tissue paper ball 1

It’s been quite the week at the Cottage @ 341 South.

This time change on Sunday sure seemed to affect us greatly all week, and in not so good ways. The girls are waking up at very early hours, somehow not aware of the blessed time change. This was always the time change I looked forward to all year!

And somehow this is the week for them to spill everything – candle wax all over the floor, an entire glass of milk at a friend’s house, and entire glass of milk at our house. And I KNOW, it’s just milk, for crying out loud.  But somehow milk is not my friend this week. Let’s stick with solids from now on. But then solids crumble in a million pieces, so what’s worse? And then Zoe came running to me this morning telling me Olivia is playing in the toilet with her hands. And Zoe’s been having allergies, which swell her sinuses, which make her semi-deaf to where I feel like I either repeat myself a hundred times to answer her question or else talk LOUD just so she can hear.

I told my husband last night that I think I should just come to expect catastrophes all day with children. Then I won’t be so worked up when it seems like that’s all that happens…

We haven’t had a busy schedule. In fact, I told a friend this week that I’ve been “hermit-ing” after all the busyness of the past few months. So there is really no explanation for a week that feels a bit over the top…

I’ve thought so often of a quote I read on this site several weeks ago. When I read it, it hit me in the depths of my heart and I felt like God was speaking Truth to my heart. Truth that I have had a hard time accepting before this, perhaps. This is the quote:

“I don’t know if most women have given themselves totally to motherhood,
understanding that it will take their all –
their time, body, life, moments, rights, everything really,
to build a godly legacy.
It seems they think their children are “taking up their time”
without realizing that God gave them children in order to provide them
with an eternal work to do –
that it is their best way to influence eternity,
that it is the most strategic work of their lives and will outlive them.”
[Sally Clarkson]

Giving myself totally to motherhood…
Understanding that it will take my all…

I want well-behaved children that are always obedient and never play in toilets and spill candle wax or milk and that play nicely together all the time and that don’t get allergies and are essentially deaf for several weeks a year because of it and that don’t unravel toilet paper for miles and where a potty-trained girl doesn’t still pee herself and another little girl doesn’t eat catfood every chance she gets and where she doesn’t tear pages out of books…

But is that really the full extent of what I want? Is that all? Well behaved children? Is that the epitomy of life?

Elizabeth wrote a beautiful post about children, about what is really important. And it blessed my heart beyond words. It’s worth your time to go read and comment!

And a quote I heard while listening to a sermon from Eric Ludy yesterday while knitting…

“Dependence [upon God] proves it is GRACE that truly saves.”

Because being a mother has made me feel weaker than I ever have in my entire life.
Never have I felt such utter dependence upon God. As in, I will not make it if God doesn’t come through. As in, I can’t do this on my own.
Never have I felt like my own sin shows so blaringly clear.
Never have I felt like I fail so much.
Never have I had to ask for forgiveness so often.
Never have I needed God so much.

And really, I think this is right where God wants me. Where I am desperate for Him. Where He is my life-line, and nothing else comes close to Him. It’s a hard, helpless place to be. And yet somehow I’m believing [or to be perfectly honest, WANT to believe] that it’s a good place to be.

In our weakness, that is when God is strong. Because then God is glorified, not our perfect mothering…

Audrey also wrote a beautiful post about this…

I really wasn’t intending to go into all that, but this has been OnE oF tHoSe WeEkS and my heart is full…

But I feel His Spirit breathing Life into my heart, giving me Grace. And Love in the midst of the mini-catastrophes.

And that is all that I need.
Him. Just Him.

——————————————————————————————————–

And on to what I was originally posting about! How these women can think about many things at once…

Quite a few people have asked me about the tissue paper balls, after seeing them on my dining room post.

I work best when seeing things visually, so what follows is a tutorial on making tissue paper balls.

By doing this, I very humbly acknowledge that this is in NO way original to me. This goes way back, probably to my grandparents’ era or older, so I am only passing along information that I learned elsewhere.

When people have asked about how to make the balls, the second question I almost always get is “Is it hard to make them?”

Let me answer that question right off the bat and say that these are so super easy and FUN to make. There are unlimited styles and colors and sizes you can make. I’ve love to see some of your projects!

This girl has made a lot of flowers with the same idea, that are just gorgeous.

And I came across another site one day with some cool ideas as well but can’t find it today. Big help that is, I know…

I love this, because you can use your imagination and just create away!

The Tutorial:

Since I work best with pictures, I’ll show the steps with pictures to show my description.

