Cotton Bolls from Cotton Balls~a country craft! ~Tanya Hanson


(If you were here with me last month to cyber-visit my expected granddaughter’s adorable Snow White nursery – her royal highness Reagan Christine is now here and stealing our hearts more and more every day!)

I’m also celebrating another “birthday”—my publisher’s third! I’m giving away two short stories (Kindle version) today. They were part of last Christmas’s anthologies, and each is short and sweet. I’ll draw two names from today’s commenters, so please check back tomorrow to see if yours is one of them.)

Okay, it’s September, which to me automatically signals the arrival of Fall. And I thought I’d share with you a neat fall craft. It all started when my youngest grandson fell in love with Olaf from Frozen. On every visit to the park and on every neighborhood walk, he came back with handfuls of sticks for “snowman arms.”

About the same time, Hubs and I toured the South, where I came across batches of real cotton bolls for sale at the historic city markets. However, since I was already dragging a giant Mardi Gras mask on a plane, Hub said No to carrying home loads of cotton. So….I was thrilled to come across the following DIY and now have cotton bolls all my own.


Here’s what you need:


Cardboard egg carton cut apart into 12. Each of these will be a boll.

Sticks and leaves from your own park or neighborhood walk:


Glue gun, drugstore cotton balls, dark brown acrylic paint and brushes.



Cut each cup further into a “blossom” with petals. Vary each slightly, and add scraps here and there for variety, too.


Paint each of your blossoms and let them dry for a day.


When dry, bend/extend the petals etc. and hot glue cotton balls in the center.


Then hot glue each “boll” to your sticks and glue on some leaves.


Voila. Fun little Autumn Centerpiece!


Do any of you enjoy crafts? Tell us about one of your favorites to make or display!


Read what happens when Lady Alisoun, who must wed an icky old lord the day after Christmas, meets a gorgeous stranger. Who might be one of King John’s spies!



Read what happens when interfering siblings matchmake prim, proper single mother Phoebe with the dastardly outlaw Black Ankles…


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38 thoughts on “Cotton Bolls from Cotton Balls~a country craft! ~Tanya Hanson”

  1. There is a small historic farm house a couple towns over from me. The area has been turned into a park, but they kept the home and the barn on it. They also have a small garden growing cotton because it was grown there at the time. I picked a couple pieces from the field to take home because I had never seen cotton growing and found it interesting (later I saw a sign saying not to touch them, but too late). Anyway I found it interesting to find out that area was huge into growing and transporting cotton. I just went to take a look at my pieces and they seem to have expanded over the years. Miss Kiki (my cat) saw me looking at them just now and now she keeps looking up at the shelf. She better not touch them.

    • Hi Janine, I would to see that “homestead” and cotton garden! I had a real boll once on display in my old hutch but packed it away when we got a smaller cabinet. I better go find it. Thanks so much for coming by today.

  2. I like the idea of crafting — but nothing ever turns out the way it says it would on Pinterest. I get frustrated. And I’m not good at time management — so I don’t craft — even though I think I would enjoy the stress release and creativity of doing it. I love this one though. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Sarah, I have tried Pinterest recipes that have failed miserable, no matter how carefully I follow each direction, so I hear ya. I was actually pleased these cottons turned out lol. The painting was laborious, for sure, but relaxing too. Thanks so much for commenting today.

  3. Tanya, what a neat idea! I used to love to do all kinds of crafts. Especially when my kids were younger–we did a lot of very neat things, and when Jessica was in Girl Scouts, OH, what a lot of fun we had with all kinds of crafts then! My enduring venture into crafting was when the scrapbooking craze was in full swing. I used to spend a ton of time on scrapbooking and I loved it! Plus, it was something that was there forevermore. Now, I don’t have time for crafts, but, what I do to relieve stress is I COLOR. I have some wonderful adult colorbooks I got from Amazon, and several different kinds of pens, markers, and colored pencils. Every evening, I sit down after dinner and color for about an hour and watch tv. Sometimes a little more. It’s an indulgence that I give myself, because I can tell how much more relaxed I am after that time I spend coloring.

    Love these stories of yours! AS ALWAYS! LOL And Livia did a great job on these covers–they are just gorgeous!

    • Hi Cheryl, my daughter says I was ahead of the fans–I have been coloring for years lol! She used to do tons of crafting and even won awards at the county fair. I did scrap booking for about a month. Too hard to keep up. Thanks so much for commenting, and yes, those covers are spectacular!

  4. I’m terrible at crafts! However, I admire people who can do it. In fact in the book I’m working on now the heroine’s mother is divine at crafts and sprucing up places with hardly any money. Needless to say her daughter is not so good at this. Your historical is intriguing. It looks like a great premise.

    • Hi Allison, I too loved how this project could be made with everyday things and not cost hardly anything. I’m amazed how much craft supplies and doo-dads cost before you even start. Sheesh. Thanks for stopping by today!

    • Hi Charlene, I learned to sew as a teen and am quite good at it but it’s so expensive nowadays! The last thing I made was my daughter’s white formal for her college sorority presentation, and just the patterns cost a fortune. ?. Actually, right now I have been assigned to make a crib sheet. I better get busy lol. Thanks for commenting today, my friend. xo

  5. Hi Tanya! You are one crafty lady. 🙂 Congratulations on your releases. I’ve read Canticle, of course, and it is wonderful. The MOB story looks fantastic as well. Best of luck.

    • Hi Connie, you are too kind. But I love that time period in history–early 13th century, even though I know how brutal an era it was. At least I can give characters happy endings. Thanks for your nice words today.

  6. Tanya, I had to laugh at the idea of cotton bolls being rare enough to be sold. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, where I grew up, there were cotton fields everywhere. I never picked cotton (everyone else in my family did – but I was the spoiled baby…lol), but I’ve been in a number of fields, some of which were located within a quarter mile of our home.

    I’m not a crafty person, but I sure wish I were. I keep telling myself I’ll try to learn something…someday. 🙂 I love the cotton boll bouquet!

    Your book sounds wonderful, and the cover is beautiful!

    • Hi Delia, I remember those cotton fields whenever we went to Ki ha Vanyon-Sequioa. Thanks for the memories! This was a very cool craft to make although the painting v was unite time-consuming. I was between books so I grabbed the free time! Thanks for coming by today xo!

  7. Tanya, those are so awesome. I’m sharing this with my ‘boss’ who,like me, loves to creat and make things. Don’t do it much anymore *Sigh*. To busy working and writing, but I will slow down someday…HAHAHA!

    Thanks for a great, fun project.


  8. I wish I were better at crafts. I love looking at pictures of other people’s end results, but mine always look as if a kindergartner put them together while wearing a blindfold!

    • Hi Ruth, I feel this way about recipes. They never look like the picture. And don’t get me started on the “easy” ones that me hours lol. Thanks for coming over!

  9. You’re so talented, Tanya. This may look simple to make, but I would most likely make a mess of it. I do make beaded things like bracelets sometimes, nothing Earth shaking though. I look at all these craft things on Pinterest. They look simple–but in attempted execution, mine does not come out so great.

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