These DIY Mambo Yarn Trees are a fun and simple craft that can be made in colors that are perfect for farmhouse or vintage Christmas decor!
A Man Discovers the World of Yarn
It should come as no surprise to you that I’m not up on all the current trends in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of yarn.
In fact, until recently, my knowledge of yarn could be summed up in two bullet points:
- Old ladies in rocking chairs use it to knit shawls and blankets.
- Cats like to play with it.
This myopic worldview exploded in soft, furry colors last year when Handan brought me to Joann to buy loop yarn for me to make a winter wreath.
I remember walking through the yarn department and saying to myself, “What the duck!”
How could this much yarn exist?
Every color, every hue, every size from the most gossamer spider silk to yarn so chunky it could double as rigging on an 18th century whaling ship.
Who the hell used all this yarn?
Was there some sort of old lady surplus that I wasn’t aware of?
Or perhaps this was, in fact, just a big, vibrant cat-toy department?
My mind reeled at the implications of all this yarn, but my fingers instinctively grabbed each—each what?
What were these things called?
I pulled out my phone and Googled it.
My fingers grabbed fluffy white skeins and squeeeezed.
I grabbed blue balls and red balls and rainbow-colored balls and juggled them around with glee.
And I yanked a hank from its perch high up on a shelf and delighted in its impossible softness.
Up and down the aisles of yarn I drifted, occasionally stealing my eyes from the hanks and skeins to give a conspiratorial wink to passing knitters—my new fellow yarn enthusiasts!
I’d been granted access to a soft new world that was full of promise and possibility.
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A Man Discovers Mambo Yarn
I was Yarn Man, and though I’d never knitted a single stitch (or whatever the heck you call it with yarn), I felt I was getting a pretty good handle on the myriad types of yarn.
But then Handan sprung a new one on me. It was a yarn I’d never heard of, and she explained that we’d be using it to make all sorts of trees for our winter and Christmas decor.
She called it Mambo Yarn.
Oh, what a name!
My mind drifted to Cuba…
I showed this video to Handan—this kind of music is right up her alley, you know.
And the Mambo Yarn Dance was born!
Handan and I made a whole bunch of Mambo Yarn trees during several crafting sessions, and to kick off each session, I played the video above.
Nothing makes crafting more fun than seeing my babes dancing around to Cuban music!
Okay, enough of my yapping. Let’s get to it!
- Mambo Yarn – We bought our yarn from LionBrand.com, as they were on sale. Amazon also carries them.
- Paper Mache cones
- Hot glue gun
A Man Makes DIY Mambo Yarn Trees
Look, if you like simple—and I mean simple—crafts, then sister, Mambo Yarn trees are for you!
Step 1 – Pick up a cone
Okay, see that paper mache cone in front of you? Doesn’t matter which one. How about the 10 1/2 incher? Yep, that’ll do.
Now pick it up.
Huzzah, you’re practically done!
Excellent work, madam. You’re a natural!
Step 2 – Dab a little glue near the tip
With the cone in one hand and a hot glue gun in the other, put a little dab of glue just down from the tip of the cone.
You don’t have to use gold glitter glue unless you want to be as fabulous as I am in this picture. Just look at those thumbnails! What a hunk! I’m sure you’re all swooning and fanning yourselves right now.
Madam, please stop looking at my thumbnails and pay attention!
Step 3 – Attach the Mambo Yarn
Okay, next, grab one end of your Mambo Yarn and press it onto the glue as shown in the picture below by those lovely purple hands.
Step 4 – Wrap the Mambo Yarn
Start wrapping the Mambo Yarn around the cone. Be careful with those first couple of wraps, madam! Keep them tight and tidy!
Once you have the tip looking prim and pretty, start wrapping the mambo yarn around the cone.
Some things to keep in mind as you continue on this grueling task of repetitive wrapping:
- Don’t wrap too tightly. Let the Mambo do the walking! (Whatever the hell that means) Nobody wants a flat Mambo Yarn tree.
- Keep the yarn straight. As you can see, Mambo Yarn has two long doohickies that run down either side and those short thingamabobbers that go across the yarn. Doohickies and thingamabobbers – those are technical terms. Anyway, keep your doohickies straight!
Wrap wrappity wrapwrapwrap.
As you continue to wrap, you’ll soon notice that you are running out of cone.
Fear not! I’ve planned for this!
Step 5 – Glue Mambo Yarn to base
Grab your glue gun, peel the yarn back a bit, and give the base of the cone a little blob.
Carry on wrapping, stopping a few more times around the base to apply some more hot glue.
Step 6 – Trim and glue end
For the very last bit, cut the yarn at an angle…
Then push the yarn up a little bit from the base – just enough to expose some paper mache. Dab that spot with a tiny bit of glue, and then press the cut end in place.
Voila, madam! You’ve done it!
Now do it again and again and again until your house is full of Mambo Yarn trees and your heart is full of cheer!
Okay, okay, fine. You caught me.
I told you there were two rules to follow when making these Mambo Yarn trees, and here I’ve gone and broken one of the rules with the tree pictured above.
I twisted the yarn!
But here’s the thing – when I wrapped it according to my aforementioned rules, it looked…I don’t know…too stripey. So as I stared at it with befuddled eyes, trying to figure out exactly why I didn’t like it, Handan suggested that I do it over, but this time, let the yarn twist as I wrapped.
Have I mentioned I married a genius?
You are certainly welcome to try the twist method with the other colors. We didn’t like it, but what do I know?
Okay, I know it’s a teeny tiny bit early for anything remotely resembling Christmas, but we were so excited about these Mambo Yarn trees that we couldn’t wait to share them with you – I hope you like them!
So tell me what you think!
I’ll be lounging around in the comments section waiting for you to drop in and say hello.
Oh, and if you make some of these Mambo Yarn trees, be sure to take a pic and post it on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us @TheNavagePatch!
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