Great Balls of Fire

dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration

I didn’t have a chance to get this post up prior to the 4th of July holiday due to lots of house and kitchen prep, but wanted to share this craft since it can be used in different colors as decoration for other holiday parties, bridal or baby showers, and even weddings.  For those who appreciate a more natural or vintage spin, using unbleached, kraft-colored coffee filters or dying the white ones with tea bags would make for a gorgeous display.

Sometimes I’ll head to the Dollar Tree or 99 cent store, just to get inspired by what I find in the aisles.  This last time around, I picked up a package of plain, white coffee filters which I ended up stapling together, then pinning to small styrofoam balls to make big frilly pomanders.  I dyed about 30 ‘bunches’ with red and blue gel paste food coloring, and while this worked to a certain extent, the end product was more remnicient of a romantic Monet painting than the spectacular display of American patriotism I was going for.  So to liven it up, I made three plain white ones, then added some smaller red and blue tissue paper pomanders that Martha made so popular a few years back.  Hung above the food spread, these are sure to bring some festivity to any get together!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 packages of plain white coffee filters
  • stapler
  • gel paste food coloring
  • medium mixing bowls with water
  • rubber gloves
  • aluminum foil
  • jelly roll pan (baking sheet with a rim)
  • box of straight pins
  • 2-inch dense styrofoam balls
  • colored tissue paper
  • scissors
  • floral wire

Here’s what you do:

For the white coffee filter pomanders:

  1. Take 3 coffee filters at their base and bunch together.  Staple.  Make about 15 of these for one ball.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  2. Use stright pin to affix bunch to styrofoam ball.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  3. Repeat Step 2, clustering the bunches together.  Fluff to desired shape.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration

For the dyed coffee filter pomanders:

  1. Take 3 coffee filters at their base and bunch together.  Staple.  Make about 15 of these for one ball.
  2. Mix 1/4 tsp gel paste food coloring into mixing bowl with water.  Adjust amount of food coloring/water depending on how vibrant you want your color to be.
  3. Place coffee filter bunches in the mixing bowl and leave for a few minutes.  Do not overcrowd.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  4. Line jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and place dyed bunches upright to dry.  Turn oven on to lowest setting and allow to dry (this takes a few hours).
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  5. (optional) If color isn’t where you want it after first drying cycle, dip and dry again.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  6. Once dry, use straight pin to affix dyed bunch to styrofoam ball.
  7. Repeat Step 2, clustering the bunches together.  Fluff to desired shape.

For the tissue paper pom poms:

  1. Remove tissue paper from packaging, open and cut stack in half.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  2. Accordion-fold each half in 1-1.5 inch width and use floral wire to wrap the center.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  3. Use sharp scissors to cut the edges of your tissue paper – to simulate ‘fire’ I cut my ends to a sharp point.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration
  4. Delicately begin to separate the layers, pulling from the base.  Fluff to desired shape.
    dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration

Cost: $5.  While some stuff I already had, you can find everything needed for this project at Walmart for cheap, cheap!

dyed coffee filter craft tissue paper pom poms pomanders 4th of July wedding shower party decoration