Caro from The Twinkle Diaries shares her step-by-step guide for making your own pom-poms read more
October half term is just around the corner, so why not teach yourself (and your children) how to make easy pom-poms — perfect for decorating baskets, blankets and old toys. With rainy days almost certain for the end of October, now is a brilliant time to learn this exciting indoor activity that will keep the whole family amused. Keep reading for Caro’s easy pom-pom tutorial.
Did you ever make pom-poms when you were a child? I would spend ages cutting out my templates; two discs of cardboard (usually from a cereal packet), with a hole in the middle. Tricky to do when you have little hands. Winding the wool through the circle in the middle — round and round, again and again — until I wasn’t able to fit any more through the aperture. Then carefully snipping the edges of the wool, and tying a piece of yarn around the middle. The excitement of tearing away the cardboard discs to reveal a perfect little fluffy pom-pom.
I’d all but forgotten about this craft, until we were at a festival during the summer where we stumbled across a pom-pom workshop. My twins are only 5 and they were absolutely fascinated by the process. But then so was I; as it was a little different to when I was little! Instead of cardboard circles, the lady holding the workshop was using pom-pom makers. I didn’t even know there was such a thing but they’re so simple to use, it makes the old fashioned cardboard method seem such a faff. There are a few different kinds available — in various different sizes — but my favourite are by Clover. They feel a little more robust than some that I bought originally. Plus — and most importantly — the two halves lock together and can be pulled apart really easily. They’re so effortless to use — the fiddly cardboard templates are a thing of the past — and make pom pom making child’s play.
MAKING POM-POMS USING A POM-POM MAKER
1. Once you’ve chosen the yarn you’ll be using — and selected the size of the pom-pom you’d like to make — open one side of the pom-pom maker, then carefully begin winding your yarn around.
2. Keep winding the wool until the semi-circle in the middle of the pom-pom maker has been filled in.
3. Then, once you’re happy that you’ve done enough on the first side, just close the arm of the pom-pom maker and cut the thread.
4. Make a start on the second side, using the same process. Keep winding the wool until you have around the same amount as on the first side. Then close the arm into the middle, until it snaps into place.
5. Next, carefully begin snipping the wool around the edge of the circle. Cut all the way around until you can see the pom-pom maker beneath.
6. Next, take a length of yarn and tie it tightly around the middle of the two sides. I tend to knot it once, then go around again. This piece of wool is keeping your pom-pom secure, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
7. Once you’ve tied off the yarn, you can open up the pom-pom maker! Definitely the most exciting bit. All being well — once you’ve prised the two halves away from each other to release their woolly contents — you’ll be left with a perfect pom-pom.
8. Give it a little haircut, and trim off any straggly ends to make it neat and tidy. Et voila! Your pom-pom is finished.
Much, much easier than the old fashioned cardboard method. Plus, it’s such a lovely craft to do; especially now the weather has turned a little colder. Cosying up indoors and doing a bit of gentle crafting is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. My little boys and I are thoroughly addicted. The only trouble is, they’re so easy to make, you may end up with dozens of them!
ALL THE TRIMMINGS
But what’s a girl to do with all these pom-poms? Well, there’s been such a resurgence in homeware — and fashion — recently for pom-pom trimmed baskets, that I thought I’d use some of the larger ones that the boys and I have made to trim our lovely lidded oval basket from Laura Ashley. It’s such a beautiful shape but is given a modern spin — and a little bit of colour — by embellishing it with some bright pom-poms.
I was going to use my trusty glue-gun to fix them on but, at the last minute, decided to sew them instead. If the fashions change and I decide to change the colour of the pom-poms at a later date — or even remove them completely — it will be simple to do and won’t spoil the look of the basket.
The plaited texture was surprisingly easy to push the needle through and it’s a much less permanent embellishment, than if the pom-poms had been glued on. Perfect for fickle decorators like me! And with all the tiny, colourful pom-poms we made, I decided to trim a blanket. You can really give an old (or plain) blanket a new lease of life with the addition of some coloured pom-poms. You could choose the same colour as the blanket (for a more subtle look) or — as we did — go all out and use multicoloured ones. I decided to go for a neutral colour for the blanket and chose a soft grey chunky knit one; the perfect foil for our bright pom-poms.
As with the basket, I sewed on the pom-poms by hand. You only need a couple of stitches to secure each one; just pass the needle through the edge of the blanket first, at the point that you want to attach the pom-pom, then through the body of the pom-pom a couple of times to fix it firmly on.
I love the addition of the little pom-poms to our home. They’ve given otherwise plain items a little bit of character and colour — plus they were so fun to make. And the possibilities are endless! Lampshades, cushions… woolly jumpers! I can see that everything is going to be getting a little pom-pom makeover before too long!