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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My Beloved Yarn Spheres

With so many DIY projects looming, my mom and I decided to kick of wedding crafting with the project I have been in loooove with since I first started this wedding planning journey.

The Yarn Spheres!
{Image via Pinterest, from Crafted-Love}

I've mentioned my love affair with these beauts once or twice and even though I don't know how many and in exactly what ways they will be used, I do know they will be hung in their full glory somehow, someway.

I used two tutorials I found online, here and here. We used the first time as a trial run to see just how difficult the task was. The first one is titled: Messiest, Merriest & Whirliest, and titled very appropriately. You get super messy doing this, don't say I didn't warn you!
I gathered my supplies:
Vaseline, Cornstarch, Elmer's Glue and Water
Only one tutorial calls for cornstarch, so we decided to try it with the first time
Yarn. One specifically says cotton yarn while the other didn't specify. The white is cotton while the others are acrylic
Balloons. We used 7 inch, 9 inch and 12 inch
When we blew up the balloons, we tried to keep them more in a rounded shape than a pure balloon shape. We used the measurements from one of the tutorials but ultimately found we added water here, cornstarch there, just to get the right consistency...like drippy paint. While my Mama Honey mixed the concoction, I suspended the balloons with yarn (from an exposed door frame, but you could use clothesline or a shower/curtain rod) and lathered them in the Vaseline (to allow less glue to stick to the balloon when you are ready to pop it).

Suspended and lathered up

This is where it gets more complicated. I don't have pictures of us doing this part because we were, well, covered in glue and cornstarch. Mama Honey would soak the yarn in the glue mixture while I strategically wrapped the yarn around the balloon. For the first balloon we tried cutting off an approximate amount of yarn and just soaking that all at once, but we ran out of yarn a couple of times. Fail. So then we just kept pulling it (from the middle!) until we felt we had accomplished the right amount. When you get to that point you just tuck the end behind some of the layers and count on the mix to keep it from unraveling. 

After balloon one and two, we were pretty frustrated. And messy. We switched up the container we were using to a flatter pie pan (we were using a deep Tupperware) and doubled the recipe of the mixture. By the fourth balloon we were getting the hang of it. 

Spheres in process...the orange on the right was about the forth one we made and the far left pink was more like the seventh, slowly getting the hang of it

We made nine balloons and it took us about three hours, start to finish. They were getting knocked out much much quicker towards the end. I let them set a full 24 hours, actually a little longer for good measure and then took them outside and popped the balloon.

The finished sphere after popping the balloon! Sorry for the crappy shot, I need a new camera

So...what did we learn? I mentioned the first time was a trial run and even though I am just as much in love with our final product as I am with the pictures, I have some pointers if you are going to try this crafty project.
  • Use a large, semi deep baking sheet for the mixture. This will make soaking the yarn much easier
  • Wrap the yarn tight! It is no fun to go back and fix a loose piece. I discovered turning the balloon helps keep the yarn tight rather than just using the yarn
  • I found it easier to wrap vertically once and then start going diagonal to get that first piece underneath so it wouldn't come loose
  • Less is more. In the finished product picture above, you can see the sphere in the forefront is to thickly coated with glue AND there is too much yarn. I think the airier they are the more whimsical they look
  • Regarding the kind of yarn, I didn't find the difference drastic enough to go and buy all cotton yarn. But I think the white turned out the best, maybe because it's white or because it was cotton
  • Make sure to not wrap too much or to close to the knot of the balloon so that when you pop it, it comes out easier.
  • Blow up your balloons the night before! We had two balloons that must have had a tiny hole because they began loosing air shortly after we completed them (you can see in the picture above, when they are wrapped and suspended the red balloon looks a little sad) and after 24 hours the balloon had shriveled to nothing which didn't give the yarn anything to harden to and this was the result of those:
Sad Spheres
We got seven spheres made, learned a few tricks and were ready to knock out an additional thirty. Stay tuned for the next attempt!

How did your first big wedding craft project go? Did your final product live up to expectations?


  1. This is on my to-do list this weekend!! Thanks for posting the things you learned :)

  2. Thanks for the tips!! I'm making some to be a mobile for my baby's nursery, though i really don't know how you were able to wrap tightly, my hands kept slipping so mine area little wonky.

  3. @vintageapple- good luck! hope it goes good for you :)
    @AbigailDawn- that was the hardest part for me too, of course it's easier said than done! I had a couple that I had to undo because I had an extra loop somewhere...no good. Hope the mobile turns out great!