From my recipe contributor: Mary Beth Johnson is a photographer, blogger, and journalist with a passion for finding beauty in unexpected places and celebrating the everyday. Originally from the east coast, she now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children (dubbed “schooners”). From an office full of fingerprints and walls scattered with imperfect artwork, she’s writing her first book, a memoir of her parents’ journey in raising 14 children, and her own lifestyle blog, Annapolis & Company.
This yarn wreath wasn’t available at Anthropologie this year, but that fluffy, neutral goodness had me at hello and I wanted to make one. It’s whimsical, doable, and cozy for the entire winter season. It ended up being the perfect little project for my 5-year-old and she and I looked forward to working on it together every evening until it was complete.
The secret to this wreath is in picking your yarn. You want to pick good quality skeins with a lot of texture. I decided to go with two different yarns to add to the whimsy and save a bit on cost. I went to Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon on this bamboo blend, and the other skein is a wool blend from a local yarn store. I liked the haphazard look of mixing the two different textures together, but feel free to make this to your own liking.
I believe another secret to this project is letting go of the perfectionist within and embracing random and quirky. Honestly, the more I let my daughter take control of making the yarn balls, the better the wreath looked. It turned out so much more like Anthropologie when I embraced the variances in size and texture.
STEP ONE: To make the pom poms, begin wrapping your yarn around three of your fingers — not too tight! I wrapped the thicker, wool yarn shown above around about 13 times. My thinner, bamboo yarn I wrapped around about 25 times.
STEP TWO: When you’ve reached desired thickness (remember, these can be haphazard!), snip off the end with scissors.
STEP THREE: Cut a small piece of yarn, about 5-6 inches in length.
STEP FOUR: Lay your ball of yarn down carefully over top of the small piece you just cut, intersecting the two.
STEP FIVE: Double tie your cut piece of yarn tightly and securely around the ball.
STEP SIX: Trim down the piece you just tied to match the ball of yarn.
STEP SEVEN: Interweave the end of your scissors to catch every other one of your loops, and cut. This is the part that can be left completely up to you. We left some of our balls of yarn, completely looped and didn’t snip off any of the ends. Others, we cut almost completely to make a traditional pom pom. The trick is in not making them all the exact same. Isn’t that a relief?! Trim any wonky pieces that are sticking out obnoxiously, and fluff your pom pom.
△ △ △ This shows the difference of my wool blend pom pom on the left, and my bamboo one on the right.
STEP EIGHT: Take your straight pin and pin the pom pom down at an angle into the styrofoam wreath form. If that doesn’t feel secure enough to your satisfaction, take another straight pin and go in the opposite direction. (If using a hot glue gun in place of pins, glue pom pom securely to wreath form.)
STEP NINE: Now that you’ve got the hang of it, pop a movie in and keep repeating steps one through eight till you have a nice, fluffy wreath like this…
To hang, I added a piece of scrap leather using two straight pins pressed into the foam in opposite angles from each other.