Introduction: Bamboo Yarn Bowl

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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 (author)gadabout552013-03-26

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

Lorddrake (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 (author)Lorddrake2012-12-23

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)dtextor2013-01-03

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

dtextor (author)Lorddrake2013-01-03

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

Lorddrake (author)dtextor2013-01-04

Thanks. She really liked it :)

clevy2 made it! (author)2017-12-05

Thank you so much for the great tutorial! This was my first time using my Dremel for anything even close to this. And boy were you not kidding when you said to keep a tight grip on it! That thing bounces all over the dang place! And it didn't help that I didn't have a really good way to grip the bowl tightly, leaving my hands free. But it was easy enough to sand out errors and make them almost impossible to see. But I don't know if I could make a bunch of these as gifts, so I'm keeping this one and my friends can make their own ;)

LM37 (author)2017-11-19

Beautiful bowl! In case anybody is wondering how this works, it keeps the yarn clean and it also keeps it from rolling around. In the original picture, the yarn is shown in a ‘skein’, which is difficult to work from. Most knitters etc. will roll the yarn into a ball. The bowl, thus keeps the ball of yarn from rolling around ;)

sewtechwayne (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 (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 (author)Loukia2016-11-05

Wow, very well done!

KiaW2 (author)2016-04-06

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

dtextor (author)KiaW22016-04-06

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

KiaW2 (author)dtextor2016-04-06

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 (author)mishwillard2016-04-05

Well, that escalated quickly! :D

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

mishwillard (author)dtextor2016-04-05

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 (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 (author)2015-12-22

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

Althea MaeH (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 (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 (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 (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 (author)2014-02-22

wife's birthday present, check!

jmsdo (author)2014-02-14

This is awesome.

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

Still to polish, but here's mine:

dtextor (author)Mr_o_uk2013-12-24

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.

dtextor (author)mtstreit2013-12-24

Brilliant idea with the rubber coating! Looks really good!

elisegc (author)2013-12-19

This is awesome. Well done.

Kara_Aloha (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (author)noseynana2013-04-11

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 (author)noseynana2013-01-03

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 (author)2012-12-20

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

dtextor (author)daytona6752012-12-20

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

daytona675 (author)dtextor2013-03-29

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 (author)daytona6752013-03-30

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

gadabout55 (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 (author)gadabout552013-03-24

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

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