think epsom salt is the new black.  :)  (Or for me, the new Pumpkin.) 

  6. Heidi @ Decor & More says

    I love this project and yes, the salt makes such a difference!  Just the right texture and sparkle.  Awesome. :)

  7. Ashley says

    I don't think ANYTHING should be bought from Michael's without a coupon – it's outrageous! I bought styrofoam balls there a few weeks ago for when I participated in YHL's Pinterest challenge…it was a very expensive challenge…

    I love the wreath, it's great!

  8. Laura Richard says

    LOVE it!  Snow, sparkling in the light, is just the prettiest thing.  I wonder if I would be able to get through this project. I get UNbelievable willies, touching..or even thinking of cotton balls, or styrofoam. LOL  But I want to try!  I have a question though:  Once the wreath (or similar projects with Epson salt) are done, are they messy? Does bits of the salt keep falling off?  Because I'm dreaming up all kinds of ideas with this. 

    • Anita says

      Oh, me too. I thought I was the only one. Just the thought of sticking a fork in a styrofoam ball gives me goosebumps. If I actually had to do it, I think I’d die. But maybe I’ll try this with white ornaments or clear glass ornaments. It’s gorgeous, just outside of what my sensitive little nerve endings can take.

  9. Socorro Adolfo Auguis says

    i love it! i wanted to do this soon. but i wonder if this kind of salt is available here in the phillipines.

  10. ablondesdiylife says

    Love this!!  Umm you are soo right about Styrofoam it is ridiculously expensive!  I went to Micheal's the other day looking for some and was floored!  I did managed to find bags of various sizes of them at the dollar store….I think it was 3 in a bag for a dollar…something like that!  
    Also love the fabric you used for your bow!!

  11. Lisa says

    What a great project.  I want to do it now!  Thanks for the heads up about the cost.  A Hobby Lobby just opened in our area so I'll check them out (with my coupon in hand).  

  12. Diana says

    Love, love, love the simplicity of this wreath. It is so beautiful! This could be fun to do with elementary age kids!  Great job!

  13. Carrie@ My Favorite Finds says

    I totally agree with you…styrofoam is CRAZY expensive right now.  Although, you can get it on Amazon for slightly less than in craft stores.  That wreath is darling, though.  I would probably add some glitter, but it's super cute.  

  14. Kim @ Sand & Sisal says

    Pretty! It looks soft and fuzzy and I want to touch it though I know it's hard and rough! I'm sure it looks stunning in the sun! This is a project I'd love to get my kids involved with even!

  15. Guerrina Waters-Hernandez says

    Yes, I have noticed the cost of Styrofoam anything over the past couple of years!  Crazy!  The wreath is stunning!  Will have to try.  I started using Epsom salt last year on some cylinder type candle holders and they were great.  When the season was over, I washed the salt and glue all off and used through Spring & Summer in other ways. That might be the only downfall in addition to the cost…the salt will wash off in rain!  Aaaargh…I need a protected door!

    Ciao!
    Guerrina in CT

  16. Vanessa R says

    Great idea! I'll have to check the dollar store to see if they have any styrofoam. I never would have thought to use salt. Very neat.

  17. Christina at I Gotta Create! says

    I know what you mean….I had no idea styrofoam had become so expensive, either. BUT….your wreath is SPECTACULAR!!!!!!

  18. BeingBrook says

    Love the wreath Kristi.  The zigzag bow is the perfect touch!  You are right that it is crazy how expensive styrofoam is.  

  19. Sarabu says

    My favorite styrofoam tip is to check out after Christmas sales and get ornaments.  Forever I was able to find the ones wrapped in tiny threads- satin balls, maybe?- for crazy cheap, and then dethread them.  Then one year I did it, and they had- curses!- switched to plastic balls, which still work for spheres, but I always check now.  I don't tend to need the scads I did when I had 4 in elementary school, but it is a good cheap way to amass them 12, 24, or 36 at a time :)

  20. sladkins238 says

    Kristi, this is soooo pretty!  Totally {LOVING} the Chevron!  Thank you for sharing your tutorial :)

    Featuring it today: http://polkadotbungalow.blogspot.com/2011/11/marvelous-mondayno-11-and-rustic-poppy.html

    Please feel free to come over and check it out!  Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    {HUGS} ~ Steph

  21. Jennifer Turpen says

    I have looked at styrofoam balls at Joann's and Michael's a few times and yes they are pricey {for styrofoam??}!  I just noticed that the Dollar Tree near our house has bags of styrofoam balls in assorted sizes.  I will have to give this a whirl!  Thank you for sharing!

  22. gina says

    Love it…definitely going to make.Thinking I will stick long toothpicks into the balls first and after coating with salt stick them into scrap foam to “stand” and dry. Keep from double handling. Just a tip I thot I’d share!

  23. says

    Kristi — It’s been a year since you posted this. I think that styrofoam is even more expensive now, even in the dollar stores. I would love to find a substitute. I’ve given up styrofoam wreath forms for ones more modestly priced, like straw.

    Girl, you need to check prices when you’re loading up your basket, and you need to check the dollar stores, too. I’ll only shop Michael’s with a coupon in hand. If you forget your coupon, sometimes they’ll just punch one in for you — good to know.

    • says

      Kathy, I would only put it in areas that are protected from the direct weather. Our front door is covered, so it’s never exposed to rain. I think rain would definitely ruin the wreath.

  24. Teki says

    Have you noticed the salts turning white?? I started this project 3 days ago and overnight my sparkly snowballs were white! Research shows this will happen in drier environments, I’d wondered if you tried to seal yours and if so did they keep their sparkle?

    • says

      That’s very strange. Mine didn’t turn white at all, and I had it hanging on my front door for at least a month. You might be right about the drier environments. It tends to be humid here.

  25. Debbie says

    I have some old styrofoam tree forms that I’ve had forever. This might be just the thing! If I can find my ModPodge, I’m going to do it NOW!!!

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