Don’t you love free decor? You are in luck if you have a Sweet Gum Ball Tree in your area. Today I’m sharing how to forage for Sweet Gum Balls to make free Fall Craft Home Decor to enjoy this Autumn. Plus, you can see more Sweet Gum Ball Craft Ideas to make now.
This idea was sparked while searching the Magnolia website for fall decor. This season they have thistle stems for $10.00 each. I realized they look very similar to the Sweet Gum Balls that are currently falling around our property.
So here is my version of the Magnolia fall decor trend.
How To Find A Sweet Gum Ball Tree?
Sweet Gum Balls fall from the sweet gum tree. You can find a tree easily enough once the gum balls begin to fall from the tree.
They are a fruit with tiny seeds for birds and squirrels. Once the fruit is gone, the spiky balls fall to the ground in autumn.
The Sweet Gum tree was so named by native Americans because of the sweet bark of the tree.
What Does Foraged Mean?
When you hunt and gather supplies from nature for a project, those supplies are considered foraged. Foraged means to search for, rummage, or hunt.
What Can You Use Foraged Sweet Gum Balls For?
Due to their unique design, Sweet Gum Balls Crafts are popular, especially in the fall.
You will see wreaths, garlands, topiaries and more.
Today I’m sharing some of the Gum Ball craft ideas I made for Free.
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How to Make Sweet Gum Ball Stems
Here are the supplies I used to make the Sweet Gum Ball Stems.
- Fallen Branches
- Fallen Sweet Gum Balls
- Plastic Bag for Balls
- White Spray Paint
- Container for stems – I used a vintage sap bucket similar to this one.
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
- Gardening Shears
First, I foraged for some fallen branches to attach gum balls in order to make sweet gum balls stems.
We have a great supply due to a river birch tree in our yard.
Next, I gathered several gum balls from beneath the sweet gum trees around our property.
How to Prepare the Gum Balls
To avoid uninvited guests in your home, you must de-bug your gum balls first.
Just place the gum balls in a plastic bag and freeze them for a few days. All the creepy critters can be shaken out of the spiky balls.
Before starting, remove any attached stems from the sweet gum balls with gardening shears.
Prepare the Stems
For this project, I decided I wanted the stems white. Therefore, I prepared the stems by trimming excess branches and arranging them inside the proposed container to determine the correct height.
Next, I placed the branches in the ground to hold them steady and used white spray paint to cover the stems.
Construct Your Stems
Once everything is dry and de-bugged, arrange the stems in your container.
Next, apply hot glue to two or three balls at a time. This allows the hot glue to cool slightly before attaching to the stems.
Randomly attach the gum balls to the branches and hold them in position until the glue sets.
Continue to add balls until the stems are filled to your desired fullness.
Place The Gum Ball Arrangement in Desired Location
I decided to add my Sweet Gum Ball Arrangement on the entry table beside our front door.
You can make your branches heavy with gum balls or go for a light and airy feel.
Click Image for Details
More DIY Gum Ball Ideas
You can see this post with 10 Tips for FREE FALL Decorating Ideas which includes a simple idea of filling a handcrafted basket with sweet gum balls.
Another easy way to use gum balls is to string them on a medium weight jute rope for a Free Fall Garland
These stems are created using wooden skewers and a dab of hot glue. They are reminiscent of dried flowers.
This shorter version is made using a simple tooth pick attached with a little glue.
If you love neutral decor, these simple stems will be perfect for your fall decor and you can’t beat free.
The entry table includes a DIY Earthenware Lamp and several thrifted decor finds.
There are so many options for creating fun stems with Sweet Gum Balls. You can paint the balls in various colors, leave the stems natural, group several ball together for a large dried flower appearance, etc. The options are limitless.
You may also like this Easy Rusted Can DIY Fall Wreath Idea.
Thank you for stopping by today. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.