I LOVE yarn balls. The texture, the colors, the vintage charm it seems to add. On garlands, in vases, in jars, everywhere. I. LOVE. YARN. BALLS. But, a lot of the ones I've seen are made around styrofoam balls, which can be really expensive! So, I figured out how to do it sans styrofoam. I also recently had the epiphany that I could make twine balls for vase fillers, which I've never quite been able to bring myself to spend like $9.00 a piece on, in exactly the same way as the yarn variety, for literally pennies.
So, without further adieu:
1. Wrap the yarn around your fingers about 10-15 times. Depending on the size ball you want, use two, three, or four fingers (for most of the yarn balls you see in the picture above, I used two. For the twine, three--as you can see.) Since twine is thicker and stiffer than yarn, I only wrap twine around my fingers about 5-7 times. Wrap it fairly tightly, but loosely enough that you'll be able to slip it off.
2. Slip the yarn off of your fingers.
3. Wrap the yarn you just slipped off your fingers from end to end.
4. Once it's wrapped, pinch the two ends together to form a ball.
5. Start wrapping the yarn randomly and tightly around your "ball."
*Sometimes you'll notice as you wrap that you'll get "points" and it's not looking quite round. Simply pinch those "points" down and wrap tightly around them. Make sure you're sort of twisting the ball around as you wrap so it doesn't end up lopsided.
6. Put a tiny dab of hot glue down in an inconspicuous place, press the end down into the glue (if you press it flat enough, it will completely hide your glue), and cut it off right at the glue.
You can also use a straight pin instead of hot glue if you prefer, but I would recommend flat head pins as opposed to the round ones you see here.
To make them into a garland, I use crochet string and a very big, thick needle. I apologize for the way this next part sounds, because as ashamed as I am to admit it, if you're anything like me, you will be giggling as you read, but I can't think of a better way to word it. And now that I have everyone thinking this way, lets proceed:
The large needle is key, because you need to press HARD and work it through the yarn ball. A small needle will bend. Thread your needle, string your yarn balls, and hang. You can also slip the string through a strand of yarn on each side of each ball and basically link them one by one, but I think the threading method ends up being cleaner looking, easier, and less time consuming.
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