{create this} Sweet Gum Ball Flowers

When we were looking to buy our first home, which we did in May of 2009!, we wanted something with character, plenty of space, hard wood floors and preferably updated bathrooms and kitchen.  However, landscaping and the yard were not really a big deal.  We got lucky because the previous owners added an island with crepe myrtles and shrubs, a milkweed plant in front of the porch (hello monarch butterflies!) and my absolute favorite:  a gardenia tree to the left of the front porch.  What I didn’t expect was the sweet gum tree.  It is pretty cool and very full when it’s in bloom.  And also?  It produces these kooky, crazy sweet gum balls, which, let me tell you, are a JOY to step on with bare feet.

But they are just a little funky (not to mention, courtesy of Mother Nature!) and there was just something about them that made me want to craft.  And craft, I did.  Come join me!

Supplies:  sweet gum balls (if you don’t have a tree nearby, stick around, you might just find a sweet way to get some in your future!), bamboo skewers, craft/hot glue, styrofoam or something to hold your flowers standing up in, spray paint

These could not be simpler (look, it’s a numbered list!  yay!):

1.  Carefully gather sweet gum balls (with shoes on!).
2.  Put them in a zipper-close bag and shake the heck out of ‘em (there are little seeds inside that will fall all over)
3.  I used The Saint’s wire .cutters to snip the pointy end of the bamboo skewers off at various lengths.
4.  Add a dab of glue into one of the holes on the sweet gum ball and insert skewer. Place ‘flower’ in styrofoam or a bucket full of sand or something so it can dry.  Here are my sweet gums on a stick:

5.  Spray paint your heart out and let dry.  My makeshift spray painting station:

The Saint would ask that you not look too closely at our lawn – he’s doing yard work this weekend :)
Don’t forget to spray the ends after you pull them out of the styrofoam

6.  Put in a fun container!  Or more than one fun container!

The best part?  You never have to water these flowers, but you may want to dust occasionally.  :)

This project was shared at all the blogs on my Link page!


  1. Cute Blog! I’m a new follower Happy Friday!! I would love for you to stop and take a look at my blog as well! Thanks!

  2. cute crafty idea! would love for you to share this on my ‘fridays unfolded’ linky @ http://www.stuff-and-nonsense.net/2011/02/fridays-unfolded-7.html


    stuff and nonsense

  3. What a great idea to use these little gum balls (never heard them called that, lol). I like! I am visiting from the “Boost My Blog Friday”. Now to have a better look around your site. Have a great one!

  4. This is a great idea. You are so clever. I remember gumballs from when I was a little girl growing up in Louisiana; and, yes, I stepped on a few. I’m your newest follower.

  5. How creative! I’ve been pondering some sort of faux flower to fill a vase for part of my display- this is perfect. Not fake looking and free!
    I just became a follower!

  6. Oh how I hate sweet gum balls! I have them allll over the place and they are definitely not for the barefooted girl.
    What a fabulous idea to decorate with them. Looks great!

  7. I just found you via tatertots and jello. I am now a follower

  8. wow, how interesting…

  9. I was just stepping over sweet gums and saying to my kids, “You should gather these up.” When my hubby asked why I stammered, “I don’t know ~ for CRAFTS!” Thanks for the neat idea! Now

  10. Makes me wish I had a Gumball Tree :)


  11. very crafty! I have to look around for a gumball tree now.

  12. Very creative! I would love for you to link up to my Ten Buck Tuesday link parties!

  13. These are really cool! I wish we had gum trees around!!! Thanks for sharing te idea!

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