Sunday, December 11, 2011

Homemade Holidays: make a mini yarn garland

 Happy December friends! Here's a nifty, easy (with a wee bit of wait time involved) garland project that can be adapted for any holiday. This year, I am using it for Christmas but change the color of the yarn and it can become a New Year's, Valentine's Day, Halloween or Hanukkah garland as well. Your kiddos will enjoy making this as it involves that delightfully messy and sticky stuff we know as glue. Tink kiddos will fully immerse themselves into the goo but your older kiddos can have a go at working those fine motor skills as they wrap that yarn around something smaller than a balloon. Don;t forget to cover your surfaces, this can get messy.

*5 or more plastic eggs that open
*plastic wrap
*wax paper
*white glue or mod podge
*sequins, buttons, happy beads or old costume jewelry bits
*4 or more mini ornaments (optional)
 Lay a sheet of wax paper over your work surface area and have your kiddos separate those eggs.
 Hand your kiddo a pair of (kiddo safe) scissors and let them cut up the yarn into a series of smallish lengths 3"-8" inches. This does not have to be exact. One long length (about 10") is enough for one evenly wrapped egg half but we're giving this project to our kiddos to do so they may prefer working with smaller lengths. Dump the yarn bits into a shallow dish with a healthy amount of white glue or mod podge and allow to soak in.
Wrap each egg half with a bit of plastic wrap, tucking the ends and edges up into the egg cavity. You can tape into place if you like but if you get a good bunch of wrap tucked under, it should remain in place as it sticks all over itself.
To begin wrapping, your kiddo(s) can pick up one piece of yarn with one hand while using the thumb and pointer finger of the other to squeeze excess glue out. Plop the sticky strand atop a plastic covered egg half and wrap around. Repeat with more yarn until satisfied. your kiddo can do an even wrap if they are older and more in control of their motor skills or they can do a wonky, squigglely wrap. The nifty thing is that the egg halves are so small, they won;t need a lot of yarn to cover.
Continue until all egg halves are covered and set aside to dry over night. The damp sponge is there for your kiddos to wipe excess sticky from their fingers as they work. I used the smaller, more round halves of my plastic eggs but you and your kiddos can use either/or or both. If you do not have eggs, try using an upside down egg carton covered in wrap or small round bottomed cups.
When dry, remove plastic and yarn from egg half. It should easily be separated from the egg. Next, and I suggest you do t his part, gently hold the yarn magic in one hand while pulling away the plastic wrap with the other. If there are dried blobby bits of glue, you can use your scissors to trim a little.
Hand your kiddo a bottle of tacky or craft glue and a small assortment of buttons and baubles and have them glue one happy bit into the cup of the yarn (like a nest...ooh...use brown yarn and make a spring bird and nest garland. I think I will do that!) They can of course glue more than one happy bit or if they are of the age where the baubles and bits may end up in their nose instead, let them shake a bit of glitter on top and set aside to dry.

Once everything is dry it is time to assemble garland. Cut a long length of yarn at least six feet and thread your yarn cups on. If you like you can alternate with a pretty ornament in between. I made a separate mini ornament garland and looped them up together when I hung them. Once you get the first cup on, double loop and knot one end of the yarn to anchor it in place. The first cup will be the one to keep the rest from slipping right off. To keep the whole shebang from crashing into each other, loop the yarn through each happy bit twice kind of like a running stitch, over, under and over again and on into the next one. If the yarn is too sloopy, use a small square of tape to pinch off and taper the end.
Once you are finished, loop and knot your ends for ease of hanging and find a nifty place to showcase. Have fun and I'm here if you have any questions!

1 comment:

  1. this is pure genius! the egg halves! brill! they look like lovely blossoms! (and freakily timed because aliza and i were plotting about making youuuuuu a yarn bowl)