#1.  Choose a pack of tissue paper that you like, in your preferred color.

tissue paper ball 11

#2. Take a stack of about 10 sheets.
[if it’s square, make it rectangular shaped; square will not work]
Fold, beginning on the shortest side, accordian-style, in about 1-2″ folds, until the entire stack is folded.

tissue paper ball 10

#3. Secure in the middle with a thin wire.

tissue paper ball 9

This is what you’ll have.

tissue paper ball 8

#4. Trim the ends into a round shape or a > shape.

tissue paper ball 7

#5. Beginning on one end, separate each paper from the stack, like so:

tissue paper ball 5

Continue to separate each paper, pulling very gently so it won’t tear.

tissue paper ball 4

If you want a flower, end here.

If you want a ball, keep doing the same thing on the other side, and you’ll have this:

tissue paper ball 3

Super super easy, and it doesn’t take long at all!

The larger your sheets of tissue paper, the larger your ball. And vice versa.

Combine several different sizes like this:

Dining Room7

or different colors and sizes like this:

tissue paper ball 12

tissue paper ball 1

And put large flowers in groupings on your wall,

or hang them from the ceiling (which I’m very extremely doing all over my house)

tissue paper ball 14

in your nursery.

tissue paper ball 13

And that’s it!

Happy crafting!

I’d love to see what you’ve done! Leave me a little linky so I can see your project!

~clarita

37 thoughts on “Tissue Paper Balls {tutorial}

  1. Elizabethmarie_1

    You are so sweet Clarita! I appreciate your kind comment and recommending my site.
    You are a young Mom with lots of wisdom! You have two cute little bubbly, happy girls you are doing a great job with.
    Weeks are like that, yes, we all have them. Lots of milk spilled! =)  I love what you wrote about giving yourself to motherhood…that is so true.  If we do not have that perspective, we will start to become selfish and feel sorry for ourselves everytime things don’t go our way….which, yes, I do that sometimes…=/

    Your tissue paper balls are so, so cute. And I LOVE that bed in the last picture! =)

  2. appalolly

    This part REALLY struck me — And reminded me of how I feel too often “It seems they think their children are “taking up their time” without realizing that God gave them children in order to provide them with an eternal work to do”. So important to keep that perspective!

    Really enjoyed your post. And you are a very talented woman, I might add!

  3. aretheyallyours

    Wonderful words about motherhood.  When I am exhausted and I have laundry to do, school lessons to teach, boys wrestling on my kitchen floor while I’m trying to fix lunch, etc. etc. etc… I need the reminder that what I am doing has eternal rewards, in which I am so thankful to have a significant role. 

    The bed in the last picture is BEAUTIFUL!  You are creating such a gorgeous home!

  4. JsSteph7

    Because being a mother has made me feel weaker than I ever have in my entire life.
    Never have I felt such utter dependence upon God. As in, I will not make it if God doesn’t come through. As in, I can’t do this on my own.
    Never have I felt like my own sin shows so blaringly clear.
    Never have I felt like I fail so much. 
    Never have I had to ask for forgiveness so often.
    Never have I needed God so much.

    ^^^ That was for sure my favorite part! So true. All of what you said was so good.
    I am totally in love with your tissue paper creations! I will definitely be trying it. : )

  5. erlinyoder

    I’m very much encourage by this post…thank you!   These precious (on most day) children of ours require so much from us and  often I feel so unequipped for the job.  You’re right….it’s only through God that we can even come close to being what they need us to be.  Lately I have been really struck with the fact of raising our children….for eternity!  I mean I think of that all the time, but some days I get really caught up in my own agenda and I partially lose sight of that.

    Sorry your girls haven’t been sleeping long nights!   I remember telling you the other evening about my short nights, but failing to ask about yours!  I guess I wasn’t doing a very good job of  *listening*. :( / :)     I hope your weekend is very restful and “uncatastrophic”! (:

  6. down_onthefarm

    “Because being a mother has made me feel weaker than I ever have in my entire life.
    Never have I felt such utter dependence upon God. As in, I will not make it if God doesn’t come through. As in, I can’t do this on my own.
    Never have I felt like my own sin shows so blaringly clear.
    Never have I felt like I fail so much. 
    Never have I had to ask for forgiveness so often.
    Never have I needed God so much.

    And really, I think this is right where God wants me. Where I am desperate for Him. Where He is my life-line, and nothing else comes close to Him. It’s a hard, helpless place to be. And yet somehow I’m believing [or to be perfectly honest, WANT to believe] that it’s a good place to be.

    In our weakness, that is when God is strong. Because then God is glorified, not our perfect mothering…”

    great thoughts Clarita. love this post and especially the words above.
    sometimes spilled milk might be just.that.
    and at other times it’s the 157th need of the day ~ at 8:30 a.m.~ and that’s when it can make me cry.
    i am still shocked that i gave birth to little sinners!
    and learnING along with my kids how much I! They! We! need Him!

