We always had at least one of these around our house when I was growing up. Of course back then there weren't all the glittery ball choices available in the stores today.
And just so you know, the shatter-proof balls with unusual tops will not work. You have to have ornaments with the typical round hooks at the top like vintage glass balls. If you can find shatter-proof like that, go for it.
You'll need a knitting needle that is at least one foot long and skinny enough to go through the circular hole in the top of the ornaments.
Start at the bottom and place two balls on the knitting needle across from each other, and then place the two that criss-cross. They lie better that way. Sometimes you have to finagle them to make the bottom sit well. My mom doesn't, but I did. I just had to stretch the wire the tiniest bit on the top of the criss-crossed ornaments on the bottom row for it not to wiggle.
Alternate sizes as you go up the needle. You can do a couple of rows of each size, or more depending on how many different sizes you have. When you get to the top, take one of your smallest ornaments, pull the top off and sit it on the top of your needle.
I have five different sizes on this ornament tree. Two of my other trees (that I didn't show you here) only have three sizes. That's because I just got the two smaller sizes of ornaments yesterday and dismantled this third tree and re-did it.
The largest three sizes are actually shatter-proof balls with the correct type of top. The two smaller sizes are glass balls. They all look the same. If I drop it, they won't.
I love this new addition to my Christmas decorations this year!
I'm linking up over at Skip to my Lou.