Party Animals

DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations

I had the privilege of helping out in the decorating department recently for a very special one year old’s birthday.  The parents had sent out an Evite with animal silhouettes, so when I saw the brightly colored print below on sale at Joann’s, I knew it had to be apart of the celebration.  In typical thriftycrafter fashion, I made a few table runners and a new bunting to incorporate the print, but still wanted some type of wall/hanging decoration to carry the animal shape theme.

DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations

I remembered seeing a super cute craft that a very talented friend of mine did for her sister’s baby shower that involved wrapping colored string around the wire frame of an old lampshade; I loved the textural look of it and knew I had to incorporate this technique somehow.  I decided to mimic the animal shapes from the print by bending re-purposed wire hangers from the dry cleaner, then wrapping them in interesting textural yarns that matched the colors in the fabric.  The best part?  Most of the yarn came from Big Lots and was $1/skein…now that is a thrifty craft!

We hung them along the backyard fence with invisible thread for some extra outdoor festivity.  I think they turned out so perfect and cute…the giraffe is my favorite.  What’s yours?

DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations
DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations
DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations
DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations

This last one is supposed to be a hippo, but I think the consensus was that he ended up looking like either a pig or an aardvark. :)

DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations

Here’s what you need:

  • wire hangers
  • wire cutters
  • pliers
  • yarn
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors

Here’s what you do:

  1. Use your wire cutters to remove the top portion of the wire hanger.
    DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations
  2. With the print in front of you, use pliers to bend the hanger to mimic the shape of the animal. Each of my animals needed wire from two hangers to complete.
    DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations
  3. Use hot glue gun to tack separate pieces together.  Allow to cool slightly, then mold glue while it is warm (not hot!) to minimize any bulk.
    DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations
  4. Once your wire animals are complete, spot glue end of yarn to hanger.  Wrap yarn around hanger 10-20 times, then cinch down and pull taut to create the textured, rugged look.  Repeat until you’ve covered the entire wire frame.  This part of the project can be tedious, but it is perfect if you need some mindless activity or need to catch up on your tv programs! Once completely wrapped, snip your yarn and use hot glue to affix end.
    DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations

Cost: While 4 of my skeins were only $1 at Big Lots, I spent $9 total on yarn for the 6 animals in order to get the right bright coral and bright green for the rhino and turtle.  Still, not bad and certainly a lot of bang for your buck! Look for sales, shop your discount stores and use your Michael’s and Joann’s 40% off coupons!

DIY birthday party crafts kids wire hangers yarn wrapped project decorations

  • Safa posted: 09 May at 7:02 am

    I love the camel, I love all things dromedary!

  • Sarah Gupta posted: 13 Oct at 8:59 am

    What a cute idea! I love your blog–great crafts.

  • [...]  Party Animals ~ Create party animals from wire hangers and colored string or yarn.  You can shape a wire hanger [...]

  • colleen posted: 26 Jan at 12:34 pm

    I wonder if this could also be done with pony beads. If you created the shape children could add the pony beads over the wire. I might need to try that.
    Very cute with yarn!!