This giant, unconventional DIY comes to us from stylist and author Shane Powers. It might not surprise you, leafing through Shane’s ‘Bring the Outdoors In‘, that this man has been a styling tour de force at both Blueprint, the short-lived, but much drooled-over magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. In his new book full of garden projects, this home stylist reveals tons of fun ideas for using natural materials straight from your yard to create striking and organic accents for home decor, gifts and parties. Here’s Shane…
This ethereal globe-like sculpture has a celestial presence; it’s light as air, but explosive at the same time. I have always loved the fine and light texture of gypsophila, more commonly known as baby’s breath. While it tends to be overused as filler in standard-issue flower arrangements, it is underused as a decorative element in its own right. And since it’s inexpensive, you can use great masses of it. The completed sphere is magical as is, but it will glow from within beautifully should you choose to light it.
The sphere pictured was created using eight bunches of baby’s breath and a very large (20 in) paper lantern, but the technique can be used to make one of any size. A large lantern might need a few days to complete, while a smaller size can be made in a few hours.
Tip: You can buy pre-dried baby’s breath for ease or to save time, but buying it live and drying it yourself (hang bunches upside down to dry) is not difficult and might yield better results as it dries in a more natural form and is not damaged in shipping.
Giant Gypsophila Sphere
Ceiling hook and anchor
Spherical paper lantern
Lamp cord or string for hanging
Dried baby’s breath
Garden shears or wire cutter
Hot glue gun
Install the ceiling hook and anchor where you plan to display the sphere. If you plan on illuminating the sphere, put the lamp cord in place in the lantern before you begin. If not, you can simply cut a length of string or cord as desired and tie it to the top of the lantern for hanging. You will need to work with the lantern within reach—either hanging in its permanent position but lowered to a comfortable level, or hanging elsewhere, in which case you will need to carefully move it to its final location when complete. I recommend standing while you work, if possible, so you can easily move around the lantern.
Prepare the baby’s breath stems by trimming them down to about 4 in in length. Work with one bunch at a time to keep your work area tidy.
Starting at the top of the lantern around the perimeter of the opening, begin to attach the ends of the individual stems to the lantern. Touch the bottom of the stem to the hot glue gun nozzle to add a tiny amount of glue to the bottom, then hold the stem end perpendicular to the surface of the lantern for a few seconds while the glue dries.
Continue working around the circumference of the lantern toward the bottom, making sure the blooms are filling in nicely. The stems should be about 1 to 2 in apart depending on the amount of blooms per stem. As you reach the bottom, you may need to work from beneath the lantern to finish.