I love vintage Christmas trees and ornaments, but they can often be quite pricey and with curious cats around, it’s just asking for those precious relics to be shattered. Instead I created some DIY mid-century atomic starburst inspired ornaments using foam and toothpicks. They’re fairly simple to construct and you can customize them to fit your color theme. And if you’re a last minute Christmas shopper like me.. they come in handy to give as gifts!
Small foam balls (I used the 0.9″ inch size)
Mini foam balls – apparently called Slime Ballz at JoAnn’s
Toothpicks (9 per ornament)
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Glitter paint in your color(s) of choice
Clear thread or fishing line
I unfortunately had to go the hard route when it came to painting mine. I couldn’t locate my glitter paint so I instead painted mine, coated with Mod Podge, then doused them in loose glitter. You can definitely do that too, but it will save you so much time (and glitter clean up) to just use glitter paint instead.
For each ornament I used 6 full length toothpicks and 6 half length toothpicks (just cut 3 toothpicks in half). Pour a small handful of the mini foam balls into a bowl. (1. & 2.) Next use the end of the toothpick to spike a mini foam ball and then set aside. (3.) Remove the mini foam ball from the end, place a very small amount of hot glue on the end of the toothpick, (4.) and then re-spike the foam ball where you previously made a hole. Wipe away excess glue and set aside to cool. Repeat with remaining toothpicks.
Next you’ll stick the opposite end of the toothpick into the bigger foam ball. I placed mine as symmetrically as I could across from one another and then placed the tiny half toothpicks in between the larger ones. If the toothpicks fall out that is totally okay because all we’re doing is pre-marking the spot that they will go. Remove the toothpicks, add a dab of glue to the end and then place back in the hole. Wipe away any excess glue and repeat until finished.
Once the glue is set up you can paint them. You can hold one of the points of the ornament and paint the entire thing, then once the paint is dry on another point you can finish the last bit of it. Once the first coat is dry, paint a second coat and allow ornaments to completely dry.
Cut about 5 to 6 inches of clear thread or fishing line. Tie around the end of one of the ornament spikes creating a loop. Hang them up, step back, and admire your handy work!