i came across this project on a few different sites while browsing online recently (something i do when trying to avoid housework!) and thought i could use up some man-made 'wool' we had left over from an outdoor weaving project.
so, despite a slight balloon phobia, i gave it a go.
a few tips for you before starting:
= don't make the pva too watery and thin as it will quite literally go everywhere (unless that's just me being very messy?).
= place a LARGE towel underneath the bowl with the pva in it if you want to avoid having to peel dried splashes of pva off the living room floor.
= if you hang the wool-wrapped balloons up to dry, check your reflection in the mirror before leaving the house. again, this might just be me, but the pva had dripped all over my hair and i hadn't noticed before leaving the house - think of that moment in "there's something about mary" and you will just about get the picture!
1. mix a little water with some pva in a bowl.
2. partly blow up as many balloons as you would like to use.
3. loosely wrap the dry wool around the balloon to try and gauge how much you will need. add a few centimetres (or inches) extra and cut a length of wool for each balloon.
4. keeping hold of one end (this is quite important if you don't want to be digging around in cold, slimy pva for the missing end) carefully place the wool in the bowl of pva and water.
5. hold the balloon in one hand and start wrapping the wool around the balloon with the other. realise at this stage that any attempt to create an intricate pattern is harder than you realised and fall-back on the favoured "it's organic and the design just evolved" approach.
6. try to cover the balloon as evenly as possible without crossing over the same point too many times as the wool may just gather in a thick bunch.
8. absent-mindedly wonder what that tapping noise is while you are repeating steps 1 to 6 but become so absorbed in wrapping slimy wool around a slippery balloon that you really don't give it too much consideration.
9. stand up to hang the second wool-wrapped balloon up to dry and discover that 'tapping' noise was actually the first balloon dripping watery pva all over the living room rug.
10. thank your lucky stars that you have a partner who works night shift, giving you ample time to clear up and try to dry out the rug!
(feel free to miss out steps 8 to 10).
11. once you have covered all of your balloons, give each one a final roll in a thin layer of pva and water just to make sure that every piece of wool is covered.
12. leave to dry.
13. once the wool is dry and you are happy it has stuck to itself, pop the balloon! if a few strands appear loose, just paint on some more pva and leave to dry again.
14. you are now left with a delicate wool lattice.
15. display in a bowl, attach to fairy lights, or add some ribbon and hang from the tree to bemuse the postie like i have done.
if you do make some, please share the piccies J