I bought a set of knitting looms online and they came with four free pom pom makers. I’d made pom poms as a kid with two circles of card, or plastic cut from ice cream containers, so I had the basic concept of pom pom making down, but initially I was baffled by the plastic pom pom makers because these were the instructions that I received with them:
I was able to figure out how to use the pom pom maker from the instructions enclosed but I had a whoopsie or two along the way, so I decided I’d make life easier for other people by creating a step-by-step tutorial here on my blog.
The 9 steps to make a pretty pom pom
To make a pom pom using your plastic pom pom device, you need to follow these nine steps:
- Open one side of the pom pom maker. (One side = two curved arms)
- Wrap with yarn, allowing your ends to be longer than the outside of the curve. It’s okay if they are quite long; they’ll get trimmed to size in the last step.
- To make a super squishy and dense pom pom; wrap the curve with yarn until there is no more room inside the curve to squeeze in more yarn. To make a more hairy-looking pom pom, use less yarn, but be sure to wrap your yarn all along the length of the curved arms.
- Close the pom pom maker. Don’t worry if it doesn’t close super tightly, just hold on to it. The smaller pom pom machines don’t close as tightly as the larger ones.
- Start cutting the yarn along the outside of the pom pom maker. Cut a few threads at a time until you have cut all the way down to the plastic. Keep your scissors in line with the centre of the pom pom maker.
- Wrap a piece of yarn tightly around the centre of the pom pom (between the two halves of the pom pom maker) and tie a double knot. Repeat 3 times to secure all the strands of yarn in the centre of the pom pom.
- Swing the curved arms open on both sides.
- Gripping in each hand one of the plastic circles at the centre of each half, pull the pom pom machine apart to release the pom pom.
- Use a sharp pair of scissors to trim the yarn and shape the pom pom into an adorable fluffy ball.
Detailed instructions for pom pom making
Below is each picture from the picture tutorial above, with more detailed instructions and a couple of extra pictures for each step of the pop pom making process:
Step 1: Open the pom pom maker
Hold the pom pom maker in one hand and use your other hand to swing open two of the arms on the same side of pom pom maker.
Step 2: Wrap your yarn around the opened arms
I used three different colors of yarn to make the pom pom in the pictures, and I wrapped my pom pom maker with all three at the same time.
To start wrapping, hold the end of your yarn against the pom pom maker arms with the thumb of one hand and use your other hand to wrap the yarn around the arms. Once you have wrapped the yarn over your starting end, you can hold the pom pom maker by the body while you wrap.
Step 3: Fill the pom pom maker with yarn
The smaller the pom pom maker is, the more you need to overfill the machine to make a dense pom pom. Keep wrapping your yarn around the pom pom maker arms until you have filled the center of the curve on the big pom pom makers, and overfilled it on the smaller pom pom makers. When you close the machine, the wrapped yarn should sit snugly between the plastic circles at the center of the pom pom maker.
Step 4: Close the pom pom machine
Swing the arms in towards the center of the device to close the machine and cut the end of your yarn so that it is longer than the outside curve of the pom pom maker. It’s okay if these ends are kinda long, you’ll trim everything into shape in Step 9.
Repeat the first 4 steps on the other side of the pom pom maker.
The small pom pom makers will try to pop open. This is because they are overfull in the center. Keep a good hold on the pom pom maker during the next few steps to prevent your pom pom from falling apart.
Step 5: Cut your wrapped yarn
Using a pair of small, sharp scissors, cut in a straight line between the arms of the pom pom maker. Cut just a few strands of yarn at a time by sliding the point of your scissors under the top layer of wrapped yarn. Cut all the way down to the plastic below. There should be no more yarn crossing the valley between the arms.
Step 6: Tie your pom pom up tight
Wrap a piece of yarn around the center of the pom pom machine. the yarn must go into the valley between the pom pom maker arms. Tie off tightly and then repeat 2-3 times to make a nice strong pom pom core.
Cut the ends of your yarn.
Step 7: Open the pom pom maker’s arms
Hold the pom pom maker in one hand by pinching the plastic circles between your thumb and first finger. With the other hand, open the pom pom maker’s lever arms on both sides.
Step 8: Pull the pom pom maker apart
At the center of the pom pom maker you have two plastic circles. Grip one plastic circle in each hand and pull the machine apart. Your pom pom will remain on the half of the machine that has a pin sticking through the pom pom’s core.
Step 9: Trim the pom pom into a cute and fluffy ball
Once your pom pom has been released from the pom pom maker, you can move on to the last step, which is to use a sharp pair of scissors to trim the ends of the yarn to create a round, fluffy ball.
I like to brush the yarn with a fork, just a regular fork that you use for eating, because I feel comfortable with holding the fork as opposed to a hair comb. However, a hair comb might be a better option for you if that’s what sits better in your hand. This part of the pom pom making process is the longest, so choose the tools that are the most comfortable for you; including a larger pair of scissors than those shown below.
I trim my pom poms over a bowl or a dustbin because this step generates quite a bit of mess.
Enjoy your pom poms!
I made this green and blue pom pom to decorate my backpack and I think it is hella cute:
I hope you enjoy your pom pom creations as much as I do!