>> This post is a collaboration with PLAID Mod Podge, all opinions are as always, 100% my own.
So. I have a little Halloween project to share with you. It came out of my own little brain, and it goes a little something like this:
Now, I’m very aware that I’m not the first person to make an outdoor spiderweb made out of yarn, but I’m pretty sure the method I used has never been done before. For good reason. Consider this a how-NOT-to-do-it-tutorial.
So here’s what happened. I love all things Halloween, but my outdoor decor has always been a bit lacking. This picture is not exciting, yes?
You are not scared.
Something cool and big (and cheap and easy!) needed to go up on that big expanse of wall. “A spiderweb!” my little brain squeaked. “A string-art spiderweb!”
“Great idea brain!” I thought to myself.
So I gathered some supplies:
The plan was to nail a spiderweb design onto a 4′x4′ board, wrap it with yarn soaked in Stiffy (a permanent fabric stiffener), let it dry, pop it off the board, and attach it to my wall.
It all made sense in my head.
I rough-measured the amount of yarn I would need, then put it in an old bowl and poured on the Stiffy.
Stiffy = awesome. Totally happy with this product. It does exactly what it says it does.
Putting yards and yards of yarn in a bowl and pouring a glue-like liquid on top, then mixing it exuberantly and expecting it NOT to tangle, because your brain took a vacation at that moment = not awesome.
I enlisted the help of my sister, and we frantically tried to untangle the knotted mess I had made before the Stiffy started to stiffen.
Here are my tips: Don’t do that for crying out loud! No need to try and make a spiderweb with one continuous piece of yarn. What am I, a spider? NO.
Also: wear gloves.
And: don’t worry if you do get a tangle, the Stiffy actually gives you an ample amount of working time before it starts to dry.
Ok, so this is what my board looked like. It might seem intense, but it’s actually not that bad. Here are some computer-generated images to help you get the idea of how I wrapped the string.
This next part looks weird, but if you look closely you can see that the string just rests around the inner nails to give the spiderweb some curve.
But then I ran into another problem. Damp yarn is … rather stretchy. The spiderweb was getting distorted, so I had to cut short little pieces of leftover yarn and knot most of the intersections together. There are no pictures at this point because I was starting to panic!
I let it dry overnight (probably much longer than necessary, but I was sick of looking at it). When I came back the next day, it was stiff as a board! Which was great. All according to plan. However … that meant that getting it off the nails was not as easy as my little brain had led me to believe.
“Oh, you’ll just pop that right off the board! Who cares if you used ONE GIANT PIECE OF YARN, thus requiring you to wrap most of the nails excessively? It’ll wiggle right out of there once it’s been stiffened into concrete!”
So, my brain took a backseat while my brawn tried its very hardest to pull the spiderweb off the nails, and finally, finally, I got the last of it free. Pliers were involved, truthfully.
But it’s done! And I like it! I hope you do too. Let’s review what we’ve learned:
- Don’t use one mile-long piece of yarn.
- Probably don’t even use yarn. Try a heavy-duty string or twine.
- Have a better exit strategy than me. (When you think of it, let me know).
Would you believe that there is nothing else holding it onto my stucco wall? It was so stiff, I just kind of bent it into place in the corner. I picked up the giant felt spider from Michael’s to complete the look. Give it a try … if you dare!!
The Sleepy Hollow Inn sign was actually a breeze to create in comparison. I used the easiest method known to mankind. Print a design, heavily color on the back of it with a dark crayon, tape the design to a board, then follow along the lines of the design with a pen, pushing hard so the crayon on the back is transferred to the board. Then it’s just a matter of filling in the transferred lines with paint. It took me one episode of The Voice to finish.
Here is the design I came up with, inspired by countless other Sleepy Hollow signs:
Obviously, I couldn’t print this on a single piece of paper, so I enlarged the design and taped about six pieces of paper together, then taped the whole thing securely to the board. Hope that makes sense. The font is a little crazy, but I just stuck to the main shape of the letters when tracing.
Then, I just filled in all the lines with black paint, added a little yellow on the jack-o-lantern’s face, and after that dried, I dry-brushed a few different colors over the top to age it. Gave it a good sanding to rough it up, and then one last key ingredient:
A finishing coat of Outdoor Mod Podge! This stuff is different than regular Mod Podge, it’s made specifically for helping your outdoor projects withstand everything Mother Nature can dish out. Genius! As you can see, my jar has been well-loved.