A hollow string ball is a versatile handcrafted creation that can be used a myriad of ways for home decor. This surprising, almost stunning string ball looks more complicated to create than it really is. The secret to the sphere is none other than regular school glue mixed with water to create a paste similar to that used to make papier-mache. Make an assortment of hollow balls using various colors and sizes of yarn or twine for a decorative bowl-based centerpiece or to hang as ornaments for a porch or party, just for fun.
Things You'll Need
- Round balloons
- Wax paper
- Disposable plastic tub
- Petroleum jelly (optional)
- Paper towels (optional)
- School glue
- Craft stick or plastic spoon
- Skein of thin cotton yarn, twine or string
- Rubber gloves
- Needle or pin
Inflate a balloon until it looks as round as possible and is the size you'd like for your string ball. Tie a knot to keep the balloon inflated. Blow up several more balloons if you'd like to create more than one string ball.
Cover the work surface with wax paper. Set the disposable tub atop the wax paper. Use a tub or container that is wider than your largest inflated balloon.
Coat the balloons with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, if desired, by dipping a paper towel into the jelly and wiping it all over the inflated balloons. This step is optional, but will help prevent the dried glue and string from sticking to the balloons.
Pour equal parts glue and water in the plastic tub until the liquid is deep enough to submerge a large handful of yarn or string. Stir with a craft stick or plastic spoon to blend the liquids together.
Gather enough yarn, twine or string around your hand to wrap around an inflated balloon at least 15 or 20 times. Snip the strand of yarn near the skein, then slide the yarn off your hand and dip it into the glue solution. Submerge the yarn completely, poking it down under the liquid with a craft stick or plastic spoon.
Pick up the wet yarn while wearing a rubber glove, shaking excess liquid back into the tub. Wrap the wet yarn around the balloon at random angles to create large gaps between windings. Continue wrapping until you reach the end of the piece of yarn, tucking the end under another wrapping to secure it. If the balloon needs more yarn to complete the look you desire, cut another piece of yarn, dip it in the glue and wrap it as well, tucking both loose ends beneath existing wrappings.
Set the wrapped wet balloon atop the wax paper to dry overnight. Roll the balloon over a bit so the previous bottom side is exposed to air, allowing it to dry as well. It may take up to 2 days for the glue to harden completely.
Pop the balloon with a needle or pin. Carefully pull the popped balloon out from the yarn sphere by shaking it loose or tugging at it with your fingers. If it is difficult to remove the balloon in some areas, use tweezers to tug the balloon free from the hardened glue.
Tips & Warnings
- An inflatable ball such as a beach ball may be used in place of a balloon to create a large string ball. The ball must be compact when deflated to work well for the project, so a basketball, for instance, will not work.
- If you have a clothesline handy, hang the glued wet balloon out to dry by pinning the knotted end to the clothesline with a spring-loaded clothespin.
- Create the string sphere in an area where young children or pets won't be tempted to play with it as it dries.
- Photo Credit Ulena/iStock/Getty Images
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