In the spring my sister-in-law, Amyee, and I set out to make yarn ball centerpieces for the Graceful Nights Spring Auction. This is the Pinterest inspiration from Zankyou.us that we had hopes of achieving.
They are beautiful aren’t they? The tutorial seemed easy enough to complete the desired look. We gathered the decoration committee for a craft night and strung balloons with crochet yarn, sprayed them with stiffener and then set them out to dry. It seemed fairly apparent before they were 100% dried that this process wouldn’t work. The yarn was not getting stiff enough to take on the shape of the balloon. We saturated those balloons with stiffener, too. When the balloon was popped what we created was a shapeless pile of fairly stiff string.
We were committed to creating the yarn balls. So, Amyee and I went back to the internet and scoured for better directions on how to create them. For our second attempt at yarn ball centerpieces we used this tutorial at FaveCrafts.com. This time we decided to go it alone and spent a day together and winding yarn saturated in a glue water mix around the balloons. Then we sent them out to dry. Once the yarn felt hard and dry we popped the balloon. Then the disaster happened right before our eyes. The yarn shrunk into the balloon as it deflated! They didn’t hold their shape at all. Our yarn balls resembled a pile of regurgitated glue with a hint of yarn. They were a far cry from the sophisticated picture on Pinterest. It was nothing short of a craft FAIL! I wish I had taken pictures of them!
We definitely found ourselves scratching our heads at this task. What we weren’t prepare for was gravity when the balloon popped and the Florida humidity. But what we finally found was a tutorial that lead us on the right path to finally mastering the art of yarn ball centerpieces.
Anthology Storied Destinations features a DIY Twine Lantern tutorial that solved 80% of our issues. We added an extra step or two to get the perfect look as a centerpiece, not an lantern. With out further ado, here is the process that we used to create our yarn ball centerpieces.
How to Make A Yarn Ball Centerpiece
- Balloons (we used 5” balloons for small, 7” balloons for medium and 9” balloons for large)
- fine crochet yarn (preferably 10 weight)
- 8 oz. tacky glue
- 1 cup of Corn starch
- 1/2 cup of Warm water
- utensil to stir glue mixture
- cooking oil spray
- large mixing bowl
- clear fast drying spraying paint
- newspaper/shower curtain/drop cloth (to protect the floor from dripping of glue mixture)
- clothes pins (to hang the balloon while the string dries)
- string (to create a line to hang the balloons from)
#1. Prepare your work area. Lay down newspapers, a shower curtain or drop cloth in the area in which you plan to work. Also, you will want to create an area to hang your balloons to dry. *We used a string secured to the wall with tacks. And hung them the balloons with clothes pins.
#2 Mix together the glue, water and corn starch in a large mixing bowl until completely smooth.
#3 Enlarge balloon to desired size of centerpiece. Spray the balloon with cooking oil spray. *We blew up the balloons with a balloon pump but certainly could be done with our own lungs. We also wanted a large selection of sizes for the multiple tables. We prepared 1 large, 1 medium and 1 small for each table. We also choose to do colored yarn as well. The variation of this project is unlimited. and customizable to your parties décor.
#4. Place the roll of crochet yarn into the glue mixture. Allow it to sit for a couple minutes, so that the yarn become saturated with glue. Once the yarn is wet, begin winding/draping it on to and around the balloon. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with the amount of coverage on the balloon. Cut the yarn off of the roll and tuck the end of the piece underneath/around yarn already on the balloon.
#5. Then push all yarn away from the nipple (tie) of the balloon. This is done for 2 reasons. 1) to create an opening to allow the yarn ball to sit flat on a table and 2) so that the balloon can be hung by the clothes pin.
#6. Hang your balloons dry from a clothes line. The yarn will take anywhere from 24-48 hours to dry.
#7. Once the yarn is completely dry, pop the balloon. We found that several of our balls were not dry on the inside once we popped the balloon. If this happens to you do not panic. We inserted a new balloon inside the centerpiece, inflated it and rehung for longer drying.
#8. After the balloon is popped your centerpiece is completed. Use it to decorate your event anyway you would like. We accented our centerpieces with tulle and flameless candles.
Feel free to comment with any questions that you may have about creating the centerpieces.