(Note: In order to simply illustrate the techniques used
for yarn painting the photo illustrations show the various steps but don't
depict the project as it would appear in actual progress if you follow
our directions step by step.)
Step1: Print out the pattern or draw the
pattern freehand on a white sheet of paper as closely as you can. (We used
a 5 x7 design for our project.)
Step 2: Trim your cardboard or foamcore
to about 11" x 13" leaving about 3" all around the pattern.
Step 3: Using the spray adhesive or double
sided tape, glue the pattern onto the cardboard or foamcore, centering
it. If using the double sided tape, cover most of the back of the paper
with it so that the pattern lies flat and is very secure on the backing
board. If using the spray adhesive follow the instructions on the can.
Step 4: Cover the front of the pattern (printed
side) with the double stick tape in one layer, covering the whole pattern.
The tape can overlap the edges of the pattern. That will be trimmed off
later. Remove the backing tape from the double sided tape after you've
applied it to the printed side. You can also use Elmers glue to secure
the threads but it's messier and takes time to dry. We recommend using
the tape becasue it is easier to work with. You can also see the pattern
through the tape much more easily.
Step 5: Using the red thread, start with
the innermost part of the eye, laying the thread down (approximately 1/2")
and trim it as close as possible to the outline of the pattern. (Figure
1) Press each thread down securely after it is set in place and trimmed.
6: Using the turquoise thread, start at the bottom of the eye
and place the new thread around the red thread , laying it along the left
side to the top and then down the right side to meet up under the eye where
you started. (Figure 1) As you work with each new thread, butt it
up against the previous thread so that you cover the pattern on the paper.
Use the black lines on the pattern as the guidelines for shaping the threads
as you work with them.
Step 7: Using the yellow thread, go around
the turquoise thread, starting at the bottom left of the eye, going up
to the top, around and back down the right side ending and trimming the
thread where you started. (Figure 2) Press the threads down to secure
them in place as soon as you have positioned them where you want them.
Step 8: Starting at the middle of the body
of the bird, use 1 thread of purple for the middle, same as you did for
the first red thread for the center of the eye. Then lay down 1 layer of
blue around the purple, starting at the bottom, working it up the left
side, over the top, and then back down the right side to the bottom where
you began. (Figure 2) You will be laying down the thread in an oblong
circular shape as you do this.Trim the thread to fit the pattern as close
as possible and press the thread down to secure it to the board.
Step 9: Go around the blue thread with yellow
thread in the same manner as you have been doing. This time you will be
making 2 rows of yellow around the blue thread before trimming it. Then
do the same with the green thread, making 2 rows of green around the 2
rows of yellow threads. Keep going in the same direction as with the threads
you placed earlier, from the bottom, up the left side, around the top and
back down the right side to the bottom where you started. Now do 1 row
of red thread around the green threads. (Figure 3)
10: Starting at the bottom part of the bird body, but above
the tail (Bottom of Figure 3) using the blue thread, wrap it around
the red thread going up the left side of the body to the neck, bringing
it in to create the neck, then up the left side of the eye to the top of
the head, then around and down the right side, coming in with the thread
at the neck to butt it up with the blue thread on the left side. Then continue
with the thread down the right side of the body to the bottom of the tail.
Trim the thread at the bottom of the tail and repeat the same procedure
with the 2nd row of blue thread. Add a 3rd layer of blue thread just to
the tail to fill it in according to your pattern.
Step 11: Repeat the same procedure that
you've been using for laying down the threads, for the beak, using 1 row
of red, yellow and turquoise in the center, and then 2 layers of blue around
those. (Figure 4)
Step 12: Using the purple thread, start
in the middle of the left foot and loop the thread around once to fill
in the middle area of the top and bottom parts of the foot. (Figure
5). Then go around the purple with 1 row of green thread, and around
the green with 1 row of white. (Figure 5) Follow same procedure
for the right foot, substituting blue for the center, red around the blue,
and 1 row of turquoise around the red. Now the bird, the main feature of
your yarn painting, is complete!
Step 13: Now for the border design: If you
are using Watercolours or a similar weight thread, each thread will fill
in 1 section of the pattern design. All you have to do is lay down the
thread and trim them to fit into the lines of the pattern. (Figure 6) You can place the colors anyway you like. To achieve a multicolored look,
as we've done, alternate the colors in sequence like this: red, yellow,
blue, white, green, purple, turquoise and then back to red etc. You can
also add more colors if you have them to make it even more colorful. If
you don't have a print out of the pattern, you can create your own design
by making squiggles or zig-zagging the threads, alternating colors. When
laying down the threads for the border, it's ok to overlap the threads
over the edges a little bit, because these can be covered with a layer
of threads at the end to create an edging that will cover any unevenness. (Figure 8)
14: After you finish doing the border pattern, lay in the background
to surround the bird up to the border. We have used one color, yellow,
for this. You can use any color or colors you want as long as it will not
compete too much with the bird and border colors. A bright color will set
off the border and bird. Starting at the bottom, above the border pattern, (Figure 7) lay the thread down in 1 row in a straight line from side
to side. Instead of cutting it at each end you can loop it around and then
continue with the next row. When you have filled in the area below the
bird, start to fill in the background along the right side, between the
bird and side border, using the same procedure of either looping the threads
or cutting them as you move from one row to the next. Then fill in the
background in the same way on the left side of the bird. When you have
filled both sides in up to the top of the bird's head, you can once again
use one unbroken thread to fill in the top as you did the bottom. (Figure
Step 15: Now, for the finishing touches:
Lay a thin bead of glue around the outside edge of the border pattern,
overlapping 1/8" to 1/4" of the threads that make up the outside
edge of the border. Then lay down 1 or 2 rows of the dark gray thread to
cover any uneven edges. (Figure 9)
Step 16: You can do the same thing as in
step 15 to overlap the edges of the threads on the inside of the border
to cover any uneven edges between the border pattern and the background
of the bird. (Figure 8)
Step 17: If you are going to frame your
yarn painting, get a 5" x 7" redi-made frame. Have a parent or
other adult trim your fomecore or cardboard backing to fit the frame. Bravo!
You now have a handmade piece of folk art and unless you know someone who
is a Huichol Indian, you're probably the first to make one! Congratulations
on your very unique masterpiece!
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can be reproduced or distributed in any form (including electronic) or
used as a teaching tool without the prior written permission of the CARON
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