5 Steps to Creating Your First Yarn Bomb

Have you seen trees and statues covered with brightly covered yarn in your neighborhood and wondered how it was done? Or have you seen photos of knitted or crocheted statues online and dreamed of becoming your town’s next yarn bomber? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll reveal how to yarn bomb in five steps.

 Colorful Yarn Bomb

Photo via of Oakland Art Enthusiast

What is a yarn bomb?

A yarn bomb is form of street art where yarn in any form (knit, crochet, latch hook, cross stitch, amigurumi, or simply wrapped) is attached to an object in the public environment.

How to yarn bomb:

Step 1: Find the object you would like to yarn bomb.

If you plan to knit or crochet a fabric, then choose a 3-D object that you can sew your fabric around, like a tree, street post or statue.

When choosing this route, make sure to choose an object that allows you to secure your yarn bomb from falling down.

Yarn Bombed Parking Meter

Photo ©Damon Landry/damonabnormal

For example, if you choose to wrap a yarn bomb around the pole of a street sign, then you must somehow attach a string into a hole in the post, or around the sign, so that the yarn bomb will not droop to the ground at the first hint of rain.

 Yarn Bombed Park Bench

“Park It” by Lorna Watt/KnitsForLife; photo via of Jill Watt

If you plan to cross stitch or latch hook, then find an object that allows for this process, like a fence or a park bench.

 Amigurumi in a Tree

Photo via of Conrad Benner/StreetsDept

You can also add a handmade piece to any existing object, like adding pom-poms to tree branches, or amigurumi to a street post.

Step 2:  Draw a diagram and measure the object you plan to yarn bomb.

Draw a diagram of the object so that you can easily collect measurements for each different section of the object you are planning to yarn bomb.

Use fabric measuring tape to collect the width, height and/or circumference of your target. Using fabric measuring tape will allow you flexibility when collecting measurements for oddly shaped objects, such as the arms of a statue, branches on a tree, etc.

Sketch of a Tree with Measurements for Yarn Bomb

For example, when collecting measurements of a tree:

1. Draw a diagram of the tree.

2. Use fabric measuring tape to measure the circumference of tree trunk. Collect circumference for wider and thinner parts of the trunk that you plan to cover.

3. Measure the height of the trunk that you plan to cover.

4. Collect measurements of the length and circumference of any branches that you intend to wrap with yarn.

Step 3: Design your yarn bomb

Decide how you are going to create your yarn bomb by figuring out if you will be knitting or crocheting, etc.

In creating a design for your yarn bomb, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What colors am I going to use?
  • Will I be creating a repeating pattern?
  • Will I be putting an image into my piece?
  • Will I be creating a patchwork piece?

Yarm Bomb Work in Progress

Step 4: Create your yarn bomb.

When fabricating a knitted or crochet fabric, understand that you will be making a 2-D piece that will wrap around a 3-D object.

Also, yarn bombing with knitted and crocheted fabric requires you to sew the seam of the piece once it is wrapped around your object of choice with yarn for thread and a yarn sewing needle. This is less of a concern for latch hook, cross stitch and wrapping yarn, as for these methods you will generally be using a 2-D object as your “canvas,” like a fence or a park bench.

Using the method of your choice, create pieces that match the corresponding measurements on your diagram. For example, if you have a tree trunk that measures 36 inches around and 50 inches tall, then create a rectangular piece with those measurements. You will sew the seam around the object when you install your piece.

If you have many pieces that can be sewn together at home, like the patchwork above, you can sew the patches together to create one large 2-D piece that will eventually be wrapped around your target.

Step 5:  Install your yarn bomb.

Find a good time for installation by asking yourself the following questions: 1) Will it be easier during the day when I can see what’s going on? (If you yarn bomb during the day you may risk your anonymity.) 2) Will it be easier at night when no one is around?

You’ll want to bring:

  • Any tools needed for the installation
  • A ladder if you need to reach tall branches
  • A friend so you feel safe installing in the evening
  • Your diagram to help you find the corresponding pieces
  • If you’ll be sewing, you’ll also need to bring a yarn sewing needle, yarn (the “thread”), and scissors

Wrap each piece around your object, and sew a simple stitch to close the seam of the piece and create a fully wrapped yarn bomb.

How to Yarn Bomb - Tutorial on Craftsy.com

Photo via of Conrad Benner/StreetsDept

When your yarn bomb requires several pieces, use a simple stitch to sew all of the pieces together, to create the illusion of one cohesive piece.

Yarn Bombed Tree

For example, if you knitted several pieces for your tree, like one for the trunk four for branches, then sew the end of your branch to the edge of the trunk piece, and sew the end of the branches together.

And now enjoy your masterpiece!

Yarn Bombed Rocky Statue Outside the Philadelphia Art Museum

Photo via of Conrad Benner/StreetsDept

You might also enjoy our post on 5 amazing yarn bombs you don’t want to miss.

About the author

Jessie Hemmons has been yarn bombing since 2009. She was born and raised near Philadelphia, but currently resides in New Orleans. She has had no formal art training, and has practiced her craft in public over the years to show viewers that all artists need to begin somewhere.

Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, and Encyclopaedia Britannica. She has been commissioned by Target, Tampax and Free People. She has also worked with community art organizations to complete yarn bombing projects with youth in Philadelphia.

You can learn more about yarn bombing with Jessie here.

What object would you most love to yarn bomb?

7 Comments

kourtney

this is amazing can not wait to start covering my streets! thanks

Reply
Nancy

We’ve seen some exciting examples of this in Minneapolis. They are synergistic with the many murals already there.

Good to know yarn bombing’s history. Thanks X2.

Reply
Charlotte Perez

Upon my retirement, my fourth grade classroom was yarn bombed by my friends, colleagues and family. I was thrilled! Our classroom became an impromptu field trip. The entire school enjoyed the displays. My students became docents and hosts and greeted our “guests” with courtesy and enthusiasm. Some teachers had their students make lists and written observations like, “list 10 things in this room that do not normally have yarn on them.” It was a wonderful day. I felt very loved.

Reply
phyllsanderson

Come to Westerly Rhode Island this Memorial Day Weekend 2015 Sat and Sun to the arts Festival to see Yarn Bombing the Wilcox park next to the library and see artisans from all around the world with their unique talents. There will also be a traveling mural to paint. This mural will be placed in Washington,D.C. when completed. A special tent is set up for children to learn crafts. COME AND HAVE A GREAT DAY OR TWO. The beach is only 4 miles from down town.

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Reply
Medical Research

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Reply
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Reply
Yasmin

I am working on a yarn bonbing project in New Zealand. I was asked whether I should spray some kind of clear coat on it, when it’s finished, to protect the colours. Do you spray anything on your projects to protect them? Do they fade very much? Do they shrink or stretch?
Thanks.
Yasmin

Reply

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