Oh, Christmas tree! Oh, Christmas treeeeee!!!
How richly God has decked thee!
With yarn, balloons, and Elmer’s glue . . .
We’re redefining gooey!
See? Proof that we worked HARD!
Now how do we get those balloons out of there???
Oh Christmas tree! Oh Christmas tree!
How richly God (and Katie) have decked thee!
Kid-Friendly Craft Alert!
Spread some holiday cheer as you and your little ones create these elegant homespun ornaments. Simple supplies like water balloons, white glue, newspaper and yarn are all you need to get started.
A boxed set would be perfect for grandparents or a favorite teacher. Or keep them yourself . . . your kids will have fun and you’ll get the keepsake. Hope y’all are cherishing the moments, making paper chains and chugging down some real, authentic egg nog. 🙂
How To Make Yarn Ball Ornaments
- small water balloons (find them online here or at a party supply store)
- 4 tablespoons white glue (like this)
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder (I like this non-GMO cornstarch and this arrowroot)
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- yarn (Thinner is better, but we figured that out after we made ours. This Sugar N’ Cream Ombre is similar to what we used)
- glitter (optional – I like this clear chunky glitter because it reminds me of snow)
- wax paper (optional)
- metal spoon
- medium mixing bowl
I’ve included written instructions below, but here’s a visual overview from Monica Villarta:
1. First, cover your work area with newspaper.
2. Blow up your water balloons. If you want a dozen ornaments, that’s how many balloons you’ll need to inflate.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together glue, water and cornstarch/arrowroot.
4. Place a long section of yarn (several feet) into the bowl and press it into the glue mixture.
5. After the yarn has absorbed the glue, lift it out of the liquid and give it a little squeeze over the bowl. It should be saturated, but not dripping everywhere.
6. Take one end of the yarn and tie it around the nipple (tie) of the balloon. Continue winding the yarn around the balloon in a crisscross pattern until you’ve reached the level of coverage you want.
7. Tie another piece of yarn around the nipple and then use it to hang the balloon. Depending on your setup, you may want to use a string to create a “clothesline” to hang several from, or you may want to hang them from a door. Wherever you hang them, make sure to cover the floor underneath because glue will drip.
8. Once the yarn is COMPLETELY dry, pop the balloon with a pin.
9. If desired, apply a thin layer of glue to the outside of the yarn ball and sprinkle glitter over it. Allow to dry on a flat surface covered in wax paper.
10. Use a regular ornament hook to attach it to the tree. Voila, you make a yarn ball ornament!
Looking For More Kid-Friendly Projects?
This salt dough ornament project is as easy as 1-2-3, but I broke it into ten steps so that I could include more pics of my kiddos. Click here to see the tutorial.
This no-sew t-shirt bag takes just 10-15 minutes to make. I have several, which moonlight as reusable shopping bags, snack bags, and beach bags.
This fun, easy homemade playdough recipe uses stuff you probably already have in your fridge/pantry, and there’s a gluten-free option at the bottom for those who need it.
All you need to make the chalkboard ornaments above are some wooden rounds, chalk paint and stencils or stamps.
Need a gift idea that doesn’t require sewing skills, decoupage, or, um, talent? These butterfly footprints are super easy.
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Those are so neat! I love the colors!
Thank you, Sarah! I went through aisle after aisle searching for the right yarn and then found this in the clearance section. It reminded me of a candy cane ; – )
Hi Sarah, thank you so much for showing us how to put the yarn on the balloon with glue. What I need to know is can you use school glue and water mixed together? Then after the glue drys can you paint the yarn? The reason i am asking is all the yarn I have is red and I wanted to make the balls for Christmas this year. The paint I was wanting to use was craft paint for ceramics. I hope you can help me out.
Cute idea! Love the photos!
You’ll get copies . . . eventually 🙂
These are so cute!!! I wonder if Liquid Fabric Stiffener would work instead of Elmers? What did you use to make the snow flakes?
Hi Nikki! Are you crafting like crazy right now??? It’s times like these that I wish I had your skills. We had so much leftover yarn and I have no idea what to do with it.
Regarding the fabric stiffener, I think it would work. The Elmer’s was a little difficult to work anyway so if I were you I’d give it a shot. The snowflakes are just basic white craft glitter from Joann’s. If you make these I would love to see the finished product!
I immediately bought balloons when I saw your crafty brilliance. The fabric stiffener experiment is happening right now but will need to dry overnight. I am just using leftover yarn so they aren’t very Christmas-y…yet. You’ve completely inspired me and I am so excited about it! Thank you for the great idea, I’ll let you know as soon as they are finished. Evie will be 2 1/2 next Christmas so I really hope we can make these together!
