I took notes of the materials needed and got the following (I already had the white bowl and the old paintbrush):
- One 400 yard ball of white 100% mercerized crochet cotton string/yarn - $5
- One 16 oz bottle of Stiffy fabric stiffener (any brand will work) - $7
- One kids bouncy ball (about 18" in diameter) - $3.
I wanted a bouncy ball instead of a regular balloon because I knew it wouldn't lose its shape while drying like a balloon could. I had to switch to plan B (an exercise ball) though so this didn't end up being used.
Unfortunately, when I brought the blue ball home, I held it up next to the pendant lamp I already had (the KNAPPA from IKEA) and realized it was about the same size. This would've been fine except that I've been wanting a larger pendant lamp for a while so I started thinking of a plan B.
I ended up using an exercise ball I had lying around that I got for $5 from Walmart about two years ago. It was the perfect size (25" in diameter) and I knew it wouldn't deflate and lose its shape like a normal balloon would.
I started the process by placing the yarn in the white bowl and pouring the entire 16 oz bottle of fabric stiffener on top of it so it could soak through and guarantee that each piece of yarn would be saturated. Then I started wrapping the ball with the yarn in random patterns until there was no more yarn left (about an hour). I wasn't able to take any in progress shots because this project was extremely MESSY (note the fabric stiffener mess all over the table) and my hands and arms were covered in fabric stiffener (wear gloves if you can).
Here's what the exercise ball looked like when I was done wrapping the yarn around it:
I had some excess fabric stiffener left over so I used the paintbrush and gently "painted" it over the yarn to make sure everything would stick and not pull away while drying overnight. In hindsight, I would have skipped this step because when I popped the exercise ball this morning, the fabric stiffener dried like glue would which created a shell of the ball it was stuck to. The glue shell creates a film which you can kind of see-through and you can carefully remove the glue from the yarn by poking an object through each hole but it's a HUGE, time-consuming pain and I'm still not done :(
Once the ball had air-dried a little outside, I brought it in and hung it from my shower head to dry overnight. In case you're wondering why I hung it in my shower, I was paranoid that fabric stiffener was going to drip down and ruin my hardwood floors.
After 24 hours of drying time, I took the ball down and began the removal process. Because an exercise ball is thicker than a normal balloon, I had to puncture it with a small nail several times for it to start deflating. Realizing this method was going to take forever, I used scissors to cut a hole into the side of the ball to speed up the deflating process.
Once the ball deflated, I cut a hole out of the string so I could slowly pull parts of the exercise ball through it and cut pieces of it off since I knew the whole thing wasn't going to come out at once.
Now it was time to figure out how to get this massive fragile string circle to hang from the light fixture I removed the KNAPPA pendant from. I'll admit that I hadn't thought this far ahead in the process haha
To do this, I tied some leftover yarn from one side of the circle to another and repeated the process to form an X. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the glue shell I was talking about earlier.
And here it is hanging in place (apologies for the grainy photos):
TOTAL COST: $20! Once I figure out how to get the rest of the glue shell removed, I'll post updated pictures :)