The local farmers markets are full of apples these days (a most delicious first sign of fall). In the coming weeks, you will likely have your fill of McIntosh, Honey Crisps and Granny Smiths. Celebrate this seasonal fruit with a fun craft appropriate for preschoolers and older.
Make your own "bushel" of these yarn apples and you'll have a lovely fall centerpiece for the dinner table or fun seasonal playthings for the kids.
Begin by making a small piece of cardboard that you can use to wind the yarn around. Cut a piece from a cardboard box that is about 3 inches by 5 inches in size. Bend the piece of cardboard in half lengthwise before you get started to make it easier to remove the yarn once you've finished wrapping.
Choose green or red yarn and begin wrapping it around your cardboard. Wrap the yarn around the cardboard at least 100 times, making sure to not wind it so tightly that it won't slide off the cardboard when you are done. The finished apple looks better if you wrap more yarn, so don't skimp. Try to distribute the yarn evenly on the cardboard so your apple isn't lopsided! When you've finished wrapping the yarn, cut the string. Once your apple is complete, you can tuck the loose string into an inconspicuous place.
Take two brown pipe cleaners and thread them underneath the yarn wound around the piece of cardboard. If your cardboard is slightly bent, it will be easier to slip the pipe cleaners through. Match the two sides of one of the pipe cleaners together, pulling them upwards and twisting them to form a stem for the top of the apple. Cut off the excess pipe cleaner, taking care that the sharp wire isn't exposed.
Carefully slide the piece of cardboard out.
Next, bend the ends of the other pipe cleaner together in the opposite direction and twist, creating the round apple shape. Cut off the excess pipe cleaner with scissors fairly close to the yarn and bend the ends of the wire together. This forms the "calyx" or small star-shaped indent at the very bottom of your apple. Note that it is important to twist the two pipe cleaners in opposite directions to create the round, symmetrical shape for your apple.
Finally, add a small leaf or two to the apple for an authentic, straight-from-the-orchard touch. Cut out small leaf shapes from a green piece of craft felt. Attach with craft glue.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
See more of Caitlin's stories here.
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