how to make yarn pom-poms

Marian Parsonscrafts, Holiday, Tutorials27 Comments

I’ve been using a lot of handmade wool poms in my Christmas decorating and I didn’t even think about making a tutorial for them.  A tutorial was requested, though, so I thought I would oblige.

antique dress form | miss mustard seed

I made these when I was a kid, to use on hats, hair ties, socks, slippers, etc.  I think most of the ones I made ended up as toys for our two siamese cats.  (A little wallet I crocheted out of wool yarn became one of our cat’s “baby” for a time, but that’s another story.)

how to make yarn pom-poms | miss mustard seed

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My inspiration for making these was some wool “snowball” garlands I bought from Anthropologie.  They were so fluffy…it was definitely a Despicable Me moment.  “They’re so fluffy, I’m gonna die!!

so fluffy

I might not have thought that if I saw them online, but in the store they looked so amazing draped over an antique ladder and I bought one.  I then bought a second one online.

 

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

And then I bought the matching wreath.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

And then I realized I was going to spend a small fortune at Anthropologie if I didn’t make some myself.  The main reason I bought the Anthro version was the yarn.  They are made with a very thick, soft wool.  When I looked into thick 100% wool yarn, it was pretty pricey and just made sense to buy from Anthro instead of DYI-ing them.  So, I looked into other alternatives.  I found this wool/acrylic blend yarn that had a natural look to it and was the thickest I could find “off-the-shelf.”  It’s $5.00 for a 106 yard skein and I could make about 10-12 full poms per skein.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

 

Since these are so simple, I think using pretty yarn is a real key to elevate this from a kid’s craft to a big-girl craft.

All you need for this project is yarn and scissors.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

Cut off a 7-8″ piece of yarn to tie on the pom at the end and set is aside.  Grab one end of the yarn between your thumb and pointer finger.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

Wrap the yarn around your fingers, so it’s slightly snug, but not tight.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

Once your fingers are covered with several layers of the yarn, clip it with scissors.  It may take a couple of tries to figure out how much yarn you want for each pom, but you’ll get a feel for it.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

If there is a tricky part in this project, this is it. Use your free hand to work the wrapped yarn off the wrapped hand, pinching it in the middle with your fingers, so it stays together.  This is why it’s important not to wrap it too tight!

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

Wrap your fingers around the wound yarn and cinch it in the middle.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

Take the 7-8″ piece of yarn you cut off in the beginning and tie it tightly around the cinched middle of the pom, double-knotted.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

You should have a nice doughnut-esque shaped bundle of yarn

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

Clip all of the loops in half with scissors.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

As you clip, you’ll start to see the pom take shape.  Give it a little fluffing with your fingers to make sure all of the loops are cut.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

You can keep your poms a little unruly and wild or give them a haircut.  I prefer to trim them into a nice round shape, which is sort of funny, since I have some unruly and wild hair happening on my head.  Neat poms.  Messy hair.  That’s what I always say.

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

yarn pom pom tutorial | miss mustard seed

And that’s it.

I tied them onto the ends of other pieces of yarn to make garlands and to hang them around lamps…

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…and cow heads.

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And I also just tucked them around the house.  (My youngest son made the small one on his little hand.  Aw.)

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I think they’d also make good ornaments, bowl fillers, tree garland or bows for gifts.  I just want to use them all over the house, which works out okay, because they are a pretty mindless thing to make once you get the hang of it.  I whip out a few while I’m watching TV.

The Anthro wreath actually uses yarn of different thicknesses, which is a great way to create interesting textures.

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Enjoy a fluffy, pom-filled holiday!

how to make yarn pom-poms

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27 Comments on “how to make yarn pom-poms”

  1. if you lay the cut piece of yarn between your middle and ring finger before you start wrapping, it makes it easier to cinch and tie the yarn around the wad you’ve made on your hand. For smaller pins you can wrap it around a fork. I’ve made a bunch of these for my tree. Fun and beautiful!

  2. Ooh, thank you for sharing! I have loved seeing where you’ve added your poms. I am looking forward to giving some a try myself 🙂

  3. One of the ways that I made my pom poms more “Anthro-like” was by using the LIon Brand yarn that you used, combined with a strand of Paton’s Wool Roving. It’s also available off the shelf. I held the two yarns together and wound them together as one. By doing this, it gives a little more texture and wooliness to the pom pom. I heart pom poms!!!

  4. Bridging the gap! Love the pom poms and told my mom to visit your site. The same day she emailed to tell me she had whipped some up with leftover yarn and tied them to the Christmas presents.

    We’re so far apart and it brings so much joy to decorate with her from afar.

    Thanks a bunch

  5. You are going to laugh at me but I have been making these poms for the last 3 years with the express purpose of making an anthro inspired wreath and garland. Do you know how many pom poms I have ready and waiting? 10. Ok to be fair I have probably made dozens but every time I finish a garland it finds a new home, elsewhere! So this year I now have what looks similar to the anthropologie garland hanging in our bedroom and a basket that is slowing filling with different size and colors of cream yarn in order to make the wreath. This year it will happen! 🙂 Thank you for sharing the tutorial! Have a lovely day!

  6. I’ve found that wrapping the WoolEase Thick and Quick 50 times makes a nice thick pom pom. If you got the yarn it at $5 then you got a good price, it usually runs between $7.99 and $9.99.

  7. Oh, I dearly LOVE your scissors! Don’t we always want your things?! They must be antiques that you’ve found in one of your ‘best’ places!

  8. My kids have been making regular red yarn poms with my mom for the past few weeks. A few are hanging on our tree, a few laying around and hanging in their rooms. They thought it was so fun to get the yarn wrapped around their hands! I wondered what kind of yarn you used since your’s came out so thick and snuggly looking.

  9. I love these and love how you’ve used them! I learned long ago that brightly colored yarn pom pons were a great way to identify your luggage out of the long line of black bags on the airport conveyor belt… lol. Although your lovely fluffy white ones are much prettier… 🙂

  10. I remember my mother making pom poms for my figure skates. She would put them on a big fork when she finished them and hold the pom pom over the kettle to steam them. Apparently it made them fluffy.

  11. You brought back a very old memory for me here. We didn’t make pom-poms but we made wigs for Halloween costumes. We made them much larger of course but the method was the same.
    I am sure the wigs did not look as pretty as your fluffy poms though.
    Thanks for the memory jog.

  12. first glitter…now pom-poms- in so. cal. we learned these as kids???? you ladies are weird! as if EVERYTHING at that store was never done before????

  13. Love the Pom poms! Do you know how many times you wrapped it around your hand to get 10 to 12 Pom poms? I have to make 16 and want to make sure I get enough yarn. Thanks

  14. not sure I did mine correctly. if I pull too much they will come apart. is there another way to secure the pom pom so that it does not come apart? I wanted to make them with my preschool class.

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