How to Make a Pom-Pom

A pom-pom is a decorative ball that is normally made of wool. When I was young, my mom taught my brother and me how to make them, so that we could play “catch” inside without damaging anything.

While pom-poms are normally used to decorate items of clothing, I think they would also make nice Christmas decorations. You can make a wide variety of pom-poms by changing the color or texture of the wool. You can also make them one color or several colors. Pom-poms can be used to make lots of different kinds of decoration. Here are just a few ideas on how to use pom-poms at Christmas time:

  • They could be individually hung on a Christmas tree using either the same wool used to make the pom-pom or a decorative ribbon.
  • They could be made into a pom-pom garland to hang on the tree or elsewhere.
  • Several white/silver pom-poms could be piled on top of each other and subsequently decorated to make a snowman decoration.
  • They can be used to decorate Christmas presents.
  • White/silver pom-poms could be hung in the window so as to look like either snowflakes or snowballs, depending on their size.

What you need

  • Two sheets of cardboard
  • Wool/yarn (one or more colors)
  • Scissors

What to do

  1. Make two identical rings of cardboard. The hole in each ring should be large enough for a ball of string to fit through. The width of the ring will determine the size of the finished pom-pom. The wider it is, the larger the pom-pom.
  2. With the two rings on top of each other, start winding the wool around the rings, passing the ball of wool through the hole. Make sure you wind it tightly around the cardboard. The more wool you use, the more dense your pom-pom will be. In any case, you shouldn’t see any cardboard when you have finished. If you want a multicolored pom-pom, you need to switch wool color from time to time.

    NB. Be aware that the layout of the colors in your pom-pom will be determined by how you have arranged your colors while winding. For a completely mixed effect, go around the complete ring of cardboard with each wool color. If you want patches of different colors, allocate a different color to each part of the ring. If you want a pom-pom that has one half in one color and another half in another color, cover half the ring with one color and the other half with the other color.

  3. When you think your pom-pom will be of the right density, stop winding more wool onto the cardboard.
  4. Push your scissors between the cardboard rings. You may have to push the wool aside slightly. Now carefully cut the wool that is around the outer edge of the rings. Cut around the entire circumference of the ring. Don’t remove the cardboard rings, and be very careful not to let the pieces of wool fall out of position.
  5. Get an extra piece of the same wool used for the pom-pom. Loop it between the two pieces of cardboard, so that it is wrapped around the loose bits of wool. Pull it as tightly as you can and then knot it. All your pieces of wool should now be fixed. If you want to make a loop on the pom-pom so you can hang it up, now is the time. You can either use any left-over wool from tying the pom-pom in place, or you could use a ribbon.
  6. Now remove the cardboard rings to reveal a beautiful pom-pom. Keep the cardboard rings to make more pom-poms.
  7. If there are any long pieces of wool sticking out above the rest, you may want to trim them.
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