The yarn banners we made for Rebecca’s set kickstarted an obsession. Some of us took them home to hang over beds and couches. We quickly made more to create a focal wall for our ALT Summit Dinner. Finally, they made their way to ALT Summit where we filmed interviews with some top bloggers and designers about the role of handmade in their lives. We’ve had such amazing feedback on Instagram and Twitter that we wanted to share how we made them. They’re easy to create and they add color and cheer anywhere you hang them.
You will need: a 1/4″ diameter or 1/2″ diameter wooden dowel of any length. We used 36″ and 48″ long dowels, inexpensive yarn in various weights and colors, neon masonry line (found at the hardware store), glue and scissors. You’ll also need a place to hang your dowel while working, either on the backs of two chairs, or stool or on a ladder.
Begin by preparing your yarn. Cut groups of strings in varying lengths and colors. The smallest grouping I made was created by wrapping around my arm. This yields strings about 24 inches long when cut which will hang down about 12″ from the dowel when doubled up and glued. You can use anything to wrap around to create consistent strings. You could wrap from one doorknob to another, or cut each strings individually against a ruler. I even wrapped from my hand to my shoe and back to create longer lengths. Prepare groups of strings by color as you go or make in advance.
Depending on how long your dowel is and how long your strings are, you could easily use half a skein of yarn for each 3″-4″ section of color. Don’t worry, this process is forgiving. You can place groupings of yarn on the dowel (without gluing in place) and arrange them by color and length until you reach the design you like. You will trim at the end, so don’t worry about that now.
Once your yarn is cut, place your dowel in a spot where it can hang a few feet off the ground. I lightly taped the dowel to the top of a pair of stools, but you could suspend it inside a ladder, or place it off the edge of a table and work half of it at a time. Weigh down the other half if you use this method, so it doesn’t fall off the table. When you are ready to attach your yarn, work in color groupings. Squeeze a small line of glue along the top of dowel, then place one group of yarn onto the dowel and press into the wet glue (the glue will dry clear). Make sure the yarn hangs off the front and back in about the same length. You want the individual yarn lengths to to lie alongside each other instead of overlapping. Continue working in sections, adding glue and pressing each group of yarn onto the dowel.
Once all of the yarn fringe is glued down, I like to hang my dowel in its final location before I give it a trim. You can place the dowel onto hooks or just place on two long nails. If you are using nails, place them so the banner hangs a 1/2″ or so away from the wall, giving it more room to move.
Now it’s time for the trim. Stand back and consider the shape you want, and the movement effect you want to create at the bottom between each color. Trim as you go to create a dynamic shape. Then stand back and admire your yarn banner, and wait for your friends to place orders!