Three hoops, wrapped in yarn laying on a wooden coffee table. The yarn is twisted inside of the hoops to create a tree pattern. One of the trees is multi color, the other is a soft pink, and the other is blue and tan.

Celtic Yarn Tree Of Life

Written by Kate Curry

This Celtic Yarn Tree of Life is made out of totally recycled yarn, following with the traditional meaning behind the Celtic symbol; harmony and balance. This is a great craft for leftover yarn! :) 

Material List

  • Yarn of your choice (my Darn Good Yarn recommendations are below)
  • Scissors
  • 10" Craft Circle (I'm using a 10 inch metal one I found on Amazon, but wood or plastic will work!)

Choosing Your Yarn

Choosing the yarn for your tree is important. I made this craft with 3 different types of our yarn to give you an idea of how the project works up in each case.

Three hoops, wrapped in yarn laying on a wooden coffee table. The yarn is twisted inside of the hoops to create a tree pattern. One of the trees is multi color, the other is a soft pink, and the other is blue and tan.
This DIY craft will bring you a little luck!

Banana Fiber Yarn

Banana fiber is a unique yarn that I love to use to add a little quirk to my crafting. Not many have heard of it and even fewer people have ever used it!

A circle wrapped with multicolored yarn, twisted and braided to create a tree pattern.
For my tree, I used the colorway kaleidoscope
  • Pros: Thicker branches with less strands. Texture is a nice plus!
  • Cons: Harder to tie smaller knots.

Lace Weight Yarn

Lace weight is an ultra silky, thin yarn that is great for showing off intricate details like lace. We also have sparkle lace weight if you want a little shimmer for your WIP!

A circle wrapped with blue and tan yarn, twisted and braided to create a tree pattern.
Tree made of Sparkle Lace Weight - Sandy Beach
  • Pros: You can make more delicate branches with the thinner yarn, as well as cleaner looking knots. Sparkle is cute, too!
  • Cons: You need more yarn to get a thick trunk and the yarn is easily tangled in comparison to the thicker yarns used.

Worsted Weight Yarn

Worsted weight is my preferred choice for this craft! Our worsted weight is so soft and the colors are gorgeous!

A circle wrapped with soft white yarn, twisted and braided to create a tree pattern.
Tree made of Worsted Weight - Dandelion Poof
  • Pros: Good texture, not too thin or thick. Easy to tie and holds braids and twists better than the other two yarns.
  • Cons: I don't have any for this yarn. 😍

With that, let's get started!

Step-by-Step Procedure

Step One: Cut Your Yarn

I cut my yarn long enough to ensure that I would have enough to twist and connect with my circle, which for my circle, was 40 inches. I cut one strand that length and then used it as my ruler for my other strands. I cut 20 strands to achieve the thickness I wanted for my tree while using our worsted weight yarn. You can always cut more or less for your desired size. 

For my banana fiber yarn tree, I used 16 strands that were 40" in length

For my lace weight yarn tree, I used 70 strands that were 40" in length

A metal hoop is laying on a wooden table. To the right of the hoop is a cake of pink yarn. To the left of the loop is some of the pink yarn cut into strips. At the top of the hoop is a pair of scissors.
Getting your yarn cut to the correct length is important!

Step Two: Begin Attaching The Yarn

Using a Palomar knot, attach the yarn to the bottom half of the circle. This creates two strands of yarn from one of your original strands. This also allows you to easily untie the yarn in case you want to adjust the placement or amount of yarn in certain areas of the circle.

There's nothing worse than wanting to adjust something and realizing just how awesome you are at tying permanent knots.

A hand is threading the yarn underneath the metal hoop.
The end of the yarn strands are pulled through the circle that was pulled under the hoop to create a tight knot.
The yarn is pulled tightly to secure the yarn onto the metal hoop.

Repeat that with all of your cut yarn, spacing the yarn out at the base of your circle. This yarn will become the trunk of your tree.

Multiple strands of yarn are now knotted on to the metal loop. The metal loop is laying on a wooden table and to the left of the loop is a pair of scissors.

Step Three: Create The Trunk

It's time to start shaping your tree. This tree is created trunk first. 

You'll need to gather all your strands and begin to twist them together to form the trunk of the tree. This may take a few tries- so don't get frustrated. Take your time, be gentle with the yarn, and allow the yarn to move organically as you twist. Do the twisting on a flat surface so you have more control.

With all of the yarn knotted to the hoop, the yarn is now twisted together to create the trunk of the tree.

Step Four: Making The Branches

Once your trunk has been twisted, you will take some strands away from the trunk to create the main branches. Splitting off strands of yarn, be sure to gently twist these pieces so as to not un-twist the trunk. You can make the branches different widths to make it look more organic and natural. Once your branches are formed, tie the ends of the strands to where you want them to rest on your circle.

It will look a little shabby, but don't worry, this isn't the final result! 

With the trunk of the tree created, the yarn is now separated further and tied to the other sides of the hoop to create a branch-like pattern.

Now that you have the general shape of the trunk and main branches laid out, it's time to start tying the end of the strands to the circle. You'll need to tie the strands tightly, as to create the experience of stiff branches.

Divide the strands from the main branches into smaller portions and knot them into the circle with as much tension as you can to create the image of thinner branches. You may need to try this a few times to achieve the branch shapes that you want - so take your time and be patient with yourself! 

The yarn is separated into branches and knotted tightly onto the loop.

Tip: Try tying some branches at different areas of the circle to create safe tension (I did one tight knot at the top, and one on each side.) This helps keep tension and stops the trunk or branches from unraveling as easily. :)

Step Five: Wrapping The Ends

After you're done tying the branch ends around the circle, you will have hanging loose threads. Wrap those loose ends around the circle. This not only gives your circle a clean look, but if you ever see a branch drooping (or you want to adjust the shape) you can easily unwrap the strand and tighten it up.

A hand shows how to take the access yarn and wind it around the exposed metal of the hoop.
All the exposed metal on the hoop is now covered with the extra yarn. Some extra yarn is still hanging off the hoop.

If there's any extra yarn after you've wrapped your circle, you can snip it off or leave it for some texture.

The finished tree pattern, with the extra yarn snipped off. It is laying on a wooden table.
The finished yarn tree of life!

I hope you love this tutorial! 

XOXO 
Kate 

Meet the Author

Profile picture of the author, Kate Curry, wearing a dark red Nanda Poncho sitting on concrete stairs in front of brick wall.

Kate has been on the Darn Good Yarn team since 2018.

They have their degree in Creative Art Therapy & Psychology - and like crafting and animals a little too much.