How to Make a Winter Kissing Ball

Invite holiday cheer into your home and garden with the addition of a handmade kissing ball.

When receiving guests over the coming months, welcome them with this updated version of a traditional yuletide ornament, the kissing ball.

In the Victorian era, a marriageable maiden would stand beneath one, hoping to be kissed by her future husband. Today, thankfully, finding a partner is much different, though the act of hanging a kissing ball remains a welcome conversation starter.

Here’s how to make this berried ball of treats that the birds will love too:

1. Start with a wet piece of floral foam cut into a circle that’s about the size of a snowball.

2. Begin pressing 15 cm (6 inch) long sprigs of coniferous branches to fully cover the form, and add in seven or eight glossy leaves of broadleaf evergreens like Japanese pieris (shown here), holly or euonymus.

3. Next, add branches with juicy berries and fruit that birds will love, like crabapples (seen here), rosehips and hypericum berries.

4. To finish off and hold everything in place, wrap generously with natural twine and leave enough rope at the top to hang it in place. Adorn your porch, your trees and your foyer with balls of boughs and berries, invite friends over and enjoy a very merry kiss-mas!

Jennifer Reynolds
Jennifer Reynolds

Jennifer Reynolds, our Editor-in-Chief, is a long-time authority in gardening, do-it-yourself projects, urban sustainability, parenting, placemaking and community matters. Her features and columns have been published in Canadian Living, Canadian Family, Gardening Life, House & Home, Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star & more. Plus, her designs and expertise have been featured on dozens of HGTV, W Network and CTV shows.

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Posted on Monday, December 20th, 2021
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