Monday, June 23, 2014

How to Make a Yarn Pompom

I'm getting ready to post a hat that needs a pompom, so I figured that it was finally time to suck it up and write out some pompom-making instructions. And while I know there are many methods, this is the one I think works best. So let's get started!

1. Notice my circles aren't perfect. They don't need to be!

1. Cut out two cardboard circles that are roughly 3” in diameter, and cut a 1” hole in the middle. As you’ll notice, exact precision isn’t necessary. You can also cut bigger or smaller circles, depending on how big you want your pompom to be (this one will be a shy two inches, since that's the difference between your outer circle and your inner circle, and it shrinks a little with the tight wrapping. If you make a mondo pompom, you'll want to cut a bigger center hole, since you'll need a boatload of wrapping to make it look right).

2. And now, start wrapping that sucker up!

2. Thread a long tail (3+ yards, or as much as you’re willing to use, really) of yarn on your tapestry needle, and then, holding your two cardboard pieces together, loop through center hole repeatedly, with some care not to get your end tangled up in the loops.

3. Keep wrapping. If you're not bored yet, you're not done.

3. Continue to wrap yarn until you have quite some yarn volume on your cardboard donut, but don’t worry if you need to use multiple pieces of yarn to accomplish this goal; as the essence of the pompom is a bunch of cut-off ends poking out in all directions, you can use as many different cut pieces of yarn as you need for adequate wrapping. And despite the fact that making a pompom is a pretty annoying venture, you will want to make sure that you have thorough coverage, or your pompom will be scrawny and sad. For perspective, I’ve wrapped mine minimally.

4. The cutting. It will be easier if your scissors are nicer than mine.

4. Once wrapping is complete, insert scissors between two cardboard discs, and cut around the entire edge of the pompom. 

5. Tie that baby up!

5. Pull cardboard discs apart slightly, to expose juicy center of yarn. Cut one final piece of yarn (about 18” should do it), and wrap around center, knotting as tightly as you can without breaking anything or cutting off circulation in your fingers. Knot again, if you’re as paranoid as me. Leaving those two ends long, work cardboard discs off of pompom (you can cut them off, if you like, just try not to cut your pompom ends in the process).

6. Mr. Pompom, trimmed and placed in his natural habitat.

6. Finally, fluff and trim pompom as desired, but leave your two long ends from your tie. These will come in handy when you want to attach your pompom to something. Please note, however; cats do not seem to like to wear these as hats. Go figure!

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