Yarn frames

Among the DIY projects in Kyle Schuneman's "The First Apartment Book: Cool Designs for Small Spaces": crafty, cool, yarn-wrapped pictured frames. Wrap and staple while your favorite sitcom is on and you could be done before the credits are rolling. (Joe Schmelzer / March 23, 2010)

Kyle Schuneman's forthcoming “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces” plugs into some popular decorating themes, including crafts infused with a modern sensibility and mass-market purchases tweaked with a personal touch. Schuneman (and his publisher, Clarkson Potter/Random House) were kind enough to share three projects from the book. Here's the first: Schuneman's instructions for yarn frames that even a hapless DIYer could handle:

Supplies

Wooden picture frames of varying sizes

1 skein of medium-weight yarn in your color of choice

Light-duty staple gun with quarter-inch staples

The how-to

Buy enough yarn knowing that one skein would be enough to cover five 8-by-8-inch frames. Put a movie on, pour a glass of wine and get cozy.

Staple the loose end of the yarn to the top left corner on the back of the frame — just to the right of where the two sides meet at an angle. Loop the yarn around the frame twice, pulling it tight. You want it to be flush but not so strained that it could break. Staple the yarn against the backside of the frame again. This ensures that your yarn is secure and won't unravel.

Start wrapping! Working in a clockwise motion, loop the yarn a dozen or so times, and then scrunch it toward the wrapped end to make the effect more substantial. Do an extra layer around the corners, where yarn tends to slip. Don't worry about things being perfectly straight or the same thickness.

Once you've covered the frame, staple the end of the yarn to the backside of the frame. Wrap twice, and staple again. Cut the yarn, leaving about an inch extra after the staple to ensure against future slippage. Staple every 3 inches along the backside of your frame. Put an extra staple at an angle on each corner.

You can complete one frame in about 30 minutes.

Adapted from "The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces" by Kyle Schuneman with Heather Summerville and photographer Joe Schmelzer.

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