I had cause to make lots of pompoms for the day job recently (long story there). We needed loads and I didn't have time to make them all myself so I decided to enlist my colleagues help. Well! It never occurred to me that something I learned in school aged about 7 could be cause for so much fascination in others! Nobody had made them before and we set up quite the little pace line of cutting templates, cutting wool, wrapping and trimming (haircutting as I like to call it). I figured I'd share how I learned to make them here- they're really easy and you don't need any special equipment.
What You Need:
- Wool (any kind at all. I usually use DK but have used most wool types, including mohair to great effect)
- Cardboard, single layer like a cereal box
- Scissors (I had to struggle with the blunt office scissors in work; don't make my mistake there- sharp scissors make life so much better!)
How to make a PomPom:
- Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard. This should be a fraction larger than the size of the pompom you want to make. Then draw a circle in the centre of the cardboard. The photo here can show the proportions, but this doesn't need to be exact in anyway at all. But if you're mathematically minded, then the diameter of the centre circle should be about a third(ish) of the diameter of the main circle;-)
- Cut out the large circle and the small circle, leaving you with a doughnut shape. Then trace this doughnut onto another piece of card and cut that one out too. Place both together like a sandwich.
- Now for the wool. Cut about 6 lengths of wool*. I tend to cut them about 1-1.5m long for easy handling. Bunch them together.
- Holding the end of a bunch, begin to wrap them around the outside and inside of the doughnut sandwich. Trap the ends of the start of the bunch as you wrap to secure. Continue to wrap until you run out of wool. Don't worry about gaps as you'll use more wool to fill these as you go along.
- Cut 6 more lengths and repeat the process.
- Cut 6 more again and repeat the process again. Keep this up, wrapping on top of the wool already wrapped when you run out of bare cardboard.
- Stop wrapping when can hold the disc in the centre without your fingers falling though the hole. (FYI, you can stop sooner but it's easier this way and the more wool you use, the tighter your pompom will be).
- Cut a piece of wool about 40cm long and double it. Put to one side.
- Holding the centre tightly in your non-dominant hand, pry the open scissors into the outer edge of the wool and in between the two layers of cardboard, and start snipping. Keep going until you've snipped all the way around the circle.
- Keeping a hold of the centre of the disc, force the piece of wool you cut in step 8 through the two pieces of card and wrap it around the wool going through the centre. You can let go (being careful as you handle it) and then use both hands to finish wrapping this wool around the centre, and tie it, knotting it tightly.
- Carefully tear the cardboard off.
- You have a pompom! Albeit a very dishevelled one. Now comes the fun part- the haircut. Just trim all around the pompom trying to make the strands look even. Don't cut off the long pieces you used to tie through the centre if you intend sewing your pompom to something.
There are many things you can do with your new-found pompoming skills. Hats always look better with pompoms. You could attach different sizes together and turn them into animals with felt feet and googly-eyes. Or you could make the heaviest teapot cosy EVER like I did a few years ago...
*I cut 6 at a time to speed things up, but you can do less or more- find your own happy medium.