  7. ABAHM

    Amen and Amen. In the midst of a week of spilt milk and early hours, God is revealing much. Yes, we need Him so much as moms, and yes, what we are doing matters for eternity. I have already received great rewards in having grown boys that bless me and follow the Lord. All you pour into them is worth it, and you will honestly miss these days and think back on your little sweeties. All that to say keep on! God is good to give to those who ask.
    Pretty pretty paper balls, I love what you do with them!

  8. grace_to_be

    LOVED what you shared here, Clarita! It’s been quite the week here as well… in a smaller house, with hardwood floors where EVERYTHING echoes, and feeling like the kids are on top of me 24/7 – but also feeling the need to be w/ them and work through their adjusting period, etc. It’s so easy to slip and get my focus off. What you wrote helped swing it back to the right place. :) So very grateful for His grace in my life~

    and I’ve always loved those paper balls but have never made any. I think now would be the perfect time to delve into a few w/ the girls and hang them around —

    thanks for the inspiration on both fronts this morning. :)

    {{hugs}}

  9. sallyclarkson

    What a beautiful blog. I love your thoughts about motherhood, too, and appreciate your including a comment of mine. I have been pondering it a lot, as my older kids have made these observations from friends in their mid-20’s to 30’s. May God bless your precious family and give you joy in the midst.
    Blessings,
    Sally Clarkson

  10. clearlyhis

    Yes, I know all about early mornings, spilt milk, crumbs, “deaf” ears, toilet messes, potty trained mistakes, etc.   How is it that some weeks I can pretty much take these things in stride, and then there are other weeks where I feel like I’ll go crazy…. Most of the times there are often tell tale reasons, if I stop and think and look for them.  And usually it has .n.o.t.h.i.n.g. to do with my children, but instead my own issues.  Exactly like you said,  “Never have I felt like my own sin shows so blaringly clear.Never have I felt like I fail so much. Never have I had to ask for forgiveness so often. Never have I needed God so much.” 

    This part really got my attention “…understanding that it will take their all – their time, body, life, moments, rights, everything really, to build a godly legacy.” Selfishness and mothering .do.not.mix!!  Okay, I knew/know that.  But, need to keep it in the front of my brain! 

    Thanks for sharing from your inner beauty, and – the outer beauty that you create so charmingly!  loved it all!  Bless you dear.

  11. luckymullets

    This was so relevant for where I’m at right now. We’re getting close to the end of an addition to our house project and although the kids are wildly excited they are also doing wildly crazy things and my patience for kids around paint and construction is pretty much gone. We were at an Andrew Peterson concert last week and he said something referring to where his wife is at with mothering that has stuck with me all week. My quotation will not at all be perfect but he said, “the people we rub shoulders with every day are the crowning of God’s creation and the best thing that we can pour ourselves into.” Too often I’m not totally giving myself to motherhood and although I love my kids, I’m not seeing the sticky, messy hands and feet as the absolute most glorious thing that God created. Thanks for the honest and inspiring words.

  12. FOREVERLANE

    Thanks for this beautiful little post! I’ve been “feasting” on Clarkson books in my house lately, and after meeting Sally at the conference a few weeks ago, decided again that I want to be “just like her” when I’m her age~so full of beauty and grace~and so proud of and confident of her grown & almost-grown children!

    And the tissue paper balls . . . I took my supplies to the cabin this weekend and made one, but something didn’t look quite right, so I was going to call you this week and ask WHY, only to come home to this lovely little tutorial! I made mini tissue paper ball/flowers several years back and *that* tutorial said to make them from square paper. But I think that’s why mine weren’t looking quite right this weekend. Thanks for the tips!

  13. lifeisadance

    @FOREVERLANE – for your children’s room?? I was thinking to myself that some tissue paper balls would look really cool in there with the silhouettes. :) Fun fun! And I do want to know what you think of the silhouettes… Like I said, I’m a bit nervous making them for a good friend! :)

    and thanks to YOU for the link to itakejoy!

  14. lifeisadance

    @clearlyhis – I know exactly what you mean about some weeks being able to take anything, and other weeks feeling like it’s pushing me over the edge! But it’s really ME and my own selfishness most times, not really even my kids. I think my kids are raising ME, not only vice versa!! Blessings to you too, beautiful mother!

    @luckymullets – that is a beautiful quote! Thanks for commenting and sharing!

