Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yarn Heart Wreath

In an earlier post, I said I was going to make this wreath from michelemademe.com. It was my favorite wreath. Well, I made it. It's really not as easy as it looks... Check out my "How NOT to Make a Yarn Wreath.

Here's the easy instructions. Spelled out in hopes I can save you some anguish.

You will need a whole bottle (or two) of school glue (doesn't have to be Elmers. I'm not a fan of their "new formula" but it's all I had), 2 long skinny bendable balloons, and some 100% COTTON yarn (I suggest Sugar n' Cream).

Cut tons of 2-3 foot strands of yarn (longer than hand to elbow, but shorter than hand to shoulder). Put your hair up or in a headband (believe me, you'll thank me for that tip when your hair gets in your face while you're looking down at your craft and your hands are covered in droopy oozy glue so you can't brush it  back). Pour the glue into a bowl, add a smidgen of water and mix it in.

Dip a strand in glue, let it soak for a second (really not too long, but don't just set it in and lift it out), and then wipe it off a bit (don't squeeze all the glue out, just get it a bit less messy). Wrap a loose coil of yarn all the way down one side of the balloon and just shy of halfway down the other side of the balloon. Then make a second coil going the opposite direction, crossing over the first and forming a ton of x's. You'll need them for structure. Then go back and wrap a tight coil over the stretched one. Don't be neat. Believe me. Mine is too neat. I also forgot to do the big x's on this half, and I noticed a huge difference when it was done.

Continue to wrap. You want gaps and spaces, but not lines. and cracks. The left side of my heart below is a great example. The right side, not so much.

<-- see the gaps?

<--- here's a big one.

<--- here's another.

<--- here's another under my blog name.

Can you see how the light can still show through the left side, but that there's no slits like in the right side? That's what you want. 

Then let the balloon dry for 24 hours. When it's dry and hard, pop the balloon. Handle it carefully so as not to twist it while it's still on the balloon and you can hear the tension. It will save your ears and your nerves, and I'm betting it really does damage, though I have no scientific proof. Instinct just says so.  Pull out the deflated balloon (did the bang scare you?), and cut the yarn edges to get it to make a heart shape. I found it best to cut a straight line out of the top of one and then cut all of that yarn off carefully (more carefully than I did. Remember, though, that that is the side I didn't make all the big coils and x's in), and then cut a diagonal cut out of the bottom of the second balloon. Look above to see how they fit together. 

Wrap a few more strands over the problem spots you found after the balloons were popped, but go CAREFULLY because the underlying structure is gone and the yarn will soften when you apply new wet glue strands. then wrap yarn around the top and bottom joints.

What do you think? I hope you like it, and I hope it stores well, because I'm never doing it again!

There is still a gap right next to the top joint. I'll fix it later. Maybe. It's still cute. 

P.S. Printable found here.

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