Cheesecloth Ornament

Have fun with this ornament.  Since it is sheer, you can fill it with potpourri.  Or trim it with seashells.  The ornament pictured is made with two layers of cheesecloth for sturdiness, but you can make a ball with just one layer.  It will be fragile but beautifully delicate and graceful.

You will need:

Cheesecloth

A small balloon

Fabric stiffener

A large bead

Small pearl beads

About 20 inches of 1/8 inch ribbon

 Step 1.  Cut the cheesecloth.

Blow up a small balloon.  Wrap the cheesecloth around the balloon to see how much you will need.  Cut two squares that are big enough to wrap around the balloon.

Step 2.  Starch the ornament.

Pour some fabric stiffener into a bowl.  Dunk the cheesecloth in and get it saturated with the fabric stiffener.  Wring out the excess stiffener, then wrap the cheesecloth around the balloon and fasten it with a twist tie. 

Set the ornament on a piece of plastic or wax paper and let it dry overnight.

Step 3.  Make a loop to hang the ornament.

Pop the balloon and slide it out through the opening in the top.

Cut a piece of ribbon about 8 inches long.  Thread the large bead on the ribbon.

Tie the ends of the ribbon together to form a loop.

Step 5.  Attach the hanging loop.

Push the bead into the center of the ornament.  Tie the neck of the ornament tightly with white thread so the bead cannot slide out.

 Step 6.  Finish the ornament.

Tie a piece of ribbon around the neck of the ornament.  String two pearl beads onto each end of the ribbon and knot the ends.

As you might guess from its name, cheesecloth is used by cheesemakers.  The loose weave allows whey to drain but holds onto the cheese.  Cheese is sometimes wrapped in cheesecloth to keep it from drying out, while still allowing the cheese to breathe.  Cheesecloth is useful for most straining.  You can use it to thicken yogurt into Greek yogurt, strain soup stocks, or wrap a lemon in it so you can squeeze out the juice while straining out the seeds.

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