  15. smilesbymiles

    You make me want to be a better mom. Love those quotes and what you shared. And thanks for the tutorial on the paper balls. I am one of those inhibited visual learners. :)

  16. myall4christ81

    I have gotten incredibly behind on my postings and just now after my daughter spilled two of my drinks within 20 minutes of each other, I sat down to read this post. Just what I needed. The first time she did it I jumped up exclaiming her name and she started to cry. I immediately assured her it was alright as the thought passed through my head that a spilled drink is no reason to get upset with my child. Her pitiful short-lived cry humbled me greatly.
    Thanks for the step by step instructions with visuals are just my cup of tea. Look forward to trying them!

  17. FOREVERLANE

    Yes, for my children’s room. AND the package DID come yesterday (or maybe while we were gone). MIL dropped it off sometime yesterday while I was gone. I *love* them!! So adorable, and they DO look like my children. :) Thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh, and the little extras in the package were quite delightful too! Do I have to reserve the headband for Claudia or may I wear it too? It’s so pretty! Packages from “The Cottage” are so much fun to open . . .  Thanks!!

  18. WasabiBek

    I can totally relate to this post. The funny thing is that I got kind of behind in reading xanga posts and when I saw the title to yours I was like… um tissue balls?!?!?! My life is way to crazy to think about tissue balls and almost didn’t read it!:)
    Early mornings?! Oh my word! My children are nearly driving me wild with their EARLY rising habits. My grief. Cossette slept till 6:10 this morning and I felt like I was on vacation. Her normal wake up time is between 5:00 and 5:45. WHY is it so hard to greet children joyfully at such an hour. All I can think of is how tired I am, what a long day it’s going to be and my irritation at being made to leave my cozy bed at such an early hour. But in the whole scheme of life it really isn’t a big deal and I really just need to get over myself. It’s amazing what a better mommy I am when I lay down my “rights” to my sleep and a clean house and just enjoy my children for who they are and the stage of life I’m in right now. Oh, and if I could learn to enjoy being pregnant that would be pretty cool too!:)
    A happy Tuesday to you! Thanks for this post. Loved it!

  19. SherriMonCheri

    Love the reminder that is in the quote on motherhood!  Maybe I should memorize it or print it out and put all over my house as a constant reminder :)

    Thanks for the tutorial.  I had tried the balls a while ago and they failed miserably.  I think round #2 will coming shortly!

  20. twofus_1

    Beautiful, life-giving words!!!!

    Oh, and I read your update on FB. :( :( :( That is HORRIBLE. I hope badly that your pictures can be rescued.

  21. The_Carpers

    I keep coming back here … for two reasons. That little paragraph about “these kid years” in our life. Its just a really good thing to read. Those tissue balls … I am having a baby shower tomorow and I have been making them for the decorations … and i am LOVING how esay and cute they are! Thanks for sharing them!

  22. lifeisadance

    @The_Carpers – isn’t that a great quote? the site (itakejoy.com) is one i was recently introduced to, and it’s been so encouraging for me as a mother… and have fun with that baby shower! what a fun way to use the tissue paper balls!

  23. jnicolemiller

    I just love your blog, Clarita. Rather, I love your heart…the refreshing honesty, wisdom and whimsy that pours right out of it.

    I have nary a craft to display, but I am grateful for the way you not only craft tissue paper, but words.

  24. fruitloops115

    Hey Clarita, I’ve been meaning to comment but keep procrastinating. I loved this post, btw. and it looks like alot of other moms did too. I read this the other day and since then, those words about motherhood have been resonating in my head, esp the part about God giving it to us for a “life work”. Kinda puts the minor frustrations a little more into perspective.

    Is that THE Sally Clarkson that commented up there???

    I do love the tissue balls as well, and really need to find a spot for some!

  25. cafez

    Your words on mothering and the quote from Clarkson were just what I needed to hear in this week of worrying about my baby’s health and potty training my 2 year old. Thanks.

  26. MartinTreehouse

    I just tagged you in my latest post… and I’ve had your site open for over a half hour… love your playlist! I’m going to make some puffy balls for my house! I’ve always loved them, but you are the one to finally convince me how effortless they are. :)

  27. lifeisadance

    @baileyandme – The white balls over the table didn’t last longer than the Indoor Garden Party. Husband was talking about finding a place other than a flower-infested house to live in after about a week of them up, so they were moved to the little beds in the girls’ room. :)

  28. Rochelle

    I love these tissue balls and I’m making some to put up in my little girl’s room. I was wondering how you usually hang them from the ceiling. Thanks for any info! :)

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      I just tied ribbon around the center of the tissue paper balls and made the string long enough to hang from the ceiling on a little nail with a wide head. I really didn’t use any tricks to do it! :) Have fun with these!!

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