{Home} Another Day, Another Orb

A while back I showed you how I made the doily lantern that we used as the centerpiece of a lighting feature for a friend's wedding.... (The tutorial for the doily lantern is HERE.)

What I didn't show you then was Beach Ball Project #2! (Because, hey, if you're trashing your dining room with crafty messiness, you might as well go all out!) My second Pinterest-inspired project was another lantern made in a similar way, but using jute twine instead of the doilies:

First you need a beach ball. I learned during these two projects that the "clear" type of beach ball (bottom, pic below) is much easier to remove from the glued-on doilies or twine than the "opaque" type is (top, pic below). So buy that kind if you can find it...
I started off suspending this one to work on it, but I quickly learned that it's much easier to simply rest it on a dish so that you're free to roll it around as you're wrapping the twine around it.
I used almost two spools of jute twine for this lantern, a 24" beach ball, and maybe 3/4 of a container of Mod Podge (Hard Coat).
You're going to run your twine through the Mod Podge (pour some out into a shallow dish so that you can get your hands in there), and use your fingers to "squeegee" the excess Mod Podge off of the twine back into the bowl. Then you simply start wrapping it around and around your beach ball.
You'll need to hold the end in place until you get the first few layers of twine wrapped around, and then it just holds itself on. Be sure to run every inch of the twine through the Mod Podge before you wrap it onto the ball. I pulled a few feet of twine out of the spool, ran it through the Mod Podge (scraping off the excess), then wrapped that section. I repeated that process until my first spool of twine ran out, then I decided it was a little sparse, so I added another spool.
As you're wrapping, be sure to change up the direction (like you do when you're rolling a ball of yarn, if you've ever done that) so that the entire beach ball is covered pretty evenly. Unlike with the doily lantern, you really don't have to worry much about trying to leave an access hole to the inside, because you're just going to trim a section out with scissors later. Just wrap it evenly all around - this will make the ball look even and balanced. (I tried leaving a "hole" at first to avoid cutting it, but doing this will make the rest of the sphere look "wonky" because the wrapping isn't going on evenly.)

Once the first coat was dry, I painted on another coat of Mod Podge with a brush. However, if you've put the first layer on thick, this is probably unnecessary. When you brush on additional coats, you will wind up with some plastic-looking, filmy areas of dried glue between the pieces of twine (these can be cut out, but it's time consuming).

(By the way, I'd like to take a moment to publicly thank my husband for putting up with projects like this that occasionally completely take over large areas of our home - not to mention my time!)...
He's a good egg, that one.)
Once you're done painting, use a string tied to the plug of the beach ball to suspend the lantern to dry - it's best to leave it for several days. Check it periodically to make sure it's hardening up. If any spots feel flimsy, add some more Mod Podge.

Once you're satisfied that it's completely dry and sturdy throughout, you can decide where you want your access hole to be, and carefully trim out a section of the twine in that area with scissors. If you want to save your beach ball for another project, carefully open the plug, and using your fingers, gently push in on the beach ball between the sections of twine to loosen the ball from the glue. Again, this happened pretty easily for me with this type of ball (unlike the ball I used on the doily lantern, which had to be strong-armed off of the doilies!).

Carefully deflate the beach ball (or just pop it with a knife, if you don't want to reuse it), and remove it through the access hole.

 I allowed mine to dry for a while longer like this.... (I don't recommend using a hanger though - it distorted the top a little bit because I left it hanging too long.)

Now comes the exciting part! You can decide how to do your lighting! I've seen some people add a lighting kit which they hard-wire into their ceiling in order to create an actual "chandelier" lighting fixture (complete with a full-sized light bulb). However, since we'll be moving in a few months, I decided to simply add a string of white Christmas lights like I did on the doily lantern.

To hang the lantern, I created a wire ring using pliers and a wire coat hanger. Cut the hook off the top of the hanger below the twist, so that you wind up with a long piece of wire. Form it into a ring, but don't join it together yet. The ring should be a little larger than the opening on your lantern. BEFORE you join the ends together, insert the wire down into the hole, then form the ring INSIDE the ball. (If you join the ends of your ring together before you insert it into the lantern, you'll have to bend your ring in order to get it through the hole. If the ends aren't joined, you can "feed" the wire in while maintaining the ring shape.)

I used two long pieces of twine to hang my lantern. I fed the ends through the spaces in twine and tied them to the wire ring to form a cross pattern. (See photo below.) This allows the weight to be evenly dispersed on the wire ring, which will keep the top of the twine lantern from warping from the weight.

I then inserted my string of Christmas lights... I used twisty ties to attach the string of lights to the wire ring at several points throughout the length of the string - this made the lights spread out all through the globe and prevented them from simply piling up in the bottom:

Ta da! The finished project! I LOVE how this one turned out.... The warmth and texture of the twine is a great addition to my fall decor, and it looks especially pretty at night when the lights are plugged in.

So far, as you can see from the photo below, the twine lantern is much sturdier than the doily lantern and is holding its spherical shape much better.... But I think they're both still beautiful.

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! Feel free to send me any questions you may have - I'll try to help if I can. If you try making one of these yourself, be sure to send me the link to your photos - I'd love to see how yours turned out!

Happy Crafting!
Joining Jennifer at Studio JRU:


  1. i love this! The twine one especially. Great idea! Moving? Hope it's an easy one.

    1. Thanks, Diane! I was pretty happy with how it came out... Yes, we're moving to Spain in March! Should be quite the adventure! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. These are so neat, Beth! Beautiful. The lights glowing through is just gorgeous!!

  3. Wowzers! These are amazing. And you put alot of time into the tutorial; nice job! What an adventure. The doillie-looking one is my favorite, but love the orange glow. What FUN!!! Blessings on your day, Beth.

    1. Thank you very much, Leslie! I'm glad you stopped by!

  4. Clever, clever! I'm liking this verrrrrrry much!

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  6. That beautiful, beautiful lamps ... excellent designs, I like. A greeting.


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