As for leftovers – I love to decorate with yarn and wrap everything I can in it! Maybe make a pompom garland with those wonderful peppermint hues!
I googled instructions for pompoms and they look pretty simple. We just may give it a shot. thanks, Nikki!
So glad you all are enjoying your Christmas season, and what precious decorations! Merry Christmas to the Potamus family! 🙂
Merry Christmas to you and all your precious T’s!
There’s almost nothing I can think of more precious than watching you two making Christmas decorations. The house suddenly felt more festive, more creative, and more intimate. Thank God for children, through whom we’re rediscovering the joy of using our hands to create and have lots of fun!
If I could remember how to make that little heart symbol I would put it here. Love you Daddypotamus!
Becky Kinder [email protected]
Yes! A Daddy like you is a blessing! So proud of you! Ohh! The memories your children will have of you and their childhood! Hugs to you from a grateful Grandmother. I have a wonderful son who gives me joy!
I LOVE this!! Now I know what to do with all of my “scraps” of yarn!! Love the smiles on Katie’s face!
Oh wow, I’ll bet you almost have enough scraps for the Time Square tree!!!
Haha! Pretty much!
I love the ornaments… Now I know what to do with all of my leftover yarn!
Anthropologie has some great pictures of how to use yarn to embellish presents on their “ways to wrap” section- I tried wrapping it around presents in thick bands and it looks so pretty… A nice way to put those scraps to use.
I love that idea! In fact, I think I’ll combine the inspiration I found at Anthropologie (especially this one http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/category.jsp?popId=HOME&navAction=middle&navCount=60&isSortBy=true&pushId=HOME-WRAPOUTFITTING&id=HOME-WRAPOUTFITTING3) with Nikki’s pompom suggestion for something extra special!
Simply beautiful and precious! Katie is going to look back and cherish all of the memories you are making with her. Merry Christmas!
Oh yes she will. That’s what scrapbooks are for . . . proof that we are fun parents just in case our kids forget!!! 🙂
How crafty! Love that you’re making memories with your sweet beebs.
Thanks! As we were making them I thought it was going to be a disaster. But we had fun and they turned out beautifully. Now that we’ve had a little success we’re on to another project!
i want to save this blog so that i can remember to make these in a couple years when denver is old enough to help. what a sweet idea. love it!
This has been the best Christmas season ever, hands down. At three years old Katie is old enough for crafts, she can sing Jingle Bells and Silent Night, and she LOVES going out at night to look at Christmas lights. Christmas was totally magical when I was a kid, but it doesn’t compare to seeing my daughter experience all this for the first time.
TuTu's & More by FayeRaye
Love this! I’m going to make some with my girls this weekend! Thank you for sharing!
Yay! Have fun! We gave a set to Katie’s grandparents last year . . . and of course, I kept a set for myself. Sweet memories! <3
We did something kind of like this for continent day at Montessori (South America, “weaving” bowls, long story). Anyway, in that craft you mixed a little water with the glue – I think it was perhaps 50/50 and that made it easier for the kids to work with the materials. It still dried well, although having a high quality yarn that will soak up the glue/water mix was helpful. I noticed some of our cheapo stuff repelled the liquid a little too well. LOL!
Brilliant!!!! I am going to have one happy 3 yr old (& grandparents too!)
Britt @ Honest to Goodness Living
Love this tradition… I grew up with fake trees decorated to the nines (they seriously look like they belong in the center of a really fancy mall) – and my husband grew up with real trees and homemade ornaments. So we decided early on that we’d do one fake fancy tree, and when kiddos came along, we’d start buying a real tree each year to do homemade ornaments (and string popcorn and cranberries for garland!) LOVE the idea of creating a new set of ornaments each year… Can’t wait to start this with my future little ones!
I LOVE this! We’re so doing this tomorrow 🙂
I crochet dolls. Many are gifts, other are sold. It was my goal to make as many presents as possible this year, instead of buying. In theory, this would be thrifty, but only if you don’t ask how much the yarn for my sister’s sweater cost. My kids would love to make these ornaments, so we will give it a try closer to Christmas. We don’t do our tree until Christmas eve.
Oh my, these look gorgeous. I’m limited for crafty supplies here. Do you think normal white craft glue would work okay? I have no idea what Elmer’s is!
I’m not sure but if it hardens when dry it will probably work 🙂
I am having my grand kids over to my new home for Christmas and SO excited to try the balloon string ornaments with them. Was hoping I could find something that many ages could enjoy and this is it!!! Thank you SO much!!!
The salt dough ornaments were fabulous. I never expected a DIY project to come out perfectly on the first try and it was sooo easy. My 6 and 3 yr old had a blast. My older daughter used the cookie cutter and they both loved decorating the baked designs. Thank you!!!