About 3 years ago, a burly construction worker walked into my store to buy some yarn for his wife. We chatted a bit about what she needed and then he spied a ball of bulky yarn and excitedly asked. “Hey, do you remember making Christmas wreaths out of yarn like this?” “Nope.” I replied, “I don’t.” He asked for some paper and began drawing out in precise detail how to cut, wrap, tie the yarn, build a frame and assemble it. “I had so much fun with my Grandmother making these!” He paused and smiled, “We would sit for hours and make tons of them.”
He and his Grandmother made full scale yarn Christmas wreaths to hang on doors, but I modified the idea to make small ornaments to use up yarn scraps. So in the spirit of sharing, here’s how to make yarn scrap Christmas wreaths. (And someday I do intend to make a full scale wreath!)
Materials to make yarn scrap Christmas wreaths:
- Cardboard Scraps
- Wire – 18 gauge or close to that
- Wire Cutters and Needle Nose Pliers
- Ribbon to hang the wreaths with
Step 1: Making the Yarn Tuffs
Start by cutting a scrap of cardboard the width you want your yarn tuffs to be. This piece of cardboard is 1-3/4″ wide.
Leaving about a 3 inch tail, begin wrapping the yarn around the cardboard. For this gold yarn, I wrapped about 20 times because it is fine yarn. For worsted weight yarn I generally wrap about 10-12 times. For very bulky yarn I wrap about 6 times.
When you are finished wrapping, cut the yarn leaving about a 3″ tail.
If your yarn is slippery, tie the ends together to form a knot. If you are using wool or a less slippery acrylic yarn, you can generally skip this step.
Holding onto all of the wraps with one hand, slide them off the cardboard carefully with the other hand.
Keep the wraps held together and both of the longer ends loose.
Wrap the longer ends around the center of the wraps 3-4 times securely and then tie a couple of tight knots.
Trim off the ends.
Step 2: Building the wire wreath frame
Cut a length of wire about 8-11″ long, depending on the size you want your finished wreath. I used 10″ for the gold wreath. Form the wire into a circle.
Using pliers, bend one end of the wire back to form a loop.
About 1″ in from the opposite end of the wire, bend the wire up straight.
Poke the center of the yarn tuff onto the end of the wire and slide it on.
Continue adding all of the yarn tuffs onto the wire, sliding them around to the opposite end as you go. They look a little funny until you get a few on.
You can twist and reposition the tuffs if necessary so they nest together nicely.
Keep making tuffs and sliding them on until the wreath is full.
When finished, insert the long end of the wire into the loop of the opposite end.
Bend this end of the wire back to lock the ends together, then trim off the excess wire.
Add a ribbon hanger or wire on a ribbon bow to finish it off and you are done!
Don’t get too hung up on getting all the tuffs to the exact same size, or worry about the same number of wraps because it all just sort of falls into place when its done. If I ran out of yarn I just made the wreath a little smaller. I’ve also made some striped wreaths with 2 different yarns that turned out pretty cute. Happy holiday crafting!