If you are looking for an inexpensive, thoughtful gift for the crafter in your life, you should consider making a magic yarn ball. They are as fun to receive as they are to create and such a simple project that even young children can help.
About Magic Yarn Balls
A magic yarn ball is a ball of yarn that is wrapped around a selection of small items. These tiny treasures are hidden throughout the ball; as the recipient crochets or knits their way through the ball, the items are slowly exposed and freed from the ball. The idea comes from a 1986 book from Hawthorne Press called The Children’s Year: Crafts and Clothes for Children and Parents to Make. The original idea calls for wrapping toys, interesting rocks, bits of crayon, and other things that children would like. In the 2000s the idea was embraced by crafters as the idea popped up in blogs, podcasts, and swapping groups. The adult adaptation of this children’s craft is just as delightful and exciting to its recipients!
You can use a skein of yarn to create your magic yarn ball, or tie lengths of scrap yarn together to make a color-changing ball. This make it a great stashbuster project, using up the scrap ends of skeins left over from other creations.
Make a Magic Yarn Ball
* Small items (Some ideas include beads, buttons, jewelry, stickers, fabric charm squares, lace, ribbon, stitch markers, yarn needles, tiny toys, dollhouse miniatures, or anything else small enough to conceal within the ball.)
* A costume brooch or other embellishment
1. Choose an item to use as the core of your magic yarn ball. Hold the end of the yarn in place on the core and begin wrapping around it. Continue wrapping until the core is concealed.
2. Hold another item to the side of the ball and wrap yarn around it to secure the item in place. Continue adding items until you have wrapped all of your yarn and concealed all of the items within the ball. You may wish to leave a couple of things peeking out of the ball, or you can stop adding items while you still have a long length of yarn to wrap and hide the items entirely.
3. Hold the end of the yarn ball in place and wrap the ball with a length of ribbon. Secure the ribbon tightly around the ball to prevent the yarn from unraveling before it reaches its recipient. Tie the ends of the ribbon in a bow.
4. Pin a brooch over the bow to decorate the ball. Other embellishments can also be added to the outside of the ball, such as silk floral, small ornaments and other knick-knacks. Tie these items into place with additional ribbon.