Autumn Crafts: Yarn Spider Webs

I found this a few days ago (although at the moment I don’t remember how) and I’ve been meaning to share: How to make roses from maple leaves.

If only I were in Washington – those Big leaf maples would be perfect!  For now, I’m just waiting for the leaves to turn around here.  Last weekend I visited the Poconos, and things were looking deliciously colorful… another week or two and the turn will make it to my backyard!

This time of year is fun for all kinds of crafts.  Here is one of my favorite flame-free projects, appropriate for the approaching Halloween/Samhain holiday.  I learned it in the third grade, and it just never gets old.  (Next time I make one of these, I’ll be sure to share an image with you!)

Yarn Spider Webs 

You’ll need: 

1 ) 1 ball of yarn: I like to use black, grey, or silver, but ANY color works. 

2 ) Masking tape. 

3 ) A big, open floor space on either hardwood/linoleum/stone, OR on really snug carpeting like they have in schools and offices. 

4 ) If desired, fake spiders, fake cobwebs, OR syrofoam-ball-pipe-cleaner-googly-eye-spiders. 

Special notes: 

—If you know where you want to hang your web ahead of time, measure the ceiling/window/wall/etc. so that you can cut your strings to the correct length. 

—To make it easier, you may want to unravel the store-size ball of yarn, and re-roll a more manageable hand-size ball to use. If you run out of string mid-way, you can always start another roll and pick up where you left off. 

Directions: 

1 ) Cut four pieces of yarn of equal length. You can make your web as big or small as you like. The biggest I’ve ever made was about 10 feet x 10 feet. Whatever length of strings you cut, that will be the diameter of your web. 

2 ) On the floor, carefully lay one string out perfectly straight. Tape one end to the floor. Now, pull the other end so the string is taut (but don’t pull so hard that it pulls up the other taped end). Now tape the loose end down. 

3 ) Take your second string and do the same at a 90-degree angle to your first string (so it makes a perfect X). 

4 ) Take your third string, and do the same at a 45-degree angle to the first string, making sure that all strings intersect at the same point in the middle. 

5 ) Take your last string, and do the same at the other 45-degree angle, making sure that all strings intersect at the same point in the middle. (Now it looks like a pizza pie). 

6 ) Cut yourself a tiny piece of string, and use it to tie all the strings together at the center. You might want to tie it twice, or weave it around each of your four main strings to make sure that they are all tied snug. 

7 ) With the rest of your ball of yarn, it’s time to make the webbing spokes. Start at the center. Pick any one of the taped-down diameter strings. With the loose end of your yarn, tie a knot near the center of your web on one of the diameter strings. Unravel the ball a little, and move to the right (or left, if you prefer). 

8 ) Roll the ball of yarn under the next closest diameter string, and tie a knot (it can be a little hard to do with that big ol’ ball of yarn, but it does get easier). You want the string to be taut between each knot. Now, move a little to the right (or whichever direction you’re going). 

9 ) Repeat step eight on the next diameter string. Continue to go around the web, knotting the yarn at each diameter string to create the web spokes. 

10 ) After each circuit around your web, move out towards the edge a little bit so that each circle gets wider and wider. 

11 ) You can make your circuits as close together or as spread out as you like. I’ve found that about two inches between each circuit works best for me. 

12 ) From time to time, pause to make sure that none of your knots are loosening. (If you cheat and just “wrap” the yarn instead of tying knots, the spider web won’t work). 

13 ) Eventually, you’ll either run out of string, or you’ll reach the edge of your diameter strings. Cut your string from the ball, and tie off the end to the closest diameter string. Leave about 6-10 inches of string at the ends of each diameter string to use for securing your web to the ceiling, wall, door, or window. 

14 ) Carefully remove each bit of tape from the eight spider-web-ends. The web will wrinkle up, but don’t worry! 

15 ) Carefully fold the web in half, and then in half again so it looks like a triangle with the knotted center at the point. Now pick the whole thing up by the spider-web-ends, and try not to tangle too much. 

16 ) Take your web to a window, wall, or door, and re-hang in reverse order: tape the first spider-web-ends, then unfold, carefully taping/tacking each spider-web-end to the wall. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time – just get it up there. Be sure to use fresh bits of tape for best results. 

17 ) Now adjust your web so that it is even and taut to your liking. 

18 ) Add fake spiders, cob webs, or whatever else you deem appropriate (you don’t even want to know what I’ve done!), and then grab someone to show them how cool your web looks! 

19 ) At the end of the season, you can try to pack the web up, but I found that mine just collected dust or got knotted… so you may just want to recycle the yarn, and make a new one next year! 

Rock on!

 

And if you have any fun autumn crafts to share, please do tell!

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12 Responses to Autumn Crafts: Yarn Spider Webs

  1. Jenny says:

    Yarn spider webs!!

    Also, the rose-out-of-leaves idea is interesting, and impressive in its way, but my first reaction was: “Yuck. That’s wrong. They’re already maple leaves; they don’t have to be anything other than themselves.”

    The leaves are starting to turn here, though my backyard is still green. I love fall.

  2. JLB says:

    I can still remember sitting on the floor making these webs for the first time… a very good memory indeed.

    I’m with you Jenny – I adore the autumn!

  3. Geraldine says:

    These roses are kinda cool but i still prefer just the beauty of the leaves themselves. Also like to dry them and use them for collages etc…..Isn’t nature grand!!!!

  4. JLB says:

    Oh yes indeed Geraldine! I love pressing autumn leaves in my books (and discovering them a few years later). I can’t say it enough: autumn is my favorite time of year!

  5. [...] And of course, if you need more fun things to play with, explore my sidebar – it’s slowly growing with artists across media, and I hope to eventually graduate them out of the sidebar, and onto their own pages of artist links.  Also, if you’re looking for a fun and easy craft for the holiday, check out the yarn spider webs. [...]

  6. paul says:

    Nice post,
    Would you mind me using this as content on my website?

  7. JLB says:

    Greetings Paul,

    I would be pleased if you wanted to share this craft with others at your site. Would you be so kind as to link back to me as the source?

    Many thanks, and happy crafting,
    Jade

  8. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  9. cassie says:

    omg i love Halloween and Fall, when its all cloudy and windy it makes me happier usually. Its so pretty outside.

  10. [...] How to Make Yarn Spider Webs [...]

  11. Kristie says:

    Hi! I would like to do this craft with my daughter and blog about it. I will, of course, link back to you. Would that be okay?

  12. Yes of course Kristie – and have fun! This is one of my all-time favorites, an annual Halloween ritual on the living room floor. I’m thinking yarn with sparkles might be a good choice next season…

    Enjoy,
    JLB

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