drop-in art: yarn bowls

I’m always looking for new ideas for my weekly drop-in art program. Usually I look for projects that are relatively easy, low mess, and low cost. This yarn bowl project was low cost and pretty easy, but it definitely wasn’t low mess. But it was loads of fun! Here’s how we did it. (By the way, I totally forgot to take pictures of the finished products, so you’ll have to take my word that they looked awesome!)

yarnbowls1

You will need: 

  • a bunch of yarn
  • liquid glue poured into shallow bowls
  • plastic wrap
  • containers on which to mold the bowls (I used Chobani yogurt cups)

Step One

Take your yogurt cup and cover the outside with plastic wrap. (This will allow you to pull your finished design off the cup once it’s dry.) I found it was necessary to tape the edges of the plastic wrap to the inside of the cup.

Step Two

Cut a long piece of yarn and put it into the glue. You want to completely soak the yarn with the glue, so use your fingers to make sure it gets nice and gluey.

Step Three

Hold the end of your yarn and begin to lift it out of the glue. As you do so, squeeze off the extra glue with your fingers.

Step Four

Wrap the gluey yarn around the cup. You can either spiral the yarn tightly against itself, or wrap it all over in a spaghetti pattern. If you do the sprial, make sure you don’t leave any gaps.

Step Five

Repeat steps two through four until your entire cup is covered with yarn. Make sure you use lots and lots of yarn. (If you don’t, your creation will be less like a bowl and more like a spider web, which is okay if that’s what you’re going for.)

Most of the yarn dried within 24 hours, although some took longer. Some of the yarn I had was much thicker, and while this made really cool bowls, it took longer to dry. Once it’s dry you can pop out the cup and peel the plastic wrap from the yarn.

Reflections

  • This was a total crowd pleaser! From preschoolers (who needed assistance from their caregivers) up through teens, everyone in the room wanted to try this project.
  • I slightly underestimated the mess factor. I have the table covered in paper, but the kids gluey hands were really the major trouble. There’s no sink in my room, so they had to walk with gluey hands all the way to the bathroom, open the door, etc. There was glue all over the bathroom keys, handles, and faucets. Next time I would give them plastic grocery bags to cover their hands as they hold the key and open the door.
  • The thicker, fuzzy yarn was not ideal. The donations I had ranged from scraps of expensive alpaca (which was a big mess in the glue) to cheapo cotton stuff. The cheapo stuff worked best during the project and also dried stronger.
  • This might work better with balloons instead of yogurt cups. Some of the kids had trouble getting the plastic wrap to stay tight against the cup, which would’t be an issue with balloons. Once the yarn was dry, you could just pop the balloon and viola!
  • If I try this again, I might try making a paste out of flour/water instead of using glue. We used A LOT of my glue reserves.

I read a bunch of online tutorials before trying this. Here are a few of them:

1627

the funnest part: squeezing out the glue

the funnest part: squeezing out the glue

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