Thursday, July 7, 2011

The D.L. on the Y.L. (Yarn Lanterns)

Here at P4P (Parties for Pennies), I always like to take the biggest party trends & do them cheaper, easier & in less time than most of the other tutorials out there. I can definitely tell you some shortcuts that WILL. NOT. work when making the fancy twine/yarn lanterns that are so popular now. And I did find a small way to cut some $$$$ & a little time.

But FIRST, let's talk about what WON'T work (cus that's always so fun...or funny, in my case)

                  #1 Shortcut Failure - the use of spray adhesive instead of this concoction below

 My fingers were literally sticking to everything in sight, my feet kept sticking to the floor b/c of the "overspray". The only thing not sticking?? The yarn to the balloon. 

#2 Shortcut Failure - Using Modpodge after wrapping the yarn around the balloon. 

This was like that gift under the tree that looks very similar to a jewelry box, when in fact, it's a deck of cards. The modpodge looked like it was holding well, until the balloon was deflated & the "wrapping" began to shrivel up like...well, I could use a lot of things as an analogy for this...but I think I'll let your imagination do it instead. 

#3 Shortcut Fail. - Using only glue to uphold the shape of the yarn

Sure it cuts out a step but you will be left with a pile of yarn that resembles spaghetti. 

I tell you these things in hopes you will learn from my failures & grow & learn in life...or at least when making yarn lanterns. :-)

I am making yarn lanterns for my backyard wedding reception in August. I need about 12-13 I called for re-enforcement. 

Meet my Supermodel Team -

Wendy Wynne
model, actress, friend
& incredible cupcake baker

Meg Rew
Singer, partner in party planning
& sister

Yeah, so I only accept supermodels to be a part of my lantern-making team! :p I am super blessed to have both of them in my life. And what talent they have at constructing yarn lanterns! :-) They both rock. 

Here is what you need to gather for this project - 

I had no problem blowing these suckers plenty of hot air.  Blow the balloons to the desired volume you want & tie the ends. (We ended up doing a few different sizes)

The 4 ounces of glue covered one balloon for us, so we brought the big daddy! 16 ounces...and I got two. Just measure this & set aside.

Go ahead & mix the cornstarch & water until the starch has dissolved. We used a painting pan to keep our concoction but an old bucket would work too. Once the starch has dissolved, add the glue & stir until combined. 

This is where I differ from other people. Most of the tutorials online use twine then they spray paint it the color they prefer. I didn't want to have to mess with I'm too impatient. 
I used yellow yarn & it worked great. It saved me a step & saved money by not having to get yellow spray paint. 

Step 1: Take the end of the yarn & tie it to the end of the balloon

Step 2: Take the rest of the yarn & dip it thoroughly into the glue & starch mixture. Do not dip the entire ball of yarn in there or it will get tangled. 

**BTW...I put down a plastic drop cloth b/c it is MESSY with a capital M. That's why I don't have any pics of the process! My hands were so filthy I couldn't take the pics**

Step 3: Begin wrapping the yarn around the balloon in several different directions. Try & hold the balloon steady & the yarn tight. This is the trickiest part. 

Step 4: After you've wrapped the balloon in yarn to your heart's content, hang the yarn wrapped balloon some where to dry. (I used two chairs with a string in between them on one occasion & our ironing board on another) 

Step 5: Wait for at least 24 hours for them to dry. Once they're completely dry, pop the balloon & clean up any remaining glue around the edges of the yarn. 

This is what you'll get - 

I can't wait to show you how they're going to look at my back yard reception. You'll have to stop by after August 20th to see all the fun & festivities of the wedding reception.

Here's a full shot...sorry for the bad lighting. :-(

I was being silly playing with my editing tools. It kinda looks freaky, doesn't it? 

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I appreciate you & all your comments & input. Please let me know if you feel there's anything I can improve on?! You want more of something party-related? Certain party questions answered? Need ideas? Let me know! 


  1. Very cute! I am looking forward to seeing the pics of your reception, and how you use these! : )


  2. Great idea! Your reception is going to be beautiful!

  3. We had fun making some of these lanterns - great idea.

  4. Thanks Aimee! I can't wait to unveil all the fun things I'm doing for the reception!

    Karen...I can't wait to take a look at the ones you did! Man are they messy...but so cool in the end! :p

    And thank you LOFASC - I've enjoyed reading about your recent trip!

  5. Karen...I LOVED your idea about the starbucks cup! Brilliant! I accidentally forgot to get the vaseline when I began my lanterns & they worked but I'm sure the vaseline made it easier!

  6. I love these! My friend is making them for her wedding reception as well and has had a hard time with them. I live out of state so am trying to help her best I can by finding info online :) Thanks for your {fail} tips!

  7. how can you make these waterproof?

  8. Wow! Your instructions were simple and to the point! Amazing job! Easier than any other tutorial that I've seen ;)

  9. Bobbi from MinnesotaOctober 7, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Thank you so much for this idea!!! I plan to make a string to decorate our campsite when we go camping... I am sure they will attract a lot of attention (besides the bugs, that is...LOL).

  10. The entire lantern shrivelled up as soon as I popped the balloon and it changed its shape and started looking like a birds nest and the balloon did not even come out of the thread has totally lost its shape and looks like a mass of thread.can I have a solution to this problem? so that I can have my lanterns too to look like yours when I pop the balloon and it does not loose its shape?


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