Who doesn’t love a pompom! These sweet balls of fluff are relatively easy to make and can be used in all sorts of projects, and in this fun tutorial, we’ll show you 4 different ways of How to make pom poms! Pom poms are so much fun to make and so versatile. You can use them for almost any craft project, they usually work well as a finishing touch.
Pom poms are super easy to make and once you get the hang of it, you won’t want to stop. Whether you want to learn how to make a pom pom for a hat, fancy making a pom pom wreath, or even making some mini pom poms to use as dangly earrings – the potential of what you can use your pom poms for is limitless!
There are many ways of how to make pom poms with wool, but we’ve chosen to use the low-cost DIY method of how to make a pom pom out of cardboard for our video guide. We also think it’s the easiest way for beginners to learn how to make pom poms too! With our video you’ll learn how make a pom pom with wool in just over 5 minutes, but if you get stuck you can also see our step-by-step picture tutorial below too.
In this article, you’ll not only find our step by step pom pom tutorial for how to make pom-poms using cardboard (kindly provided by Meredith from One Social Girl), but also our guide on how to use a pom pom maker gadget, as well as our guide on how to make mini pompoms and even make shaped pompoms too!
When you’re learning how to make a pom pom out of yarn, there’s no hard and fast rules as to which yarns are best, but we’d suggest using a DK or Aran weight yarn for your first pompoms. The type of fibre and thickness of the yarn you’re using will all make a difference – Aran weight wool pom poms will be more likely to fluff up and be nice and plump, whereas 4ply cotton pom poms may be a bit limp and heavy – but part of the joy of crafting is experimenting, so why not try making a range of different yarn pom poms and see which is your favourite!
If you love crafting and creating, we have lots of other tutorials and guides you might like, try our guide to resin crafts for beginners or if you’re looking to decorate your home try this simple guide on how to make macrame plant hanger, or this beginners guide to basket weaving.
In this post you’ll learn 4 ways to make a pom pom
- How to make a pom pom with cardboard
- How to make a pom pom with a pom pom maker
- How to make mini pom poms
- How to make shaped pom poms
How to make a pom poms with cardboard
You Will Need
- A coin
- Foil ((optional))
Trace out a a circle on a piece of cardboard. The size of your circle will be the size of your pom pom. I used a measuring cup that was around the size I wanted to trace the circle.
Cut out circle
Draw a smaller circle within the circle.
Cut out the little circle.
Make a small “v” where you cut out the little circle to make the yarn easier to pull through. Repeat steps 1-5 to make a second circle.
Hold the two circles together and wrap the yarn through the notch and around evenly around the sides of the circle.
Wrap the yarn until the circle in the middle is filled in.
Use a pair of scissors to cut the yarn between the two circles all the way around.
Cut a length of yarn and tie a tight knot around the middle of the pom-pom. Bring the yarn around the other side and tie another, the tighter the better!
Trim the pom pom to make it round and even… and that’s how to make pom poms with wool – Making a pom pom has never been so easy!
The beauty of this method of using cardboard to make pompoms is that you can make them as big as you like! Try using a medium-sized plate to set your circle size (make sure you allow a large enough central hole for all your yarn), then double up your yarn to make winding it easier – and before you know it you’ll have a huge pompom – perfect for parties!
How to make pom poms with a pom pom maker
Evenly wrap your yarn around each curved arm – we used cream yarn for this demo. Try not to wrap too tightly and don’t overfill the curves.
Fold the curved arms inward so the gadget is a round shape. Cut the yarn in the gap between each half.
Cut a 30cm length of matching yarn and tie it around the centre of the pompom, in between the two halves of the gadget. Knot it as tightly as you can.
Carefully unfold the curved arms and remove the two halves of the gadget to release the pompom.
Trim the pompom to a sphere, then give it a quick wash to encourage the yarn to untwist and fluff up – immerse it in warm water, gently squeeze the water into it, swish it around a bit and leave it to dry. Your finished pink or red pompom will be ready for trimming.
How to make a mini pom pom
When you are ready, cut the end of the wool and insert a new small piece or a little thread in the middle of the pom pom in the centre between the prongs (a contrasting coloured yarn will make it easier to see). You can always insert this before wrapping your yarn around the fork and hold it downward towards the handle, but just make sure not to get it caught up in your wraps – alternatively you can use a yarn needle to help you thread it through the fork prongs.
Bunch the wool together as much as possible and tie it really tight to secure it (you may want to tie it again once you take it all off your fork to make it super-secure).
Take your wool off the fork and cut all the loops. Be sure to get them all, though, they are tricksy little strands at times – and make sure not to cut the central tie holding them all together!
Then trim all the extra long straggly bits so your pom pom is nice and round.
And, that’s how to make pom poms with a fork – easy isn’t it!
How to shape pompoms
We all love making a pom pom, but did you know that pompoms don’t have to be spherical? With just a bit of know-how and a dollop of practice, you can create pompoms in all sorts of shapes – from simple ovals, cubes and hearts, all the way up to surprisingly realistic-looking fruit, flowers and animals. Think of it as sculpting with yarn and scissors. In this guide, we’ll show you how to take a spherical pompom and transform it into a different shape with some precision trimming.
