This project has a back story. Last winter I had a great time collaborating and crafting from afar with my dear friend Nicole when her storefront (that would be my favourite Vancouver eco-boutique, body politic) needed a snowy-inspired window. I assembled a collection of cotton snowballs while Nicole tried her hand at mini string globes. I'm happy to report that our crafting resulted in a beautiful window display at bp (and I'm equally pleased to have received several pieces of pertinent advice from my creatively-inclined friend - Thanks Nicole!)
Once I spotted these string globes I knew how I was going to incorporate them into our wedding: they were going to be the focal point over the dance floor.
Cue bridesmaids, tacky glue, and mojitos.
Armed with this tutorial and Nicole's advice*, we assembled the supplies:
- white yarn
- ice cream buckets
- warm water
- a shower curtain (used as a drop cloth)
I mixed the glue with warm water using the ratio of approximately 2/3 glue, 1/3 water. We blew up the balloons and covered (read: cov-ered) them in Vaseline. The yarn was then dipped into the glue-water mixture and covered until it was good and slimy.
Here comes the messy part.
We experimented with holding the top of the balloon and the end of the string in one hand while wrapping string around the balloon with the other hand. We also tried tying the end of string TO the end of the balloon and then wrapping the string around the balloon. In any event, we determined that starting at knotted end of the balloon was the easiest. We also quickly learned that the string has to be wrapped quite tightly (the vaseline and glue will keep it in place provided it's tight enough). When we were satisfied with the string coverage we tied the end piece of string to the starting piece of string and/or the end of the balloon.
On one occasion Angie's partially-covered balloon exploded in her face, causing Jenn to yell-scream bloody murder and vaseline and glue covered string to fly all over the wall, door, and ceiling. This was the most traumatic and the most hilarious thing to happen to us the entire weekend. Note: vaseline is near impossible to wipe off the ceiling.
To dry the globes, we arranged several hockey sticks (thanks, B) on chairs and hung the balloons by baker's twine, ensuring they didn't touch. Our string dripped quite a bit so I'd suggest putting a drop cloth or newspaper underneath. Before I packed them up to travel to Kelowna and again before they were hung at the reception the globes were sprayed with Tacky spray glue which really helped them keep their shape.
The end result was a gorgeous little cluster cloud over our dance floor that reflected the light perfectly and added a fun element to the space. I'd love to try my hand at these again in the future, possibly on a smaller scale for Christmas ornaments. Big love and many thank you's to Angie, Jen, Jen, and Jenn for helping to assemble these tricky little buggers; to Mike and Amber for transporting them (only one popped!); and to my amazing all-male assembling crew of Brock, Sean, and Chris who teetered atop a ladder while this
bridezilla glowing bride art directed from below. I must also thank Nicole for her seasoned advice and crafting encouragement.
The ratio of water to glue I used worked well; however, it is very important to ensure your string/ yarn is saturated before wrapping it around the balloon, otherwise as soon as the balloon is popped, the string goes limp.
Let the string dry for longer than you think it will take the string to dry. I left mine for a couple of months (I wish I was joking).
Leave the balloons intact until they are ready to be hung. We didn't pop them until my assembly team had arranged them over the dance floor.
Use white string or yarn in lieu of a heavier string or twine as it's much easier to saturate the string if it's lighter in weight. Otherwise, be prepared to let the string sit in the glue for a lot longer and give the globes a lot longer to dry.
Cover all sides of the balloon (somewhat) evenly. It makes a more spherical final product.
Love, Love, Love. The how-to behind the Marquee-inspired sign in the first photo.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... Go!