When we spotted these balls dropping from Cecilia Fox's ceiling, the symbolism didn't escape us. Hang a few overhead at a New Year's Eve party and no one will notice when you don't turn on the TV to watch the countdown from Times Square.
Alexa (who used to work for a florist) told us how to recreate these balls of gypsophila paniculata, commonly known as baby's breath: "They're easy and they will last a long time, because after they dry out, they will look exactly the same."
Want to try? For Alexa's step by step instructions and a materials list, see below.
Working on a menu for New Year's Eve? See our 5-Ingredient Holiday Cocktail Party.
Above: Use a small florist's foam ball (see below for Materials) as a base. Cut a length of wire about 8 inches longer than the ball's diameter; thread the wire through the middle of the wall, making a loop at the bottom to secure it. Then cut a length of twine (make it a few inches longer than you think you'll need to suspend it at the height you want; you can trim it to the exact length when you hang it). Knot the end of the twine and run the wire through the knot to secure the twine to the ball. Trim excess wire.
Next, soak the ball in water for five minutes.
Above: After the ball is thoroughly wet, stick the ends of the baby's breath branches into the foam at a perpendicular angle. Cover the ball loosely with a first layer of branches and then fill in empty spaces with the rest of the branches; trim some shorter to fill in the gaps.
- A foam ball, such as a 6-inch Floral Foam Sphere; $6.39 from Afloral. (Note: The bigger the ball, the heavier it will be when wet.)
- Several bunches of Baby's Breath branches (available from a local florist)
- Thin, bendable silver wire; 6 Yards of Tarnish-Resistant Silver Wire is $6.48 from Amazon.
- White kitchen twine such as Norpro Cotton Twine; $4.52 for a 220-foot roll from Amazon.
- Garden scissors like these: Ikebana Scissors for $31.95 from Amazon.
Planning a New Year's party? See our 7 Best Holiday Cocktails.
N.B.: This is an update of a post published December 21, 2012 during our Winter Cabins week.