DIY Yarn Ball Garland

One of the best feelings for me is spotting something ridiculously overpriced while shopping and thinking "I can make that!", which is exactly how this project began. Along Moose's walk route a very fancy-pants store had filled their windows with Christmas decorations made of yarn. There were little felted animal ornaments, gigantic wreaths made of yarn pom-pom balls in 70's shag carpet colors and adorably colorful garlands strung around a naked tree branch. I'm not supporting all of these ideas. Seriously, I held my breath in fear imagining the dust collected in the wreath, and the "Christmas tree" would have been more at home in the fireplace but the garland was very cute.

So off to Pinterest I went, searching every combination of 'yarn', 'ball' and 'garland' I could think of. Making the yarn balls was the bulk of the work and though they're really easy to make, it took me a few hours, three episodes of Seinfeld, a third of Forest Gump, and a little help to finish them all. 

My eleven year old helper Olivia had so much fun we made a trip to Michael's right then to get her more yarn. She went home and made enough  garland to reach all the way across her dad's living room! I just kept making balls until I ran out of yarn and ended up with two garlands to string over the windows in my apartment.

They turned out so cute I'm already thinking of excuses to leave them up after the holidays. I love the random mix of colors and the slight scraggliness of the yarn balls. While taking pictures for this post, everything got jostled around so none of the balls are the same distance apart anymore but I just left it that way. It added character.

That's my favorite thing about this project -- you can't really mess it up. Choose whatever colors, use what yarn you have on hand, eye-ball the measurements, and trim the yarn balls. Or don't trim them at all! I bet that no matter what you do it will look fantastic.

How to Make Your Own

I made two garlands, both about 19 feet long using the following supplies:

  • Lots of yarn - I used 5 colors, 1 ball/skein of yarn in each color. I really liked the way mixing different weights/thicknesses of yarn looked so I used a bunch of leftovers from my stash. WOOHOO for closet space!
  • Recycled Sari twine from Anthropologie to string the balls together but yarn, twine, string, cord, anything would do the job.
  • Yarn-ball-making-tool (I'm sure there's a better name for it) from Michael's to make my balls was more efficient but you can definitely do without. The balls turned out more even using the tool, which saved me time trimming them.
  • heavy-duty scissors.

Here is the tutorial on how to make and string the yarn balls. I left the pieces of yarn used to tie the balls on the twine intentionally long so I could tie big bows, but you can use a knot or smaller bows if you prefer.