DIY Sweet Gum Ball Garland

Do these pokey alien-looking things that fall from the tree look familiar? They currently litter the sidewalks in our neighborhood and I never knew what they were called until the other day. Sweet Gum Balls. They’re the fruit from sweetgum trees. I learned this when my coworker, Linda, happened to mentioned that she used to string them up with her girls to decorate their Christmas tree with when they were young. I thought that was such a wonderful idea that I would try it out in our own home.

First you have to go on a hunt for sweet gum balls. It isn’t too hard to do around our neck of the woods. Linda was also so kind to collect a few as well while she was at the dog park.

The only other materials I used other than the sweet gum balls included scissors, glitter, spray adhesive, a needle, and embroidery thread.

Outside, I placed the sweet gumballs in a box, coated them with spray adhesive, and sprinkled glitter on top. I shook the box around so they would be evenly coated.

After I was done, I took the sweet gum balls inside and shook them of excess glitter.

I threaded a needle with a long piece of thread and punctured each ball with the needle and threaded the string through. Don’t want use a needle? Linda said you can also wrap one of the spikes on a ball a couple times and that should also hold.

Continue that process to your desired length, equally spacing each ball.

And that’s it! Dress your tree with your sweet gum ball garland, hang over a mirror, or over a doorway.

I used this one to decorate our chalkboard in the dining room.

Do you bring a bit of outdoors in when you decorate for the holidays? Please share in the comments below!


8 Responses to “DIY Sweet Gum Ball Garland”

  1. molly says:

    Ah, I used to love making glitter ornaments out of these when I was a kid! This is adorable.

  2. Marie says:

    How fun is this?! I’ve seen these near me, good to know what they’re called. And they make a darling garland!

  3. Debbie says:

    Ooooooh I love them….wish we had them!

  4. Debbie says:

    OOoh I love them! Wish they grew here.


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  1. […] For years my neighbor had a beautiful Sweetgum which hung partly over my property. When he cut it down I lost many of the great bird species that would visit my backyard . Unfortunately this is what happens to many of the backyard Sweetgums ; they are cut down because home owners get tired of raking up the many balls strewn all over their yards. Just in case you are looking for something more environmentally friendly and imaginative with all those Sweetgum balls they can be used in many craft projects that are fun for the whole family. For more information visit http://www.sturdyforcommonthings.com/2012/12/diy-sweet-gum-ball-garland/ […]

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