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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY: "Love" Yarn Letters

Thanks to My Sister's Suitcase we now have a new yarn letter DIY to add to our list!  This is a great tutorial that really shows you how to go above and beyond with letter wrapping so that each side looks perfect and the yarn is going in the right directions from every view line.

Be sure to check out their blog for more fun ideas!

Thanks for all your sweet comments on my Valentine's Day Mantel! I'm back today to share my tutorial for the LOVE yarn letters I created. I had never tried wrapping anything in yarn {other than a wreath}, so I had a few trial and errors along the way :) I'm going to share the technique that ended up working the best and fastest for me.

Start with your letters... mine are 8" hollow cardboard letters. I found them at JoAnn's for $1.99 each, but I'm sure you could find something similar at any craft store. I used 3 different colors of yarn because I wanted to create an "ombre" effect, but I think they would look just as cute in one color if you have some yarn you need to use up :) {I will say, after using a pretty thin yarn I think next time I would try something a little thicker. It would take less wrapping and might give it a more textured look.}

The trick to wrapping these letters is the number of surfaces that have to be covered. You can't simply wrap in one direction and cover the front, back, and all the edges. On a few of my edges {ends of the letters} I ended up using a technique where I glued the yarn instead of wrapping. I tried both ways, and this ended up being much faster. You need to figure out which edges need the "glue" method and do those first. Here's how I did it:

1. E was the hardest letter so I figured I'd show you that one :)

2. Loop your yarn into 2" segments, then cut the loops with scissors to create several small pieces of yarn.

3. Take 6-8 pieces of yarn at a time and group them together. {Make sure your glue gun is ready!}

4. Apply a generous amount of hot glue on the edge of you letter - enough to cover the width of your 8 pieces of yarn - a little less than 1 inch. Place the yarn on the glue and press down quickly. Make sure the pieces are nice and snuggled together so you get a tightly wrapped look :)

5. Once the top has been glued down, the ends of the yarn will be sticking out. Just trim them evenly, leaving enough room to glue them down on the sides.

6. You only need to cover the edge to the point where the actual wrapping will begin. {See, I only went about 2 inches in on the top and bottom of the E.} Here's a view of the top:

Now you are going to start wrapping!

7. For the letter E, you will need to wrap each of the 3 "arms" first, in a vertical direction. Wrap each section separately, and secure the ends of the yarn on the back of the letter with a drop of hot glue {or tape, if you don't want to burn your fingers like I did!}

8. Once all 3 sections have been wrapped vertically, you will start at the top of the letter and wrap in the other direction - horizontally :) Do you like my arrows? This will cover the long section of the E, as well as the remaining exposed edges. Just make sure if you are using different colors that you switch your yarn accordingly :)

9. Finally you're done! I'm going to be honest, it probably took me at least an hour to complete each letter. I'm not exactly sure because I was working on them random times during the day and night {whenever my kids let me!} So I dragged out the process for several days before I finished :) But if you had one night to completely devote to the project, you could definitely bang it out.

Here is how I made the transition between colors to create the "ombre" effect:

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