DIY Ombre Yarn-Wrapped Letters

Maybe it’s the long cold winter that just won’t quit.  Or maybe it’s some weird mommy nesting thing.  But I suddenly have the urge to…craft.

Mostly it’s that I am looking at decor projects around the house and don’t want to fork out the moolah to buy professional stuff.  And in a way, crafting is a bit of therapy.  Except the projects that end up crumpled up and thrown across the room.  But we won’t talk about those ones here 😉

In Kai’s nursery post, I mentioned that I had plans for the ‘k’ that was hanging with the photo collage.  Well.  I ended up getting an ‘a’ and an ‘i’ to fill up some of that empty space there.

yarn how to 7

{you will need: wooden letters, hot glue gun, *sharp* scissors, 3 shades of yarn}

I bought the fun, curly font!  I decided to go ombre!  Why not, it’s just wrapping letters with yarn, right?  Well it wasn’t quite that easy.  Here are some of the lessons I learned:

Lesson 1:  get the straightest font you can.  Avoid the fancy, curly ones.  Trust me, it’s not worth the pain and burnt fingers.

Lesson 2:  there’s a reason I couldn’t find any ombre K’s on pinterest.  All of the ombre yarn letters I saw out there are L’s or O’s.  Easy letters.  Only go ombre if you have patience, and letters where you can tell that the color changes will line up.

Lesson 3: ‘tighter’ yarn= much easier to work with.  I am no yarn guru, so there’s probably technical lingo for this, but the bright yellow yarn was ‘looser’ and frayed much more easily.

Lesson 4:  this isn’t as fast of a craft as I’d thought it would be.  It took me about 5 episodes of House of Cards to do all 3 letters (aka: 5 evenings…) But once you accept this, it is pretty enjoyable.

Here is how I tackled the challenging sections of these letters (which almost always was any ‘curly’ bit of the font)

yarn letter how to

2) & 3) Glue 2 inch lengths of yarn down, working with 3-4 pieces at a time on the front.  Allow glue to cool before pulling the yarn tightly and securing on the back.

4) Trim.

5) Repeat with other surfaces that won’t be covered when you wrap.

6) Wrap!

I found that dabbing hot glue on the sides and the back when you hit the challenging parts (like the dot on the “i” and where the letter tapers in for the ‘i” helped keep the yarn neat and in place.

And the most important part was patience.  Any time I got frustrated and tried to rush just looked messy.

Here’s the final project:

yarn letters front_edited-1


yarn letters back


I’m glad I did Kai’s whole name, it really fills the empty spaces in his photo collage (and we are much less concerned about him grabbing the letters as he gets older than we were about him grabbing at photos with glass and sharp edges)

Yarn letters before after

{side note- I’m still working out my camera settings for photographing inside the house!  Left: lights on…Right: lights off, ISO cranked…still a work in progress :P}

Here’s one more photo:

DIY Ombre Yarn-Wrapped Letters