Need help with making seed/bean balls

natesgrammaOctober 30, 2009

I just came across these beautiful decorations and would love to make some. I would like detailed info on how it's probably done. Is the center probably a styrofoam ball, would I cover the ball in glue and roll in beans, or do you use tweezers and center one at a time. What kind of glue? They are beautiful and could be all different sizes and uses, I'd like one just sitting on my mantle but I don't know where I'd start. Tried the search here and google but didn't find it. I'm sure some of you would have great ideas, please share.

I found this at etsy at

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Here's the direct link. This must take hours!

Here is a link that might be useful: Etsy - bean ball

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 2:28PM
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The ones with the eyes all pointing out wards! She has to do them one at a time. I wonder if the center is something soft that she can push the beans into that hardens in time. That would be a lot quicker.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 5:09PM
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You got me interested & I found some help here at the link below. It looks like all they do is glue them on. I found lots of pics, they are using coffee beans, black-eye peas, corn, just about anything. If you wanted them to look nice you would have to put them on with tweezers, I'd say if the seed was soft enough you could use pins or wires to insert them also. Good luck, hope that helps. Look up "how to make seed balls" too.

Here is a link that might be useful: bean balls

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 8:43PM
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I found better instructions.

How to make a Coffee Bean Ornament


Styrofoam Ball, 3"
Acrylic paint, dark brown
Acrylic sealer, glossy
Whole roasted coffee beans, 3/4 C.
1-1/2" gold sheer ribbon, 1/2 yd.
Gold tassel
Gold cord, 4"
Gold metal ornament cap with wire hanger (from discarded ornament)
1" flat paintbrush
Disposable palette
Paper towels
Thick white craft glue
Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
1. Paint foam ball dark brown and let dry.
2. Glue and insert metal ornament cap in foam ball.
3. Starting at top, glue coffee beans on end to ball around metal cap. Continue to glue coffee beans in circular rows around ball until covered. Let dry completely.
4. Spray coffee beans with sealer and allow to dry.
5. Hot glue tassel to center bottom of ornament. Tie ribbon in a small bow and cut Vs in ribbon ends. Hot glue bow to top of ornament.
6.Thread cord through metal capÂs wire hanger and knot ends to form loop. Glue knot to ornament.

Here is a link that might be useful: coffee bean balls

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 12:10AM
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Joann, thanks for the great links. The first one with the beans, I had seen before but wasn't sure what she did with her "flour and glue mixture". I wonder if she takes this "mixture" like dough and applies it over the styrafoam and then inserts the beans. Wouldn't it shrink when it dried?

I had found the second site also but had missed that exact one. I think that's probably the answer, using low-temp glue sticks.

I'm tempted. Kathay, I agree, to get that look you'd have to do them one at a time. I can definately see doing this when I am watching tv or have nothing to do. I love how it looks, even some of the little balls. I like the look of the cones with coffee beans. I can only imagine making these for myself or very good friends! I don't know how the girl on etsy sells them for such a low price.

Hmmm..would I be able to hold a seed with tweezers and not get the tweezer part in the hot glue? I can imagine the hand cramps, lol. Still so intrigued...

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 11:36AM
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On rereading the link, I realize the beans are stuck into the craft glue, not the hot glue. Of all my crafts, I really haven't had experience with craft glue. Would I need to do a couple rows and let it dry before doing more or is it strong enough to hold the beans/seeds to do the whole ball? Any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 11:48AM
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I would use a thick tacky glue, then go 1 by 1 sticking them on. Glue just a small strip at a time laying them next to each other. Then Get a can or glass to hold the ball in place while doing it or for drying. I plan to try my hand at it also. I had DGS pick up acorns today, I can use the freebies to try it out first. This might get messy. The girl that did the flour & water sounded like she just made a thick paste of it and used that for her glue. What ever works! Paint your ball a dark color if using dark seeds or you will be seeing the stryofoam. It sounds like if you used coffee beans they will smell nice.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 7:15PM
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I experimented with one last night, using pinto beans and craft glue. This didn't work least for an impatient person like me! And I also made the mistake of pushing the bean into the styrofoam.
So I started again using a hot glue gun. This is where I realized pushing the bean in was a no-no! This works great!
This is what I suggest:
about 3" or so styrofoam ball
beans, corn,peas..your choice
hot glue gun and 3 or 4 sticks hot glue
*craft paint- wish I'd painted mine a color close the the color of the beans-your choice!
clear spray finish-I always use the inexpensive one at WalMart..costs about $1

