If you're one of those knitters who can't bear to part with yarn leftovers, we have good news: This fiber-friendly tree decor will give those scraps a purpose!
You just need to master the technique for one garland and one ornament (both EASY!), and you're on your way to an adorable yarn-laden holiday statement piece.
Twisted Yarn Garland
What you need:
- Thick yarn (use one color or all the colors — your call!)
- 2 pencils or chopsticks
Pro tip: This project is much easier to do with a friend! Also, if you want a thicker garland, you have permission to use more than two strands of yarn in your garland.
1. String it together
Start this project with two strands of yarn at least 20 feet long. (If that seems crazy long and too much to handle, you can also break these garlands up into smaller pieces and then tie your smaller garlands into a super garland). Tie the two strands together at both ends.
2. Do the twist
If you found a friend, you'll each grab an end and slip a pencil through your knot (this will make the twisting easier). If you're flying solo, attach on end of the garland to a door knob, and slip your pencil through the other end. Then, it's time to twist! If you're working with a buddy, make sure you're each twisting in opposite directions. Keep twisting until it's nice and tight: if you take a step in and the yarn bounces in on itself, you're golden.
3. Twist again
Bring the two ends of your twisted yarn together, and marvel when it immediately snaps back on itself, forming a thick, twisted rope. Starting at the knotted ends, use your hands to smooth out your garland, so that all the twisted bits are even.
Stranded Yarn Ornaments
What you need:
- Small balloons (5" works great!)
- Thin yarn
- Craft stick
- White glue
- Small plastic cups (an oiled mini muffin tin works, too)
- Pin or scissors
Pro tip: This project can be a bit gluey — protect your work surface by putting down some wax paper before you start.
1. Blow up balloons
Blow up your balloons until they're about the same size as a tennis ball. You'll need one balloon for each ornament, so keep going until you have as many as you want.
2. Make the glue mixture
In a small bowl or container, combine 1/4 cup of water with 1/2 cup of glue. Mix it up with your craft stick (or a pencil).
3. Wrap it up
To get started, you'll use plain, dry yarn to thoroughly wrap one of your balloons. This "dry run" will show you how long you need to cut the yarn.
Make sure to wrap thoroughly, overlapping in all directions to really capture the circular shape of the balloon. Once you're happy with the wrapping, cut your yarn, unwrap the balloon, and make a note of the length so you'll know how much to cut each time.
Dunk your length of yarn into the glue mixture. Make sure it's fully covered in glue, then pull it out, squeezing it through your fingers to remove the excess. Wrap the glued-up yarn around the balloon again, the same as you did before. Set the balloon on a cup to dry. (Make sure there's some waxed paper underneath to catch any drips.)
4. Make it pop!
Once the yarn is completely dry, pop the balloon with a pin or scissors. Use tweezers to pull out all the balloon pieces. Tie on another piece of string to hang your ornament, and you're ready to decorate.