Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun for free

I promised the kids "one fun thing" every day in the holidays. It's been a good stretch of my creativity to keep things interesting while not blowing my non-existent holiday budget on expensive outings. Lots of craft activities...


You will need:
- wool leftovers, or some string, yarn or cotton etc
- a pack of balloons
- some starch solution (see below)

This is a good one for a knitter Mummy who has bags full of tiny bits of leftover yarn!

Blow up your balloons - smaller ones were easier to handle, especially for little hands.

Wet lengths of yarn in your starch solution and wrap around your balloon. Now, after our bit of trial and error , I would advise against short lengths. The ones that worked the best for me were continuous lengths of yarn. You want to make sure the ends are tucked in, and that every bit of yarn is attached to another piece - try to imagine how its going to look once the balloon isnt there anymore.

The kids had a lot of fun picking colours and later, deciding where to hang their art.

Glasses and mugs make good drying racks for your finished pieces.

Leave to dry. Ours took a couple of days. Then carefully pop your balloon and remove. You may need to readjust your sculpture but it will be hard and should retain its shape.

We hung some from window frames and others we left as "sculptures". After about 3 weeks some are beginning to deflate a little - it has been very humid and hot here though which has probably contributed to the slow decline. Others, like the little "bowl" I made are still going strong. It's the perfect little size for little bits and pieces which seem to accumulate on my bench.

Starch Solution:

I followed the directions from here which involved making your own starch solution from cornflour (handy since it was in my pantry!). It was much easier to work with when hot, but of course, with little ones that's not to so great. Don't go overboard with it - too much will leave a residue on your sculpture.

You can also use starch granules (if you know where to find those!) or wallpaper paste.


  1. That looks like a lot of fun! And definitely a good use for wool scraps!

  2. oh that is so clever! I love it!

  3. I love this idea, and I intend to run with it at our place next time I promise something crafty.
    I am also very impressed that you have promised a fun thing *every* day through the holidays. Your children are SO lucky!