My Beloved Yarn Spheres

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

The Yarn Spheres!

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Image via IMGfave / Photo by Sarah Yates

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, some way.

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, and Whirliest, and is titled very appropriately. You get super messy doing this—don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I gathered my supplies:

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Vaseline, cornstarch, Elmer’s glue, and water

Only one tutorial calls for cornstarch, so we decided to try that one the first time.

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Yarn

One specifically says cotton yarn while the other didn’t specify. The white is cotton, while the others are acrylic.

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Balloons—we used seven-inch, nine-inch, and twelve-inch.

When we blew up the balloons, we tried to keep them more in a rounded shape rather than a pure balloon shape. We used the measurements from one of the tutorials, but ultimately we added water here, cornstarch there, just to get the right consistency…like drippy paint. While Mama Honey mixed the concoction, I suspended the balloons with yarn (from an exposed door frame, but you could use a 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).

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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 balloons 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 container) and doubled the recipe of the mixture. By the fourth balloon we were getting the hang of it.

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Spheres in process…the orange one 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 more quickly toward 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 balloons.

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The finished spheres after popping the balloons! 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 won’t come loose.

  • Less is more. In the finished-product picture above, you can see the sphere in the forefront is too 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 is cotton.

  • Make sure to not wrap too much or too 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 tiny holes because they began losing air shortly after we completed them (you can see in the picture above, where they are wrapped and suspended, the red balloon looks a little sad), and after 24 hours the balloons had shriveled to nothing, which didn’t give the yarn anything to harden to. This was the result of those:

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Sad spheres

We got seven spheres made, learned a few tricks, and were ready to knock out an additional 30. Stay tuned for the next attempt!

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

BLOGGER

Mrs. Honey

Location:
Durango, CO
Wedding Date:
January 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    pookiepie 317 posts, Helper bee @ 10:39 am

    what a great project! thanks for sharing!

  2. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 10:44 am

    The ones that turned out look awesome! I love the colors and I bet they look amazing all bundled together!

  3. Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:49 am

    Gah, these are adorable! Even the “sad spheres” could be part of a modern art exhibit or something. :)

  4. Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:49 am

    They turned out so good!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Katie, Guest @ 10:49 am

    I plan to make these as well! I’m going to attempt using 3 ft round balloons – should be interesting! Thanks so much for the tips and good luck with the next go-round!

  6. Member
    CurlyRN 355 posts, Helper bee @ 10:59 am

    As a knitter, it would be fitting for me to incorporate yarn somehow…this is great!

  7. Member
    waffle 1161 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:02 am

    Super cool, Honey!

  8. Member
    CurlyRN 355 posts, Helper bee @ 11:05 am

    Wait…so how are you going to keep them from getting squished before the wedding?

  9. Member
    KatieJean 384 posts, Helper bee @ 11:06 am

    In love with this!! Marking for later :D

  10. Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:26 am

    @Mrs. Tartlet: So funny, I’ve had a couple friends say they actually like the sad spheres!
    @Katie: Ooo I bet they will be super cool that big, good luck!
    @CurlyRN: The cornstarch keeps them really hard so they don’t loose their shape. I experimented with the ‘sad’ ones by dropping them a few times and nothing happened. I put them in trash bags and am storing them at Mama Honey’s until the wedding :)

  11. Member
    HoneyBear 3486 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:03 pm

    Thats awesome! The “sad spheres” literally made me LOL

  12. Member
    cannon 513 posts, Busy bee @ 12:05 pm

    @Miss Honey: How did the color come out? I’m planning on doing these and am debating just doing white and spray painting versus doing them in the appropriate yarn color. I have a ton of yarn in lots of colors, but I’m just worried about the color being muted by the starch solution.

  13. Member
    sweetcream 216 posts, Helper bee @ 12:09 pm

    honey! You are my hero! I have been trying these string balls with punching balloons (they’re bigger obviously) and threw out the idea because of frustration with caved in punching balloons. The Mr. was so sad (surprisingly) about ditching it and begged for them to be added back in. So they are back. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I am saving your post for sure! Thanks for the great tips!!!

  14. Member
    marmalade 296 posts, Helper bee @ 12:22 pm

    These turned out great!! I even like the deflated balloon spheres, very avant garde.

  15. Member
    trailmix 6663 posts, Bee Keeper @ 12:26 pm

    The finished ones look great (minus the hilarious sad spheres), I think they’re going to look awesome as decor at your wedding!

  16. Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:12 pm

    @Miss Cannon: The color in this batch came out pretty good, my blue was the most muted and I think that is from the corn starch. We just did another trial run without corn starch and the color is more vibrant but they aren’t quite as sturdy. I’m writing this post as we speak so feel free to PM me :) I’d be very intrigued by spraypainting, because the white yarn turned out the best, so wonder how it would take to spraypaing, if you do this let me know how it goes!
    @Miss Sweet Cream: Yay, glad they are back in! I’m excited to see your gigantic ones, if you stick to that size :)

  17. Member
    misssparkler 488 posts, Helper bee @ 1:24 pm

    Ok, wow. These turned out amazing! I’m totally impressed with your crafting skills!

  18. Member
    plaid 769 posts, Busy bee @ 3:18 pm

    Those look awesome. My sister made some small ones for Christmas ornaments last year and ended up with a few sad looking ones but I love them!

  19. Member
    TamJam 211 posts, Helper bee @ 8:01 pm

    These came out great. They wouldn’t go with my wedding decor but would be great for a bridal shower.

  20. Member
    eimaj111683 62 posts, Worker bee @ 9:17 pm

    this would fit my theme well! And also, it would match my awesome candle holders…..Look in lighting on here; it’s done with thread. I used chrochet thread though….and stiffen stuff @ 6.00 a bottle. This may be something I would be coming back to check out and attempt to diy myself.

  21. Member
    ladyfingers 1257 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:38 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I really wanted to do these for the longest time, but had to give it up. It’s great to see a real-life tutorial of them, too. Also, sad spheres made me laugh – are you mad?

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    shannag, Guest @ 1:51 am

    The Vaseline is key! I went through about a half dozen of these and they all collapsed when I went to pop the balloons. More googling revealed that I needed to lube them up. ;) Good work, yours look great!

  23. Member
    Miss Winter 260 posts, Helper bee @ 9:54 am

    I’m so glad you went with these and gave them a try. Great tips and they are turning out super cute.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristen, Guest @ 11:52 am

    They look great and it’s such a creative idea for your wedding. I’ve never made these before and you’ve made me want to give it a try. I’d love to see if I could get it to work if I filled the balloons with items that would be left behind in the sphere after popping the balloon??

  25. Member
    teacup 631 posts, Busy bee @ 2:52 am

    Honey, amazing! I’m so happy to see this tutorial actually IRL :) Great job!!!

  26. Member
    cucumbersandwich 604 posts, Busy bee @ 2:07 pm

    Those yarn spheres are beautiful and seem so easy…. hmmm I wonder where I could put them in our wedding. Sadly I don’t think they ‘go’

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