...Cleaver that is... and I'm okay with that! With all of her glorious motherly ways.
I want to be the mom who bakes, sews and knits.
The only issue is... I don't really do any of those things well, so here's me sharing with you all my 101's.
Laugh with me or at me, I don't care. I just hope I can evolve during this process!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Yarn Balloon Decorations Tutorial

There's a few tutorials out there on this and I had to do my own. Why? Because there were flaws or missing helpful info on the ones I found! And there's nothing more frustrating than being covered with wet glue and yarn and thinking "ooooooooh, THAT's what I should have done..."

You may remember that I had a DIY Sunday a couple weekends ago. I talked about making yarn balloons.
Here's the completed set and some Do's, Don'ts and how to apply good old Common Sense.

Basic list of what you need:
Yarn; worsted/medium/#4 is best (thinner than that and you'll be wrapping forever)
Glue; white craft
Newspaper or other surface paper
Stirring device you don't mind getting gluey
Container to put glue in
Somewhere to hang them dry (have this ready to go!)

Have lots of glue. Don't plan on doing this with a small craft glue bottle. Unless you only want to do one. YES. I tried this. Because I'm slow like that eh?
So, have lots of glue. You will water it down slightly and this will help it get farther at least.
Prepare your surface and prepare to get messy and be cool about it.
I do not recommend doing this as a craft with your child. OR when they are around to be honest.

Because its so messy you might as well tackle them all in one go. But if you don't, just start by putting your glue/water mix in a container so that you can just pop a lid on it and use for the next round.

-Get your balloons blown up. Whatever size suits your fancy.
-Line up your yarns.
-Put paper down on surface. Lots of layers.
-Put a healthy amount of glue in the container and add some water. Not much. Enough to water it down but not take over. I probably used an eighth of the amount of glue I had.
-Again, I used a plastic container that had a lid so I could cover it later.
-Stir it up. I used a popsicle stick.
-Knot your yarn about 1/4 down from balloon knot. This allowed me to later cut a wee hole between the two knots in the balloon to allow a gradual drain.

Now for the yummy part!
-Get a good amount (but not too much that you cause yourself knot hell) of yarn out of the ball. I put it all in the glue in reverse. Yarn closest to the ball first so that once I pulled it out of the glue that was the part on the bottom. So get your yarn in the glue. And push it down so it gets good and wet. Don't forget to get glue all the way up to the the balloon!

Dipping the yarn a few yards at a time.

 -What I found best was to have a few yards ready and gluey to start wrapping. So from the above stage I would pull lengths of the yarn out of the glue with one hand while using my other hand squeeze the extra glue off the yarn. I have no images or video. Its tough when you're gluey. So hopefully your common sense can figure this out! Go slow. You can cause the yarn to twist on itself and knot. Boo. It really sucks when that happens.
-You see all that gluey wet mess to the left in the above photo? That's from previous yards of wet yarn. Anyway, start wrapping! Its wet, its messy, just GIVE'R. Hold the balloon knot and wrap wrap wrap. Go in the same direction while rotating the balloon. Then switch directions. At some point soon you will have to stop and get another few yards of yarn all gluey. If you have two people this would be a lot faster but otherwise just stop, put down your balloon carefully and get more yarn ready. Then get wrapping again! Wrap as much as you see fit. I found that I had not wrapped two of my balloons enough so I added more the next day since the balloon was still intact.
-Once you've wrapped a good amount around the balloon cut off your yarn and tie it off at the top again.
-Go directly to your drying station and hang it. If you haven't prepped it you're going to swear at yourself right about now!

Do not rush the drying. At least 24hrs.
 -Allow the balloons about 24hrs to dry. Touch all sides, especially the bottom, to see if its all dry. Trust me. You do not want to deflate the balloon prematurely! I found out the hard way after thinking it was dry.
-To deflate the balloon cut a slit in a slack part of the balloon neck. You remember when I told you to leave a spot between the balloon knot and the yarn knot? That's a perfect place. 
-Allow the balloon to deflate slowly. A big hole will cause the balloon to deflate fast and pull in the edges of your perfectly molded yarn! *sad face*
-This is a wonderful sound effects moment. As the balloon pulls away from the glued yarn the sound is a bit like popping corn!
-Once all deflated cut the balloon neck free completely. Pull the two pieces of balloon out gently. It'll fit out tiny crevices, just be gentle.
-I hung mine with white thread as I didn't have any fishing line about.

I don't recommend wrapping the balloon with dry yarn and then brushing the glue on after, as some tutorials suggest. 

I did one like this and there was so much glue that when I let the air out of the balloon it pulled the yarn with it! I got a concave balloon. I've fixed it a bit but will have to redo. 

So here is our finished product.

See the lumpy green one on the left? Yup. Needs a redo.
I wanted something to dress up this plain wall.
I could also imagine doing a lot of mini ones and hanging them randomly around the room.
This was the paint colour of the room when we moved in. I ended up leaving it as it turned out a good colour for my son. And now my daughter shares the room. It works for them both and I think the colours I chose help bring some life to it all and keep it unisex!

 I was also trying to incorporate the print and hot air balloon on that wall. Both I just love.

I hope this was helpful!
I know I'll be doing more. For parties or Christmas Decos. 
Let me know if you attempt this!


  1. Wow, Cindy, those turned out so cute! They're adorable hung up. You're so....June!

  2. They look awesome Cindy! I like your idea to make a bunch of little ones. hmmm... hang them from branches sitting in a vase as little Easter egg decorations... Must try...

    1. Exactly Janie! Some tiny egg shaped balloons. Hung on a string like garland too... And at Christmas. Just a wee bit hard to pack away!

  3. These look great by the way. I keep meaning to say so but keep forgetting. Then I saw the idea again today and came straight here to say so! I have a similar project lined up. It's with twine and you blow the balloons up less so they are very round. The twine balls then get stuffed with fairy lights for use on your patio. I really am going to do it! I have the twine, the glue and the balloons. I just need a bit of time. Maybe this weekend.


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