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I love Christmas! But as it turns out, we don’t have very much by way of Christmas decorations. For the house or the tree.
This year I’ve been doing my best to remedy that. You can find my previous posts about making a Sock Snowman and a Christmas or Winter Scene in a basket. Great for a tabletop display! Also great for kids to help with (maybe even make their own, with your supervision).
During the summer I read a post about making bookmarks with fluffy yarn balls. Unfortunately I didn’t bookmark it (ha! Pun!) so I’m not sure where I originally saw the idea, or else I would post the link.
Standing in line at the second-hand store to buy some fabric and the Santa figurine for the above-mentioned project, I realized my total wouldn’t meet the minimum purchase amount for a debit transaction. So I did a quick scan and darted out of line to grab a couple balls of yarn. Red and green, of course.
But with all the projects I have either on-the-go or on my to-do list, I really didn’t have any use for more yarn. Not for knitting or chrocheting, at least. But then I made a connection between the fluffy bookmarks and my “useless” red and green yarn and Eureka!
Yarn Ball Christmas Puffs!!
Yes, I am aware that the name is a bit of a mouthful. But I wanted it to describe what it is.
Yarn – Yes, it is made of yarn.
Ball – They are spherical, check.
Christmas – The red and green colours mean they can’t be anything but.
Puffs – Because they’re poofy!
This project is super simple and as long as you don’t have an almost-18-month-old trying to play with your yarn then they will be very fast and trouble-free. Promise.
Take a jar (or anything else that is the same circumference at the top and bottom (by that I mean, do not use a drinking glass, since they’re wider at the top than base)) and put a pencil (or something similar) on along the side. The pencil is so you can pull it out and slip the yarn off the jar more easily. You don’t need it, but it will be much harder to get the yarn off with it being wrapped tight around your jar.
Take the first yarn (I used green) and I tucked the end under the pencil.
You don’t have to do that. I did because I thought it would pin the yarn and make it easier to wrap the first couple rounds but it turned out not making any difference. I wrapped one full layer down the jar with no overlaps.
Hint: It’s much easier to work with the yarn ball if you put it in a bowl or a pot so it doesn’t roll away while you’re unwinding it.
Where that layer ends, just leave the first yarn dangling (don’t cut it) and start the second yarn.
As you can see my second layer will be red and I again tucked the end under the pencil and again, it made no difference.
I wrapped another single layer on top of the first.
Once I got to where I had started with the first layer, I left the end dangling (uncut) and went back and did a layer of green. And so on and so forth.
Do as many layers as you like. I lost count. The important thing is to not overlap your current rounds at all. By that I mean put each round beside the previous round, not on top.
Once you’re satisfied with how many layers you have, remove the pencil and shimmy the rounds off the jar.
Flatten the rounds and pinch in the middle.
Choose one of the yarn tails and wrap it around the middle of the rounds a couple times.
Don’t pull it too tight or you’ll start pulling the rounds through. After 2-3 wraps, tie it around the other yarn tail with a double knot (again, be careful of how tight you pull it).
Wrap the same yarn around the rounds a couple more times, this time you can pull it fairly tight without affecting the rounds. Now tie it around the second yarn tail again. Twice. Pulling tight. The rounds should be tightly tied; you do not want slack in the ties.
Now you can cut the yarn tails. Choose the length that works best for you. You have plenty of options for how you would like to finish the yarn. The tails will be what the yarn ball hangs by so the length will depend on how far down you want it to hang. I finished mine quite simply by tying a bow in the ends. You can do it however you like though.
Now keep the tails out of the way and cut each loop. Do it only a little bit at a time and make sure you’re making the cut at the top of each loop, so each side will be the same length.
How does it look?
It seems pretty shaggy, eh?
If you like it like that then you’re done!
Or you can start trimming. If you have any hair cutting experience, it will likely come in handy now. If, like me, you don’t then you’ll just have to wing it and hope for the best. I shake the puff so the yarn is hanging as straight as it can straight off the bottom.
Only cut the very bottom as you go. Don’t hold the puff the same way and clip all the way around. Turn the puff, shake, and clip the bottom (where the yarn hangs straight). Start small. Clip only the bits that are longer. Go all the way around the puff, clipping all the yarn bits that are a bit longer than the others.
Once you think you’ve finished one go-around, give the puff a good shake and take a look at it.
Still too shaggy? Go around again. The more times you go around, the less you want to cut off at a time.
Here is my finished Yarn Ball Christmas Puff. As you can see mine is still somewhat shaggy but I like it like that.
Here it is with a couple others I have made. The red is quite shaggy (and haphazardly clipped) while the green is clipped pretty short. The green one has a really fluffy and even look to it which I really like but since I know Doll will be playing with these, I thought she’d enjoy the shaggy look more.
This is so incredibly simple and quick you really don’t have any excuse to not at least try it! They will make awesome Christmas tree ornaments! And I figured I’d hang them just around the house too 🙂 I’m sure the cat will also get a kick out of them.