If you are the sort of person who likes crafts and enjoys a challenge then making Temari balls to use as Christmas ornaments should appeal to you. Temari is a very old Japanese craft where the women used the silk from old kimonos to make soft toys for young children to play with. It has developed over the years to become a specialized craft form and there are Temari schools with very high standards.
In its most basic form a Temari ball is a thick silk or wool wrapped around anything that can be formed into a ball shape: rice, paper, felt, wood chips (not suitable for children) or today Styrofoam. The core will not be visible in the finished article, and is completely covered by the thick silk wrapping, which is carried out until the effect is uniform. The next step is to use fine silk or cotton thread and wrap the ball again until all the wool is covered. It does not matter what color you choose for the first layer, but the last layer will be the background for the detailed design that appears on the ornament.
There are many designs available for decorating Temari balls in a Christmas theme. Flowers such as poinsettia are very popular, as are snowflakes. This is the challenging part of making a Temari Christmas decoration. The ball has be divided into sections using pins and thin paper. This helps to keep the design centered and symmetrical which is an important aspect of Temari. Once you have chosen a design and marked out the sections, it is time to begin hand sewing the design using appropriate colors. Gold and silver work well with Christmas themes. The Temari can be finished by sewing a cord or ribbon onto it, to be used to hang your newest Christmas decoration up.
Photo by openarms on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/openarms/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0