Let's be SOCIAL

Finishing Touches | DIY Yarn Rainbow

When the Rona virus (COVID-19) starting causing closures, I saw a slew of people posting pictures of rainbows they had made to encourage people walking by their homes. I saw chalk drawing rainbows, paper rainbows, window-paint rainbows, and I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I think rainbows are such happy images, and for me, a wonderful reminder of God's promise after the flood to Noah and future generations:

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him,“Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.” (Gen. 9:8-17)

Before the virus came along (yes, life now seems divided between pre-virus and post-virus), I'd been eyeing some cute rainbows made of varying textiles on Pinterest. Some were large, some small, some bright, some muted, and I thought how I could probably make one...that I wanted to make one...but why? 

And then, boom. A reason. I needed one to hang in my window to encourage people during this time of social distancing...not to mention have something new and happy for my own eyes to land on. The final push into this project was a Michael's video ad on Facebook (never you mind that I don't even "like" the store on that platform). The video was all about making a yarn rainbow. That was it. I was GOING TO MAKE ONE AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME NOW! (except the fact that I couldn't just drop in to a craft store for supplies)

I knew I had the yarn. I made Miss J a crocheted rainbow blanket a few Christmases ago, and I didn't use all my yarn. The only skein I couldn't find was orange. More about that later. I knew I didn't have craft wire like the video showed, but I figured it might not be needed anyway (I was right). But did I have rope? I started looking through my supplies and like a shiny gold nugget, the rope started glowing. (Just kidding. It didn't. But I did a happy dance anyway.) I can't remember why I had it in my sewing box, but I vaguely remember buying it. No matter, I HAD ROPE! 

I pulled out my yarn and laid it out side-by-side. I was surprised at the color combination I was drawn to. I put the photos to the test on FB and INSTA, but the results were mixed. These are the first two combos I had to choose from:

My initial thought would be that I liked the combo with teal the most. But as I debated, I decided I liked the one with the violet! However, that's not what I chose. Remember how I said my orange was missing? I looked multiple times for that color, as I really wanted to do the good ole ROYGBIV. I could.not.find.it. I knew I hadn't used it for another project, but then, where in the world was it? I asked the kids. No idea. Looked again. No luck. Asked the kids again. Looked again. Asked the kids. Finally my oldest had a lightbulb moment..."Oh, I think it's in MY sewing box." BINGO.

Color combo, final answer:

I grabbed my gluegun (it wasn't hot yet) and set to work.
I cut two lengths of rope per color, to make the rainbow thicker. I did not measure my lengths because I worked with a limited amount of rope. The Michael's video gives actual lengths: 24", 26", 28", 30", 32", 34", 36", 38". I didn't have enough rope for eight strands, so I kept mine at seven, perfect for ROYGBIV. 

I used my table edge and my eyeballs to curve and cut to length. It worked just fine, but did take longer than simply measuring and cutting. At first I thought I'd only have enough rope for 6 colors, so I was going to ax the violet. At the end I realized I had just enough to sneak in a final interior row for the violet. I'm not sure why, but I kept thinking I had to add to the top (longer rope needed) and I'm so glad it dawned on me that I could still add to the interior (shorter rope needed)! It's funny how the brain works.

Next I used tape to mark my ends...I wanted a decent amount of white tassel showing at the end. You could do more or less depending on your taste. Then I set to work hot gluing the strand pairs together. This gave me a little extra strength and helped hold the curve, since I didn't use wire. We only have hot glue sticks for wood in our house right now (thanks 6th grade social studies project), but the wood glue worked just fine. I did have to be VERY careful not to glue it to my table though...since it is wood and all.

Next, add color! Wrapping is simple, but it does take time. Make sure to keep the yarn tight against the rope. I wrapped two "layers" for extra thickness as I went, but you could definitely just do one. Wrapping the rope with yarn gives some extra stiffness, which is needed to keep the structure of the curve. Wrapping is also kid-friendly. Both my girls, 9 and 11, helped with this portion (one did half of the yellow, one did all the orange). Don't expect too much, though, as again, wrapping takes quite a bit of time!

Finally, it's time to connect the colors! At first I left the tape on as I hot-glued the edges of the colors together, but I realized it was better to pull the tape off before gluing. It just came off without as much fuss.

I kept my ends on the table edge, especially while doing the first round of gluing. I didn't want to lose my curve. Once I had the purple tones glued, I could elevate the project more as I glued. Less of a chance of gluing my table (which I did once. whoops.).

I have a long upholstery needle that I used to insert yarn for a hanging loop. You could simply hot glue a loop on the back, or loop a strand around the whole rainbow. I tried that final suggestion, but just liked the look of the inserted yarn better. 

I gave my tassles a haircut. You can decide what you want to do. Then, we hung it in our front window using a suction cup hanger I had around the house. (How amazing is it that I had all the materials? Seriously.)

And here's the happy little guy hanging in our front window for any Hillsboro walkers to see!

Thanks for visiting! Until next time, stay safe, wash your hands and don't touch your face!

Let's connect!


Popular Posts