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Crafts for kids and more: Paint With Yarn tutorial

Other crafts, Paper crafts  |  September 2nd 2011  |  0 Comment
Crafts for kids and more: Paint With Yarn tutorial

This is a craft from one of my thrifted vintage magazines that I hadn’t seen anywhere else, and would probably be a good project for kids. It actually seems like I remember doing something like this in grade school, but I can’t quite remember. I’ve since found out that this art form originated with the Huichol people of Mexico. Their artwork is super colorful, beautiful and inspiring. Definitely worth checking out. You certainly don’t need to be an artist so do this though. The only skill it really requires is patience, and the materials needed are pretty basic. It’s a great project to use up any scraps of yarn you’re hanging onto. I have a few balls of yarn left over from my various attempts at learning to knit, but there’s not a great selection of colors. I enjoyed it though, so this will probably be my excuse to pick up some more. What’s one more craft supply obsession anyway?

Article from McCall’s Needlework & Crafts, Spring 1978


cardboard (I used a piece from a cereal box)
various colors of yarn
Aleene’s Tacky Glue*
simple line drawing
carbon paper
popsicle stick to avoid sticky fingers

*This is what I used, but double-sided tape or spray adhesive might be good choices too!

I transferred a line drawing of an owl (which is the outline of a cool owl trivet I have) onto the cardboard with carbon paper and a pencil (I know one “ear” is shorter than the other, but that gets covered up by the yarn later). Any simple line drawing will do, or you could even just do a freehand design.

Use the popsicle stick to hold the yarn down, especially in any corners.
This keeps your fingers from getting all sticky.

I began with the eyes, using Elmer’s Glue-All. It wasn’t sticky enough however, and the yarn wouldn’t stay where I wanted it. Then I tried using a glue gun. The hot glue was sticky enough, but dried too quickly, which meant I couldn’t reposition the yarn if need be. If I didn’t push the yarn into place right away, it hardened into a big lump. Plus, I burned my fingers a few times! Then I remembered that I had some Aleene’s Tacky Glue. It’s sticky enough to hold the yarn in place, but stays wet long enough so I could reposition if necessary. Great for oopsies!

Seriously, this glue is awesome.

I decided to redo the eyes using the tacky glue, ignoring the lines I had drawn and centering the pupils. I also didn’t like the way the wings looked so I tore those off to try again. I wanted them to look more feathery, so I glued the yarn down in the same wavy pattern I used for the feet. Much better!

I really like the fuzzy owl toes! :)

When the owl was all filled in, I considered cutting away the cardboard around it and calling it done. Since this was my first time trying it out however, I figured I might as well fill out the whole thing. This was still in the trial and error stage after all. I chose a variegated yarn for the background, figuring it would look more interesting than a solid color. Once I got to the edge of the cardboard though, I realized that I couldn’t keep winding it in one continuous loop around the owl. The corners ended up looking a little wonky because of that, but I think it looks pretty neat overall.

Ta da!

When my wooly owl was completed, I looked around for something else to play with. At this point, everything in the apartment seemed like fair game. I was envisioning yarn covered chairs, books, baskets, and even my laptop! I settled for a few records from my craft stash, and covered the labels with bright colors of yarn. Then I hung them on the wall, overlapping them slightly, for (almost) instant wall art.

Source: i-brain-zombies.blogspot.com