Today’s project combines some of my very favorite things–hydrangeas, glitter and Lia Griffith projects–with one of my least favorite tools–the dreaded, dreaded glue gun!
I have long avoided using glue guns. I know they are super useful, but they drive me crazy!
Here’s what I hate about glue guns, in no particular order:
- They never, EVER EVER stand correctly. Seriously how *hard* would it be to figure out a way for them to stand correctly?
- They are awkward to use as I anticipate a terrible burn and try to avoid it
- They take forever to heat up
- The dripping!!! OMG! The dripping!!!
- And I always manage to burn myself while using them
Maybe someone, someday (Team Cricut…are you listening?) will finally re-engineer the glue gun and change my mind…but, until then, I try to avoid them at ALL costs!
Unfortunately–with a project like my Glittered Hydrangea Balls–it’s nearly impossible to complete without a glue gun. That’s because the styrofoam ball is covered in dozens and dozens of tiny hydrangea petals that must be attached very closely together to achieve an authentic looking hydrangea bloom.
But, fear not, gentle reader!
My love of all things hydrangea, coupled with the copious use of glitter, has forced me to persevere in presenting this project to you.
To be honest, it also doesn’t hurt that this file is from Lia Griffith. You do know that ALL of Lia’s gorgeous files are now a part of Cricut Access–including this one…dontcha?
I found this file by doing a simple search for “hydrangea” in the Image area and it looked like this:
There aren’t many hydrangea files.
I think that’s because hydrangeas pose a huge challenge to crafters…again because of the dozens of tiny, perfectly formed petals packed so closely together.
The first step to creating these Hydrangea Balls is cutting out the individual petals.
As I mentioned above, each one of these balls uses dozens of four petal flowers, like the ones pictured below.
You can cut them in the size the file suggests…or you could make the petals larger.
FYI: The Design Space file below has three differently sized flower petals, so you can decide for yourself.
No matter which petal size you choose, each grouping offers 30 petals on each image.
For my Hydrangea Balls, I prefer the middle sized petals.
Because I choose to cut all my petals at once, I usually cut a half dozen or so sets of petals. Doing the math that’s six times 30 or 180. Or seven times 30 would be 210. You decide, but consider that you may be assembling your Hydrangea Ball away from your Cricut and gauge for yourself. Having about 200 medium sized petals seems like a good place to start to me.
As an aside, I should mention that hydrangeas come in so many different colors, so you could change up your color from the classic Nikko Blue style to pink, lavender, green or even white and they will look splendid. You can also cut two different tones of your color to give your completed Hydrangea Ball for added depth and visual interest.
Once you have cut all the petals. Remove them and place them in a pile. We still need to work with the petals to give them dimension.
I usually use a boning tool to work the petals, but if you don’t have a boning tool a dowel or a pencil will work as well.
Here is what a boning tool looks like:
Once you’ve fluffed up all your petals, it’s time to warm up your glue gun (I know!!!! Gulp!) and get to work attaching the petals.
Work slowly and just put a dab of glue on the middle back of each petal. You really want to pack each petal in tightly so none of the styrofoam peeks through the petals, but don’t be afraid if you have little cracks in your work. You can fix that later.
At some point you will want to determine the top of your Hydrangea Ball and affix a ribbon to hang your completed project. In my example I used a silvery ribbon, which I looped and affixed with a florist pin. You can also use regular common pins if you like.
Working in sections, continue gluing petals all over the ball. Depending on the size of your styrofoam ball, you may find you need more petals, which you can easily cut with your trusty Cricut, of course.
When you’ve completed adding all the petals, give your ball a good look over. You can always tuck more petals in areas that are missing or move the petals around to your liking.
As a finishing touch, you can spray your ball with spray adhesive and cover the entire thing with opalescent glitter. Oooh! Shiny!
Or not. If you hate glitter, you can leave it off, too. After all…this is YOUR project and you can make it any way you like! I happen to adore the messy, shiny stuff, but I know some people disagree with me. That’s okay. There’s room enough for all crafters in this space and as the French say: “Vive la difference!”
Here’s the Pinterest link to the project:
And the Design Space file on Cricut Community:
“Go forth and Cricut, my friends!”
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