Paint your styrofoam ball and let it dry. Speed it up with a blow dryer if you want :D That's what I do!!
mark your center line with a rubber band; run about a half an inch to one inch hot glue along edge of rubber band and set your beans on it. Make sure you don't glue down the rubber band! Remove it after you 've made one circle of beans. You'll get this done in less than an hour. I also suggest setting out a pile of beans with the eyes all pointing in one direction so you can pick them up and glue them down quickly.
the one in the photo is not sprayed. I think I will disguise the center with a velvet ribbon or something that "goes" with it,lol..i could NOT pull the beans off. Maybe if I heated up the center line with blow dryer I could pull them out a little?
ah well,my mistakes teach me something, so it's all good!

Here is a link that might be useful: Kudzu's Blog

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Hi - I responded on the "200 post", but will add some thoughts here. I used the lo-temp glue gun to make them.
I made some with the ends pointing out, took me all day as each one had to be positioned. I then made some with the beans flat and it went much faster. I also made one with eucalyptus leaves.

Here is the eycalyptus one:
From Acrylic and Oils

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 12:55PM
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Thanks for the instructions. I might try it too with acorns or natural materials. I guess hot glue is the way to go!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 5:48PM
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Kudzu, I'm impressed. I practiced using 2 different kinds of thick tacky glue (purchased yesterday) and you're right, it doesn't work well, or at least not quick enough. I really like how yours turned out. Thanks for the tip about the rubberband. Now I'm off to see if I even still have a glue gun. Anxious to see how yours looks too Kathy, especially if you can post progress pics.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 6:06PM
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kudzukween Great Job! I haven't bought my stryo yet but planning to. I think I'll do the acorns first. Let us know if you have better results doing it another way.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 7:43PM
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thanks ya'll......:D

but i was still thinking about these today. and why not try the GEII? it works great for gluing flat marbles to bowling balls, and doesn't dry as fast as hot glue, so you can be a little more picky about how to position the beans. most of us have the silicone and caulk gun already. i'd squirt a small puddle, dip in a bean or kernel of corn into it, and place it on the ball.or like i do the bowling balls...i spread it on with a plastic knife like i'm frosting a cake, then place the marbles.
i'll try it later. hit my funny bone and can't move my fingers too well today!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 9:31PM
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Ohh sorry about your funny bone!
I like the idea of using ge ii. I wanted to make one with acorns, but there are not any acorns! The poor bears who rely on them for winter food!
I guess I'll have to try with something else.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 5:38PM
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What is GEII? Are we talking silicone in the big tube?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2009 at 9:13PM
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RE: tweezers
You folks probably already know about these but I use reverse tweezers for my fairy house projects. I really like them, they're a "squeeze to release" type. They allow you to place things exactly where you want and if you have to hold the object in place for a bit the hand cramps don't start as quickly. Check out the link below. I chose the photo because it gives a good view of the tweezers, I know nothing about the brand. It's not an endorsement. The tweezers are easy to find in almost any price range.
I think that's a great idea! It would take longer to set up but no heated tools to worry about either.
Yes, it's the silicone in the tubes, big cylinder or toothpaste type. The same stuff used for caulking. If you're going to buy it for craft purposes be sure to check the expiration date printed on the tube. You want a date as far from the date of purchase as possible. The stuff does go bad, for craft purposes that is.
Have a great day!

Here is a link that might be useful: one style of reverse tweezers

    Bookmark   November 15, 2009 at 10:25AM
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