Happy November! Now that Halloween is behind us, you all know what that means...
It's time to start preparing for Thanksgiving!
I'm not talking about preordering the turkey and deep cleaning the house.
I'm talking about decorating :) Whether you're planning to have a large group for Thanksgiving or a small family gathering, decorating can get you in the holiday spirit and make any turkey dinner a little more special.
I had so much fun making my wall hanging tutorial a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do another holiday inspired craft. So this week I got crafty with a project that's quick, inexpensive, and is made using strictly yarn and fiber leftovers! I always have spare fiber that needs a home, and what better way to use it than to turn it into festive home decor? Find all the instructions you need to make your own Tassel Garland below :)
Before I get into the tutorial, I have to give credit to Lisa Knapp and Deb Crowley who tried out my wall hanging tutorial and have been going above and beyond trying new crafts and weaving techniques! Thank you ladies, your crafting has inspired all of us at The Yarn Barn!
Tassel Garland Tutorial
To Get Started:
Step 1: Make the Felted Bobbles
This garland is made up of a variety of bobbles (felted balls), pom-poms, and tassels. Each component is made separately and then assembled onto the garland at the end. I will begin with showing you how to make the felted bobbles.
Begin with a section of roving about the size of a golf ball (it will get smaller once it felts.) Turn your sink on and let the water get as hot as it will go. Once the water is very hot, apply a small amount of dish soap to the roving and wet it completely. The water will be pretty hot so be careful not to burn yourself. You can use gloves but I find they get in the way, so I just made sure to keep my hands out of the stream as much as possible.
Once the roving is soaked, start to rub it between your hands. At this point it will be very soapy and slick, and the friction of your hands will start to felt it. Continue alternating running the fiber under hot water and rubbing it in your hands until you feel the ball start to harden up and felt together, forming a solid ball shape. Keep pressing harder and harder to compress it as much as you can. Once the ball looks like the photo below and feels firm, run it quickly under cold water to wash away excess soap, and then set on a paper towel to dry.
Repeat this process, using any color you'd like, until you have about 12 to 14 bobbles made. They should dry pretty quickly on their own, but I like to squeeze them lightly with a paper towel to drain out any residual water.
Step 2: Make the Pom-Poms!
If you're a fiber enthusiast, you've probably already mastered the art of making pom-poms. But if you're new to the pom-pom world, I have a step by step tutorial for you. I don't use any kind of special pom-pom maker, just plain old cardboard I found in my house!
Using the 1 1/2" by 3" piece of cardboard, start wrapping the yarn as tightly and evenly as you can around the board, making sure the width of the wrapped yarn is about 1 1/2" to match the 1 1/2" length. This will help to create an even pom-pom. After about a hundred wraps (or however much it takes to make a plump ball), cut the yarn. With the same color, cut two more pieces of yarn, each about six inches long, to use in tying the pom-pom.
Making sure the pom-pom doesn't start to unravel, thread one of the 6 inch pieces of yarn under the wraps (I used a darning needle), pulling it as tight as you can, and securing a knot. Then carefully slip the bundle of yarn off of the cardboard, and using the other 6 inch piece of yarn, tie a tight knot around the whole bundle, cinching all of the wraps together in the middle.
Cut through the loops on either side of the center tie, being very careful not to cut the center tie as the entire pom-pom will fall apart. Once all the loops are cut, you will have a very scraggly looking pom-pom! At this point, all you need to do is trim so that all the strands are even, and there you go! Your pom-pom should look similar to the one below. I made about 14 of these in different colors.
Step 3: The Tassels
Now that we have our bobbles and pom-poms, it's time for some tassels! Again, if you are an experienced tassel maker, then you can skip this tutorial. But for complete instructions, keep reading below!
Tassels are very similar to pom-poms except they require less wraps, and are cinched at the top instead of in the middle.
To begin, take your 3" by 5" piece of cardboard, and start wrapping. You only need about 20 tight, even wraps and then you can go ahead and cut your yarn. Also be sure to cut two six inch pieces of the same color yarn to use for tying. Like the pom-pom, we're going to use the first six inch piece to keep the strands together, this time tying the knot at the top of the loops (see above right photo.)
After the knot is tied, carefully slip the bundle off of the cardboard, and tie the other six inch piece of yarn around the whole bundle about a half inch from the top of the tassel. Cut the loops only at the bottom of the tassel and trim them so they are all the same length. Tuck the knot at the top of the tassel into center and voila, you have a tassel! Now just repeat about 13 more times and then you'll be ready to assemble your garland!
Step 4: Assembly
Now comes the fun part; putting it all together!
This is where the sharp pointed darning needle is necessary in order to get through the felted bobbles. If you can't find one, a sturdy sewing needle with a large eyelet will also do the job. Either way, thread your thin yarn or embroidering floss onto your needle and start assembling! Note: I started and ended my garland with a bobble because I found that once they're on the thread, they don't move around too much, keeping everything else in place.
It's going to be a little difficult getting the needle through the bobbles, but using a thimble or a hard surface will help push the needle through. Threading the pom-poms and tassels is very easy, so the hardest part is figuring out what order to thread your colors! And of course, you can make your garland as long or short as you like.
I laid my components out in the order I wanted before threading them, so I was sure I was going to be satisfied with the finished product.
Finally, to finish just tie a small slip knot on each end of the garland, make sure everything is adjusted to your liking, and hang it up! You have made your very own tassel garland!
Thank you so much for following along with me today, hopefully you had as much fun making this garland as I did! If you decide to make one of these tassel garlands, be sure to send us pictures on our Facebook page or by email so we can see and share them! Also if you have any questions or need help with any aspect of this project, please ask and we will get right back to you!
Just a quick little update on our upcoming November/December Craft along;
We have a really cool project to get you involved with the community this holiday season. The Yarn Barn is teaming up with The Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board to generate as many hats as we can for those in need this winter. For our Craft-Along we are asking people to knit or crochet hats with any yarn that you have at home and send them in to us so we can donate them to Preble County. For each hat you send to us, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a pattern and yarn from our store! Find out more information here on our Facebook Page!
Thanks again, and stay tuned next week for more updates from us here at The Yarn Barn! As always ~keep crafting~