Looking for a creative way to bring the beauty of your herbal harvest inside for the holidays? All you need is some lavender and lamb’s ear from your garden, a few crafting supplies and a little bit of time, and you can create some lovely ornaments for the holidays – or whenever you want to enjoy nature indoors.

Ornament supplies

You don’t need many supplies to make these lovely ornaments – just plants, glue and foam balls. The rest is up to you.

Photo Credit: Judith K. Mehl

Lambs ear ornament

Your lamb’s ear ornaments should remain soft and touchable for years to come.

Photo Credit: Judith K. Mehl

Lavendar ornament

Give your fragile, yet fragrant, lavender decoration room to hang, so the enticing aroma can waft out to those nearby to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Judith K. Mehl

Supplies

  • Lamb’s ear leaves
  • Dried lavender flower stalks
  • All-purpose or tacky glue
  • Ribbons
  • Several foam balls (2-4 inches in diameter)
  • Something to attach to the top of the ornament for hanging (like an eye hook, a screw eye, an unbent paper clip or florist wire)
  • Other natural or store-bought adornments

Gathering your supplies is definitely part of the fun of this project. Scour the back yard or nearby parks to find tiny pinecones, seeds and stalks of interesting grasses (with their seeds still attached) or petite rosebuds. Dry the bounty that needs it, like the lavender, rosebuds and some of the other flower heads. Then lay out all your supplies when you’re ready to create.

To make the lamb’s ear ball, be sure to pick leaves that are about 5 inches long for a 3-inch-diameter foam ball. (Pick longer leaves for larger balls and shorter ones for smaller ornaments.) Start by sorting through the leaves and figuring out which ones work best with each ball – hold them up and see if any need a bit of trimming if they’re too long or too thick at the base.

Next, create a way to hang the ball. Secure an eye hook or hanging wire in the top of smaller balls. Larger balls (4 inches in diameter or bigger) will probably require florist or garden wire to support the weight. Simply bend a 12-inch-long piece of wire in half, leaving a loop at the top. Insert both wire ends through the center of the ball, then string a ribbon or other decorative hanger through the wire loop at the top. Push the two ends of the wire through to the other side of the ball, and bend up the wire ends. Tie your ribbon, and the ball is ready to be hung when the ornament is finished.

To decorate, cover the foam ball with glue. Lay the fresh leaves on the ball, and press lightly to flatten. Use the tip of the leaf at the top and press down toward the bottom. It’s best to start by gluing a leaf on each quarter, then go back to fill in the gaps, overlapping the leaves slightly. Hang the ornament to dry. (This will take about 2 days.) When it’s ready, attach flowers (even silk ones would work), beads, grass seeds or rosebuds. If I plan to give the ornament as a gift, I sometimes add miniature hummingbirds or other trinkets that would appeal to person I’m giving it to.

The lavender ornament is somewhat like the old apple pomanders, but with a foam ball at the center. Just select your ball size and secure a way to hang the ornament, as with the lamb’s ear decoration. Then gather your dried lavender (still on the stem). To assemble, break the stalks to allow for about a half-inch to an inch of stem below the flower head. Then hold the stalk and carefully punch it into the foam. It’s easiest to make a circle around the circumference of the ball and follow with repeated circles until the ball is full. Be prepared for the pungent aroma of lavender to delight you throughout the process.

While sparkles certainly make ornaments perfect for decking the holiday halls, you don’t have to stop there. Skip the hanger step and create a bowlful of beautiful lamb’s ear potpourri guests are sure to reach out and touch. Or make room in your closet for a lovely ball or two of lavender and keep your clothes smelling fresh! These delightful crafts are a wonderful way to bring the rich scent of lavender and the velvety feel of lamb’s ear into your home for the holidays – and the rest of the year!