Cheap & Fast Cheer: Glass Ball Ornament Swag

It's amazing how much holiday glitz $2 and ½ hour can get you sometimes. Bulk bags of glass ball ornaments from the thrift store, some rustic twine, and one episode of The Gilmore Girls were all it took for a perfect bit of cozy winter craft time.


  • I've seen similar bags of ornaments at all the thrift stores around San Francisco, but Thrift Town at 16th & Mission has definitely had the best selection. My friend Crystal was with me when I bought these back in October, and asked what I had planned. No idea, but 40 ornaments for $2!

  • On this rainy morning, sipping coffee on the loveseat while carefully stringing glass balls was winter perfection. I swear my blood pressure dropped a LOT. It occurred to me that even if I didn't do anything with the finished product, the fun of making it was priceless.

  • I'll be honest — I didn't string these that carefully. I don't tend to be very careful, so if the delicate glass balls can survive me, you should be golden. I tied off one of the ends of the twine onto an ornament, leaving a few feet for hanging purposes, and then simply threaded the rest on, creating as random a pattern of sizes as possible.

  • Then, I walked around the apartment for 15 minutes trying to figure out where to hang it. And my apartment is tiny. If the swag had been double this length, more of a garland, I think I would have strung it across the window. As it is, I hung it from my vintage shelf brackets above my bedside table. I think it might look very pretty in the evenings, glowing in the light of my reading lamp.


Images: Tess Wilson

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