Introduction: Bamboo Yarn Bowl

So your girlfriend likes knitting things and x-mas is coming soon? Making her a beautiful bamboo yarn bowl that keeps the yarn from getting entangled and unrolls the yarn would be a nice option.

Materials needed

- wooden bowl (I used a bamboo bowl from Ikea)
- Dremel with a wood milling bit
- small wood drill bit that fits into your Dremel
- Sandpaper stripes
- Dremel polishing bit
- Beeswax block
- Two really steady hands!

Step 1: Drawing the Pattern

I used an Ikea Blanda Matt bowl (20 cm diameter) that is made of bamboo. This material is rather hard but really nice to work with. However, it tends a bit to splintering. You can think of your own pattern or use the one I've used. Just take a waterproof pen, put the bowl bottom side up on a table and draw the pattern on the wood.

Step 2: Cut Out the Basic Shape

I used the plastic and wood milling bit of my Dremel to cut out the basic shape. However, you have to grip the Dremel really hard to keep it from going it's own way. Don't try to get too close to your painted lines or you will have to adapt your pattern. The fine tuning comes in the next step.

Step 3: Fine-cut

I used a wood drill bit to fine-cut the remaining material away. You can use it the same way as the milling bit, but it works much slower, thus giving you time to react. Try to get all the material away that lies between your Dremel and the line you've drawn. 

Step 4: Sand Down the Edges

Use the sand paper stripes to smoothen all grooves and round all the edges like shown in the pictures. Since the yarn will be gliding along the cut, you really want it to be smooth.

Step 5: Polish the Edges

Since the sanded cut will be brighter than the treated wood, you have to use a polishing bit to get it darker again. I used a bit of beeswax and the polishing bit to polish the big opening. Since the polishing bit is too wide to polish the small openings, I cut a Q-tip (cotton bud) in half and mounted it on the Dremel. Applying a bit of wax you can now easily reach the small openings.

Step 6: Install the Anti-slippery Rubber

To ensure that the bowl is not shifting on the wooden table, I glued a round piece of rubber to the bottom of the bowl.

Step 7: Your Finished Yarn Bowl

If everything works out fine, you'll have now a really nice gift for your girlfriend. I hope you/she enjoys it!


gadabout55 made it! (author)2013-03-25

Here's a pic of my finished bowl.

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-03-26

This looks really nice! Thank's a lot for the pic!

Lorddrake made it! (author)2012-12-20

tried to make one today using a hardwood bowl I had in storage.

let's just mark that one up to a learning experience .. next stop IKEA to buy a bamboo bowl for attempt #2

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2012-12-23

I'm really sad to hear that it didn't work for you! Maybe it's easier with bamboo as a material! Make sure that you never twist or force the milling bit, especially where there's just a bit f wood left in the center of the spiral! I hope it works next time for you.

Lorddrake made it! (author)Lorddrake2013-01-03

I finally got a chance to give my friend the bowl I made her .. so now I can post up a pic

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-01-03

This really looks good! I guess she was very happy about it!

Lorddrake made it! (author)Lorddrake2013-01-04

Thanks. She really liked it :)

sewtechwayne made it! (author)2017-05-21

Thank you for the great idea! I found a bowl at a thrift store for $5. I used a coping saw and fine files to create the opening.

rainingfiction made it! (author)2017-03-10


Loukia made it! (author)2016-11-04

That was a great idea for my broken ikea bowl, thank you!!! It took me a whole day making it all by hand and i'm very pleased with the result

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2016-11-05

Wow, very well done!

KiaW2 made it! (author)2016-04-06

Now i want to buy a drill and a dremmel! I think i can... I think i can!

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2016-04-06

:D Ikea should really start to sell some bowl/dremel combos.

KiaW2 made it! (author)KiaW22016-04-06

You will be their inspiration.

mishwillard made it! (author)2016-03-16

So, you inspired me! I had a few fails, and some wins... tried some different designs and stains etc. Thank YOU so much! This really helped me figure a lot of details out in order to make these.

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2016-04-05

Well, that escalated quickly! :D

But honestly, I'm really impressed. I especially like your flower design!

mishwillard made it! (author)mishwillard2016-04-05

Thank you! I have actually been doing this quite a bit now :-) And selling them on Etsy and eBay! I am giving life to new bowls I find at thrift stores. I am really enjoying it and learning a lot. So again thanks for your guidance and inspiration, I really appreciate it! I wanted to do this new hobby and wasn't sure where to start, you made the difference for me.

Ione made it! (author)2015-12-26

Oh, my, this is beautiful! Christmas has passed, but I'm going to ask hubby anyway! Thank you for the Instructable!

Leners made it! (author)2015-12-22

Made it with a recycled bamboo fiber bowl! thank you!

Althea MaeH made it! (author)2015-11-27

cool!! I might make as a gift for my neighbor....

clswagner made it! (author)2015-08-29

Why remain a salad bowl when you can be a yarn bowl? Thank you for the tutorial!

