how to make yarn pom-poms

by | Dec 10, 2014 | crafts, Holiday, Tutorials | 27 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

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!

27 Comments

  1. Kristi

    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!

    Reply
  2. Angie @ Postcards from the Ridge

    These are wonderful. I love the chunky texture. They look like fluffy snowballs. Thanks for sharing how you made them. On my to do list for sure!

    Reply
  3. anya

    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 🙂

    Reply
  4. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian

    I planned to DIY an Anthro cowl/scarf/wrap thing last year but couldn’t believe how expensive really thick yarn was! It was cheaper to just buy the scarf…

    Love the poms you made… so charming!
    Happy Holidays!!

    Reply
  5. lynne

    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!!!

    Reply
  6. gail

    Did you secure the pom-poms to a Styrofoam wreath? I too “love” pom-poms!

    Reply
  7. Penny

    I really love how you have made these Marion, thank-you so much for sharing them with us.

    Reply
  8. Lindsay Eidahl

    Thank you for this tutorial. I am going to have to try this!

    Reply
  9. Jane P

    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

    Reply
  10. Peggy

    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!

    Reply
  11. Sheila

    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.

    Reply
  12. Charlene in SC

    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!

    Reply
  13. BrocanteuseRose

    Ok, I am ready to bury everything, and everyone in a flurry of pom pom snowflakes! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Suzanne

    Oh, I love these! Another fun craft to do with my girls. Thanks!

    Reply
  15. Jessica @ Dear Emmeline

    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.

    Reply
  16. Lory at Designthusiasm

    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… 🙂

    Reply
  17. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I don’t have a lot of decorations out but a pom pom wreath I do have. I made it last year and I think it is so soft looking!! Pom poms are great.

    Reply
  18. Donna

    I just made these last weekend! Love them!

    Reply
  19. Katherine

    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.

    Reply
  20. Jelena

    Miss Julia surely looks lovely in her poms! 🙂
    Thanks, Marian, for the tutorial!

    Reply
  21. Lori E

    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.

    Reply
  22. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    LOVE this… so simple and so elegant. I love the wreath most of all!

    Reply
  23. sharon

    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????

    Reply
  24. Terri

    Just made some of these to put on gifts. So much fun. Thank you!

    Reply
  25. Cara

    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

    Reply
  26. melody pugh

    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.

    Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

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