Instruction Guides

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Items included in your kit

A base “form” such as a ball or egg, etc., is included. You will also find all items shown in the kit picture that relate to the completed ball. We include all the called for construction items like pins, fibers, rhinestones, beads, and ribbons.

Items not included in any kit

Your kit does NOT contain commonly available “extra” tools or supplies that may be needed such as specialty needles, ordinary sewing threads, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, or flexible tape measure devices, glue, or paints. We hope this will keep the TSA Agency happy!


(These general directions are for information purposes only. They may or may not apply to your specific ornament design.)

Look at the area around the top hole of the ball and the bottom hole. There should be evidence of “something” being applied to the ball to stabilize the wrappings on the ball at both ends. If you see NO evidence of this being done, you must do it with your glue and smear it around over a very small area and then dry it. No big globs of glue, please.

You may or may not have something coming out of one end of your ball or egg – like a piece of pipe cleaner. You can use this to hold the ball while you work on it. It will utimately get removed.

If your ball or egg does not have a hanger, you will have to devise a method whereby you can hold the item while spritzing the ball or egg with a light coating of a medium hairspray in order to stabilze the fibers on the ball or egg. Your first “spritz” should be a very light coating. Do not soak or drench the ball with hairspray! Set the ball or egg aside to dry completely. If you are the impatient type, as am I, you can hasten all drying times by using a hair dryer on medium heat and blowing on the object. Heavy breathing on the object works but you will get light headed doing that. Once dry, add another light coating and let this dry. If you feel that the fibers need one more LIGHT coating, you can add the third layer but do not go overboard.

I suggest that you purchase any of the white tacky glue products that dry to clear for use with your kit. Purchasing a good glue dispenser that will give you a VERY fine line of glue instead of a wide band of glue would be a good thing. Most craft stores have glue dispenser bottles that are plastic and have a fine metal or plastic dispenser end. If you use the plastic nozzle type- DO NOT cut off the tip but rather insert a pin into the very end and then sample the size of the glue line this gives you. If the hole is not large enough use a slightly larger diameter pin and enlarge the hole. You would like to have a line that is a little wider than the width of the pins in the kit. Yes, it is true, you may have herniated fingers, but the trauma level is low and worth it – you can always add another glue line but it is absolute torture and many minutes of work to get the glue off the ball if you slather on too much glue. Search your sources until you can find a good “0.7 metal tip” to screw onto the nozzle of the plastic glue bottle you are going to use. Your favorite craft store or art store should have the “craft set bottles and tips”. Using a tooth pick will also give a nice thin line of glue. In fact, this tooth pick idea is the cheaper choice to use when you have ultra fine lines of glue to put on the egg or ball. There will also be times when you will need a thicker line of glue so save a tip for that kind of work.

Please keep your fingers clean and keep stray glue finger print marks off of the ball especially in places that the design will not cover. A water dampened sponge in a waterproof container is an excellent choice for a tool to keep your fingers clean –a clean cloth nearby is good for drying your fingers versus using your clothing!

A ceramic mug or other suitable object that has a top opening small enough to serve as a resting place for your ball and not let the ball drop into the bottom while you work on it is an excellent choice for a tool. Consider using this if you like – otherwise, you can keep retrieving your ball or egg from the floor every so often. There are also metal hangers that sit on a flat surface that you can get at craft and expensive stores that will hold your ball during rest intervals. I prefer using this type of display hanger especially for the ornaments I design since there is a chance that you can move some glued embellishments on the ball with the lip of a cup.

Another word of caution! I have found that my designs usuallly require a GREAT deal of careful planning, attention to detail, and fastidious workmanship habits in order to get the design to come out great – which is what I think you want to have happen too.

Other tools you may want to add to your collections of implements may be:

A carpenter’s nailset, a jewel dauber (for picking up those small small rhinestones), tweezers, slim nose scissors, beading needle, jewelry making pliers, and heavier duty scissors if rhinestone chain is included in your kit.

There really is no option. During the directions for any ornament you will be instructed to stabilize a trim or an end of a trim in order to keep it from fraying now and also before you cut a length to use on the ball. To stabilize the END of a trim before using it, you lay on a line of glue across the ends of the trim on both ends. Work the glue into the threads. Set the glue with your hair dryer. After the glue has set and is dry to the touch you can snip the trim in order to “clean up” the end of the trim. After you have stabilized the end of the trim you will measure the length of the trim you will need, or that the directions specify. Mark this distance. Apply glue on both sides of the trim for the specified distance right and left of this soon to be cut line and don’t forget to work the glue in on both sides of the trim. Once this “little band of glue” is or has dried you can cut across the trim at your exact measurement and you will end up with two stabilized ends for the trim. The directions should always tell you the distance on either side of the cut that will be stabilized. When you are working with a cord or rope, the procedure is the same. You work the glue into the strands and then reshape the end of the cord or rope into the same general shape it should be in. When dry you can snip the ends off clean. If you make a mid-rope cut, stabilize for about ¼” to 3/8ths inch on each side of an imaginary cut line, dry, and then snip across the trim on the definitive cut line – now you have two stabilized ends!

In all of our kits, so far, you need to determine where the bottom center of the ornament is located. Place one end of your flexible dressmaker’s tape measure at the center of the hole on the top of the ball, and measure the exact circumference of the ball – or egg. Most of the balls have about a nine inch circumference. If your measurement is a little different you will need to make note of this and make minor adjustments to your next measuring steps accordingly. Write down your circumference measurement so you can make any adjustments needed as you complete this portion of the measuring.

Place the end of your tape measure again at the center of the top hole, measure down the ball towards the bottom hole exactly ½ of the circumference of your ball. Insert a pin partially into the ball at this point. Turn your ball about an 1/8th turn and once again measure from the center of the top hole down the ball to the bottom again. You may have to move the pin. Keep repeating this procedure until you determine the exact bottom. It is crucial that you do this correctly. Some of the balls we supply have a hole at the center bottom and some do not. It all depends upon the supplier we use. If there is a hole at the bottom of your ball and it happens to be your “spot”, I want you to place some glue in the hole, roll up some tissue and push the tissue into the hole, then top it off with a little glue. Re-insert your center bottom marking pin – into this hole. If there is no hole at the bottom of your ball and only a spot where wrapping fibers may converge, then that is where you will put your center bottom marking pin.

It is possible to replace the pin with a marking dot made with a pencil point – I find this is not so permanent tho. Be aware that I have found that permanent markers will bleed if you use them to make the dot. There goes the ball! Good luck to you, work carefully and be patient.

This is a good procedure to practice before you ever begin working on a ball just in case the directions call for you to make a loop knot.

There will come a time that your instructions may ask you to make a “loop knot”. To make a loop knot you make a loop in your thread by bringing the two sides of the thread together about a couple finger widths from where your last bead ends, if your instuctions have you holding a pin with a bead on it. You are not making a circle with the thread, you are makng a loop shape.

A little lick from your tongue on the pad surface of your thumb and your pointing finger will help you when you hold the threads that make a loop shape between your thumb and pointing finger and then you “roll” your two fingers together to get the loop to turn around a couple of turns.

Now that you have a “loopy” loop, place the loop over the pin shaft where asked to place it in the directions, you can let loose of the loop now but you will now begin to pull the loose or cut thread end to “tighten” the loop around the pin shaft.

I suggest you practice this before you get to this point in any of your directions. There are also places on the internet that have great explanations on how to make a loop knot.

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