Zoomthis12 made it! (author)2015-01-28

This is an absolutely lovely piece! I have seen them for sale online for way more than you'll pay for the bowl at IKEA! Who doesn't like to go to IKEA!!!

dtextor made it! (author)2013-12-24

Faster with the same bit will likely make it just burn faster. It's not taking away enough material! You can also try to use a small handheld hobby wood saw with those very thin, wire-like blades. Or a new dremel bit that is intended to cut through wood, NOT drill through wood. I hope it works and wish you the best!!


The craft saw with a thin blade is called a "coping saw". It has a very narrow blade and swivels on the ends where you can turn the blade to make curves.

chuckstake made it! (author)2015-01-03

thank u made as xmass gift just love it just got it today


Using a box with a lid is a great idea! Keeps the cats out !

RCMann54 made it! (author)2015-01-18

Love this!! Can't wait to get Gipetto started on his next project.

tmila made it! (author)2014-05-04

easy and fast mother's day present. It took me about 2 hours, but just because I'm a total newbie with the dremel. in the end I used olive oil because I had no wax around. my mother loves it!

idydstie made it! (author)2014-02-22

wife's birthday present, check!

jmsdo made it! (author)2014-02-14

This is awesome.

Mr_o_uk made it! (author)2013-12-21

Still to polish, but here's mine:

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-12-24

All you guys and girls that are rebuilding these bowls to make someone happy can't imagine, how proud and happy I am about that fact! Thank you!

mtstreit made it! (author)2013-12-23

This is pretty awesome. I made one for lady friend and she seemed to really like it. I did one slight mod to this though. Before putting the piece of rubber on the bottom center, I taped off most of the top half of the bowl, sprayed a coat of rubber sealant on the bottom. I thought this would be rad if you're knitting on the couch this makes it way less slide-able, stays in one place better on couch. I used a clear rubber sealant spray, so it's hard to see from the photo. I used minwax to finish the cut. I wish my cut was smoother with the dremel tool, but it was definitely a cool project and she really liked it so win/win.

yarn bowl 2.jpgyarn bowl 1.jpg
dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-12-24

Brilliant idea with the rubber coating! Looks really good!

elisegc made it! (author)2013-12-19

This is awesome. Well done.

Kara_Aloha made it! (author)2013-08-31

You, sir, are a freaking genius.

I'll have to see if I can make this with what I have at my apartment. If not I may have a project for my dad. :)

d_adair9 made it! (author)2013-05-15

Thank you so much for sharing this project. I am an avid crocheter and woodworker, so this is right up my alley. I will be making one of these this weekend.

laceylady123 made it! (author)2013-05-12

I just bought a wood bowl from Target $10.99 and can't wait to break out my, barely used, dremel to make this.

Paege made it! (author)2013-04-25

Thanks so much for sharing your idea. DH and I made two: one for me and for my mum, a mad knitter, for her birthday. We didn't have a dremmel, but a coping saw, sandpaper, and some buffing oil worked well. Well-pleased, ta!

noseynana made it! (author)2013-01-03

I found your bowl via Pinterest. At first I thought it was a ceramic one someone was selling. Then to see either myself or my husband could make one...SUPER! Shame they can't count the number of times this has been pinned over @ Pinterest. Either way, just know the old adage, for each person that writes, 10 others don't, so I'm sure you are going to have a lot of happy yarnworkers out there shortly. Thanks so much for this & good got my vote! Also FYI for others....IKEA is online for purchases if you don't have one in your vicinity.

vintage53rose made it! (author)vintage53rose2013-04-11

Unfortunately the bowl can only be purchased at the store itself. That's a 90 mile trip for me. So will have to check the thrift (charity) shops for a salad bowl.

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-01-03

Thank you. I didn't know that I made it to pinterest. Ironically, I first got the idea of making a yarn bowl from this exact site. :)

daytona675 made it! (author)2012-12-20

Brilliant! I'm going out to make one now!

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2012-12-20

Please make sure you post a picture when yours is finished!

daytona675 made it! (author)daytona6752013-03-29

Here it is in action- an old wooden Woolworth's bowl made in segments so short grain was a bit tricky. Had no dremel so did it by hand with a keyhole saw!

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-03-30

Did you post a picture? I somehow can't see one. Hope it worked out well!

gadabout55 made it! (author)2013-03-24

I just finished making this for my wife yesterday. She and her knitting friends loved it. Great idea. I used a coping saw and various Dremel bits to cut the slot. The polishing bit with beeswax worked great.

dtextor made it! (author)dtextor2013-03-24

Glad you made it! Please post some pics how your bowl looks like!

knitgeek made it! (author)2013-02-18

Absolutely Brilliant. So much nicer than anything I've ever seen for sale.

TheManse made it! (author)2013-02-07

Great ideas deserve great prizes! Effective simplicity - well done on your first prize.

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Bio: applied simplicity
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