Do you know why I love living so close to the border? It only takes us an hour to get to the States! That means in less time than it would take me to go to or from my university, I can pop over for some good ol’ American shopping and dining. Don’t get me wrong, the border agents tend to be a bit judgemental when we tell them we’re just going over for lunch and/or dinner, but until Canada gets Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel, c’est la vie.
While we were down there, we saw these gorgeous yarn-wrapped trees in the holiday decor section. We didn’t buy them, however. It’s not that they were too expensive – truthfully I don’t even remember the price – but Mom and I looked at them and thought, “we could do that!”
We already had some Styrofoam cones laying around, conveniently in three different sizes, that would serve well as the trees. We also already had some tacky glue laying around, of course. So all we had to go grab was some yarn and pony beads (I didn’t have the right colours after the Halloween craft), both of which they had at our dollar store (though I did pop over to Michaels for some prettier yarn options).
I decided to try three different ways of wrapping the yarn. For the largest cone, I wanted to use three colours of yarn to create a partial ombre effect. The middle cone was picked out to have stripes of green and red, the classic Christmas colours in my mind. Lastly, I decided to only use green yarn and string pony beads along to mimic ornaments.
I want to go back and make more of these: we love the blue and silver colour scheme for Christmas, and I could totally see doing a trio for that decor (a big dark blue cone, a medium light blue cone and a small silver and/or white cone). Wouldn’t that just be gorgeous? The ones we saw in the store would work in a neutral colour scheme – which is totally in right now for fashion and decor, by the way – but really any colours you want would work. Mom also really liked the idea of doing pinks and purples and other colours to create a holiday Whoville!
- Use chunkier yarn. It not only looks more elegantly rustic but it also is a LOT quicker to wrap and layer.
- If switching out colours, end the previous colour by gluing the end where the new colour will begin. That way, you can wrap the new colour over this loose end and hide the evidence.
- Start at the wide end and work your way up to the point.
- The only ‘rigid’ gluing should be at the beginning – start by wrapping your cord around the wind end and gluing that end down. That way, the yarn won’t slip off as you’re trying to evenly cover it. (You might also want to let this dry before beginning to wrangle the rest of the yarn.)
- Limit gluing to the beginning and end of a piece of yarn, and then only when absolutely necessary because the yarn just won’t stay (usually around the ends of the cone). Otherwise it’ll basically just hold its shape without your help.
With those recommendations, it’s pretty easy. Check out my step-by-step to get started!
Yarn-Wrapped Christmas Trees: Step By Step
Working from the wider base up to the point, wrap the yarn around the Styrofoam cone. Don’t focus on being too neat or too messy, it’ll work itself out. Minor adjustments can always be made, especially if you’ve only glued at the beginning (and end, eventually).
If you’re switching colours – for an alternating or ombre pattern – finish off the first section by gluing the end of the yarn where the next colour is going to start.
Continue wrapping, making sure to fill in any gaps in the yarn.
If you’re stringing on beads like I did for the smallest cone, first do a base layer of yarn to make sure the majority of the cone is covered. There can still be a few gaps, but you want it so that the layer with the beads can for sure be on top.
Then, leaving one end of the yarn still attached to your cone, cut yourself a long length of yarn. Since it was the third one I’d done, I had a decent ability to estimate how much I would need. However, if you run out partway, some careful gluing and tucking should allow you to start and stop several pieces of yarn if needed.
String a whole bunch of pony beads onto that long length. I needed to wet and twist the end of my yarn a little to get it to fit through the bead, but then I was able to string up several. Then, continue winding the yarn around the cone, placing a bead here and there. Again, if you need to fix things, the beads easily slide around! Only keep the glue around for the ends – of both the yarn and cone – and it gives you a lot of wiggle room with everything in the middle.
To finish off, cover the tip of the cone with glue. This is the ONLY time you’ll want a lot of glue. Cover the glue with a spiral of yarn. (I also contemplated using a star, like the trees we saw in the States, but it was one more thing to make. Not this time, thanks.)
And it’s that simple!
How would you decorate your yarn-wrapped Christmas trees? Let us know in the comments!