How To Make The Perfect Pom-Pom

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(Or Pon-Pom or Pom-Pon or Pon-Pon, or whatever you call them.)

I mentioned earlier this week that I love making hats. One of my favorite hat embellishments is the pom-pom on top. They’re extremely easy to make, but not if you use the traditional method. You were probably taught in grade school to wrap a bunch of yarn around a piece of cardboard and then tie it in the middle and cut the loops. And you probably ended up with what looked like a bundle of short pieces of yarn that was not at all spherical or pom-pom-y looking. Am I right?

Well, with this method, I guarantee a perfectly round, full pom-pom every time. Let’s get started.

You need a bunch of yarn (duh!), sharp scissors, a tapestry needle, and two circles with holes in the middle, cut from cardstock.

The circles are your template. 80-100lb cardstock works the best for these for a few reasons:

1. It’s easy to come by. What crafter doesn’t have a ton of white cardstock laying around?
2. It’s the perfect weight. Plain paper tears too easily, and cardboard or chipboard doesn’t tear easily enough.

The size is up to you. It should be slightly larger than you want the diameter of the pom-pom to be. Also make sure the center circle isn’t too small. You need to fit a lot of yarn through there. It should be 1/4-1/3 the diameter of the pom-pom.

I make mine with circle Nesties. Just fold a piece of cardstock in half, position the Nesties with a Post-It note, and run it through the Big Shot.

And look at that. We’re done with Step 1. If you don’t have Nesties or a Big Shot, plain old pen and scissors works too. Just trace something round. Yogurt containers or plastic cups work well for basic 2-3 inch pom-poms. CDs are a great size for giant ones (which I love putting on toddler hats).

The last bit of prep before we get to work is to cut the yarn into manageable lengths. We’re threading this through that little circle, so using one length of yarn will take forever, and will almost definitely result in annoying tangles. You don’t have to worry about making them all equal. I usually just cut every 2 arm-lengths or so. As for how much, you never really know until you’re getting toward the end. Start with 5 or 6 lengths, and you can always cut more.

And here we go. Put your circles together (it’s important to use both), leave tail a couple inches long when you start, and just wrap your yarn around and around the template. You’ll notice here that I’m wrapping 2 pieces of yarn at a time. You can do this for the first few lengths just to make things go faster. But eventually,

that hole starts to close up and you need to reduce to 1 piece of yarn. A tapestry needle or crochet hook really comes in handy toward the end.

How do you know you’re done? Typically I just go until I feel like I can’t fit any more yarn. From the last piece, I cut off about 6-8 inches to tie the middle.

Once you’re satisfied that you can’t wrap any more yarn, pick a spot to pull some of the yarn apart and expose the template. You want to separate the two pieces of the template as well.

Now wedge your scissors in between the two pieces of the template and cut all the way around. You can see the template will get a little ragged, but that’s okay. These aren’t meant to be re-used.

Leaving the template where it is, take that 6 inches of yarn you held aside and tie a tight square knot in between the two sides.

And now, when you tear away the template.

You’re left with this mess. Trim up all those little tails, and voila! If you’re attaching this to a hat, make sure to leave 2 tails long so you can tie it. Otherwise, off they go!

See how much fun that was? It works every time.

 

 

 

I hope you found this little tutorial useful. If you did, please do me a huge favor and Pin this post.

 

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