Nightlyre's Realm: Artwork: Art Galleries:

Yarn People

Main | Art Galleries | Multimedia | Crafts

Yarn people

What is a yarn person?

A yarn person is, basically, a small, fuzzy person made of yarn (usually about 3 inches tall, but it varies). They can be simple, humble, single-colored yarn people, or they can be bright and elaborate... or anything in between.

The whole yarn ordeal started with my friend, helping to teach Vacation Bible School. Originally, they were supposed to be lapel pins, but my friend and the kids she was teaching decided to skip sticking a safety pin into them, and dubbed them 'yarn people'.

My friend introduced the concept of the yarn person to me in our Junior year of high school. We each ended up with over three dozen, not counting the ones we made to give away. I still have all of mine.

Oh, and yes, the yarn people are still going to take over the world.

Why make yarn people?

  1. They're fuzzy and cute.
  2. They're much softer and more flexible than your average pet rock.
  3. If your parents or landlord won't allow you to have a pet, they can't object to a yarn person!
  4. They make nice good luck charms.
  5. They don't mind tagging along wherever you go.
  6. They don't object to your taste in music. At least, not out loud.
  7. They're non-judgemental.
  8. They're fun to hang out with.
  9. They can keep a secret.
  10. They make fun gifts for friends.
  11. They honestly couldn't care less if you haven't brushed your hair all day.
  12. They don't take up much space.

How do you make a basic yarn person?

You will need:

Step 1 and 2
  1. Measure out about 10 feet of yarn. Wind this around the piece of cardboard.
  2. Take another piece of yarn, about 4 inches long, and slip it underneath the yarn looped around the cardboard. Pull it up to the top of the cardboard, then tie at least three knots in it. Cut off the two ends that are sticking out.
Step 3 and 4
  1. Pull the yarn off of the cardboard. You should have several loops of yarn, held at one end by the knot you just tied.
  2. Opposite the knot, cut through the loops of yarn.
Step 5
  1. Cut another 4 inch piece of yarn. Tie it around the yarn, 3/4" to 1" down from the knot. You should now have something that looks like a tassel.
Step 6
  1. Take a few pieces of yarn and braid them down for one arm (I usually use 5 pieces, which ends up being the yarn person's 5 fingers). Stop braiding when you've got a good length for an arm, and use a separate piece of yarn to tie it off. Repeat for the second arm.
Step 7
  1. Tie another 4 inch piece of yarn around the body of the yarn person, for a waist. If you want your yarn person to be wearing a skirt, you can either stop here, or take a few pieces of yarn to braid each leg, and leave the rest loose. Otherwise, continue to step 8.
Step 8
  1. Divide the remaining yarn into two equal parts, and braid each one for legs. Tie off the ends with separate pieces of yarn.

How do you make a yarn person with hair?

You will need:

Step 2 and 3
  1. Cut a piece of yarn, about 10 ft. long. Wind it around the piece of cardboard, keeping it to one side.
  2. Cut a second piece of yarn, the color you want the yarn person's hair (it doesn't have to be a different color than the body), anywhere from 3 to 10 feet long (the longer the yarn, the thicker the yarn person's hair) Wind it around the piece of cardboard next to the other yarn.
  3. Slip a 4 inch piece of yarn beneath the yarn, pull it up to the top of the cardboard, and tie at least three knots in it.
Step 4
  1. Pull the yarn off of the cardboard, and cut through the yarn opposite the knot.
Step 5
  1. Keep the yarn for the hair separate from the yarn for the body, and complete steps 5-8 of for the basic yarn person.
  2. After you've completed your yarn person, you may want to tie the hair-yarn so there's no chance of it falling out (unless you want a balding yarn person, I suppose...) Each 'hair' is half of a piece of yarn. Find each whole piece of yarn and tie it in the middle, over the knot.
  3. If you want a yarn person with short hair, definitely follow step 6 before you cut it. Otherwise, the yarn person's hair will not last very long; trust me. Cut the yarn person's hair to any length you want. The shorter it is, the more likely it's going to fly in every direction.
Yarn animals

Other types of yarn people

This category covers a lot of ground. You can make yarn people with features such as wings or tails: fairies, gargoyles, angels, etc. You can also make yarn animals. Some examples are shown in the photo above. There is an eagle, a canary, an armadillo, a deinonychus, two wolves, a panther, a calico cat, a dolphin, and a dragon.

Basically, wings are made with pipe cleaners, sometimes with yarn wound around them and felt sewn to them. Tails are pretty simple; they're just extra yarn, braided or left loose depending on the look you're going for. I'll leave most of figuring this stuff out to you.

I will, however, give you basic instructions in how to make a generic four-footed animal yarn person, like a large cat or dog. You will need:

Yarn animal drawing
  1. Measure out about 10 feet of yarn, and wind it around the piece of cardboard.
  2. Slip a piece of yarn underneath the loops of yarn and pull it to the end of the piece of cardboard. For an animal yarn person, this will be the nose. Black or pink yarn looks good as an animal nose, but whatever color you'd like to use is fine.
  3. Pull the yarn off of the piece of cardboard, and cut through the yarn opposite the knot.
  4. Tie a piece of yarn a little ways below the knot, forming a muzzle. The longer the muzzle, the more the yarn creature resembles a canine. Short muzzles resemble cats or pug-nosed dogs.
  5. Tie another piece of yarn back a little further, completing the head of your yarn creature. If you'd like, pull a bit of yarn up on either side of the head to form ears.
  6. Braid yarn to form the front legs of your yarn animal. Don't make them too long, as you want them to be about the length of the back legs.
  7. Tie a piece of yarn around the body of your yarn creature to form the waist.
  8. Braid yarn to form the hind legs. Try to keep the length and width similar to that of the front legs. Leave enough yarn for a tail.
  9. You can either braid the tail or leave it the way it is, depending on how you want your animal to look.
The Yarn People Alliance