By Betsy Burnett of Aim Happy
Operation Christmas Child sends gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world. National Collection is quickly approaching (November 13-20). With the deadline looming, I look for quick and easy craft projects to create for my shoebox gifts. While the staple items in my shoebox gift are “necessities” like school supplies and personal care items. I love adding toys that are sure to bring a smile to a child’s face!
I used to wrap yarn or t-shirt pieces around a cardboard form to make a pompom style ball, but when Plaid Crafts sent me their new Rya-Tie kit, I knew I found an easier way. The Rya-Tie was designed to makes tassels used to create a latch-hook style decoration, but the tool does more. It is an easy way to create simple pompoms that are fun for kids to toss around. When you wrap the long side you can create a larger ball, and wrapping around the shorter side gives you two pompoms for the same amount of work.
These soft toys can be created in minutes and are great items to include in 2-4 year olds’ boxes because they are easy to catch, or put together a set of 3 or 4 and send some juggling photos/instructions printed from the web and you have a fun gift for an older child.
- 1 Rya-tie
- 2 rubber bands (comes with Rya tie kit)
- 1 skein of “t-shirt yarn” or t-shirt yarn (Bernat Maker Home Decor Shown)
- 2 Zip Ties
- Strong scissors or clippers
- You will be using your Rya-tie tool lengthwise. Place a zip tie along the top and the bottom of the tool. Wrap yarn around Rya-tie from top to bottom holding the zip ties in place with the yarn. The more you wrap, the fuller your ball will be. With I found wrapping 300 times makes for 2 nice sized balls.
- Place rubber bands around wrapped Rya-Tie, these will hold the yarn in place while you cut it.
- Cut the yarn down the cutting channel. first one side than the other.
- Close first one zip tie around the cut pieces and then the other.
- Fluff the pom-pom, snip ends to shape.
- To make one larger ball rotate the tool 90 degrees and follow the directions above.
Thank you to Plaid for providing the Rya-Tie toolkit and Bernat for providing the yarn!
How to Get Involved
Readers can check out the Operation Christmas Child website. There they will find shoebox stories, information on how to pack a shoebox gift, find the nearest drop-off location, have free resources sent to them and more! Friend Operation Christmas Child on Facebook.
Plus: A Grand Prize Giveaway from Plaid!
We’re giving away over a Mod Podge goodie bag from Plaid! (Thanks, Plaid!) Enter the giveaway today!