Tools of the trade
The number-one tool you need for shaping pompoms is a pair of scissors, so make sure you have a good pair that are sharp with small blades, so you can do detailed trimming. A pair of embroidery or nail scissors can work well.
Sculpting pompoms is easier than you might think, so start off with the simple shapes in this guide and you’ll soon work your way up to adorable animal heads, such as the bears project below.
How do I get started?
Begin the fun with some fuzzy yarn and a standard pompom
First, you need some yarn. You can make shaped pompoms with almost any yarn, but the best yarns have a good amount of ‘fuzz’ when you cut them. This includes wool, acrylic and cotton yarns, but try to avoid multi-plied mercerised cotton yarns, which are treated to eliminate the fuzz.
To check whether a yarn will make a good pompom, layer up five tiny lengths and cut across them. Here, we’ve done this to compare the cut look of a very fuzzy acrylic yarn, a nicely fluffy cotton yarn and a multi-plied mercerised cotton that still looks well defined.
Some crafters prefer wool yarns and finish their shaped pompoms with some needle felting to help bind the fibres together and fix the shape a bit more securely. This is not essential, though – you can achieve perfectly good results with some precision trimming, which is what we’ll focus on in this guide.
We’re also going to focus on transforming spherical pompoms into shaped pompoms. So, start by making a spherical pompom, which we’ll sculpt later into a heart shape. You’ll need a pink or red yarn (or any colour you like for your heart) in any weight. You can use any method you prefer, but we made ours with a Clover pompom maker to make the process quick and easy (see our quick step-by-step guide above).
You can make the pompom for your heart in any size, but we made ours 4cm in diameter. If you’re using the fork or skein method, to make a 4cm-diameter pompom you need 4cm yarn lengths and a 2cm diameter yarn bundle.
What about the pompom’s central tie?
Learn this vital rule before shaping
When trimming pompoms, you need to consider the location of the pompom’s central tie – the piece of yarn you used to tie up the yarn bundle. To show you how this works, we’ve trimmed the pompoms below really short:
From the front or back of the pompom, the central tie will run around in a circle laterally. From the front or back of the short pompom, the central tie is not visible. You’ve got more leeway when it comes to trimming the front and back as you won’t expose the tie.
From the right or left side of the pompom, the central tie will run vertically. From the side view of this same short pompom, you can see the central tie. So if there’s an area on your pompom that you want to trim really short to create your shape, try to position this at the front or back of the pompom and not at the side, otherwise your sculpting might expose the central tie.
How do I make shaped pompoms?
Have fun trimming our simple heart shape
To make shaped pompoms, it’s a good idea to plan out the shape you want first to ensure it looks how you want it to.
Here’s our plan of the heart shape, drawn over the diagrams. We’ve positioned the heart with the central tie down the side, where the yarn will be longer – at the front and back, we’re going to flatten the pompom a bit so it’s just the front and back that are heart-shaped. Our heart is 4cm wide (narrowing to a point at the base) and 4cm high (but with a dip at the centre top), but you can scale the shape up or down.
Take your pink or red pompom and start by flattening the shape, then trim the front and back, snipping off small amounts at a time.
Next, trim the point at the base. To do this, locate the centre-base of the pompom and trim a line from here up to the centre-right point. Repeat from the centre-base to the centre-left. Then soften the lines and graduate the curves up towards the top-left and top-right.
Now create the centre-top of the heart. It can help to dangle the pompom from the tie while you trim. Carefully snip into the centre-top as short as you can safely go, then curve this dip up and out towards the top-left and top-right. Then curve the centre-top dip down towards the flattened centre-front and centre-back.
Keep trimming to soften the curves until you’re happy with the shape. Take your time, pause regularly, scrutinise your work and only snip off little bits of fibre at a time. Move the pompom around to see it from different angles and make sure it looks good from both front and back. You can either do all this by eye or use a ruler to measure the width and height to make sure you’re still on track compared to your drawing. Once it’s finished, you can use it as a decoration or attach it to a project.
What do I do next?
How to draw your own shapes and mark the centre-front
To make your own pompom shapes, you can use our diagrams above as a guide to plan your shape (either trace or photocopy to your desired enlargement). Just make sure your shape doesn’t go too close to the grey circle (this is the pompom’s central yarn bundle), don’t go beyond the outer circle (this is the outer edge of the pompom), and don’t trim too close to the central tie down the side.
To help you keep track of the front, back and sides of your pompom during trimming, try adding a length of contrasting yarn to your pompom to mark the centre front/back. To do this, thread a tapestry needle with a piece of yarn in a contrasting colour and insert into the centre front through to the centre back – make sure your pompom is positioned with the central tie running around in a circle. Pull the needle through carefully to position the marker yarn. Wash, then work your pompom into your desired shape, using the marker yarn to show you the location of the centre front/back. When you’re happy with your shape, use tweezers to carefully remove this one yarn length.
Now that you know how to make a pom pom and how to make shaped pom poms, why not give this free pom pom bear pattern a try. It only requires some basic crochet knowledge to make the ears, and they make a fabulous keyring!