How to make homemade pom poms

Written by katelyn kelley
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How to make homemade pom poms
Knit scarf with pom poms on each end (Catherine Chant)

Yarn pom poms adorn everything from hats and scarfs to jackets, purses and keychains. They are made from loops of yarn that are tied in the middle and cut to form a ball. Pom poms can be round and tight like low pile carpeting or loose and floppy like a tassel. The more yarn used, the denser the pom will be, so you can control the type of pom you make by how long your yarn loops are and how many loops you make.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Worsted weight yarn
  • Yarn needle
  • Cardboard or circular (2-disc) pom maker
  • Scissors

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    Using a Cardboard Template

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of cardboard to approximately 4 x 1.5 to 3 inches to use as a wrapping template. The width of the cardboard determines the circumference of your pom.

    How to make homemade pom poms
    Three-inch cardboard pom template
  2. 2

    Wrap yarn around the shorter side of the cardboard 200 times or more. Smaller pom poms require less wraps than larger pom poms.

    How to make homemade pom poms
    Yarn wrapped on pom template
  3. 3

    Cut a length of yarn approximately 12 inches long and thread it on the yarn needle.

  4. 4

    Insert the needle under the wrapped yarn on the cardboard, near the top edge of the cardboard, and pull the length of yarn through, beneath all the wrapped strands.

    How to make homemade pom poms
    Yarn inserted to tie pom loops in the middle
  5. 5

    Tie and knot the ends of the strand just inserted, pulling tightly to bind the wrapped strands into a bundle. You may want to wrap, tie and knot this strand multiple times around the bundle to ensure the pom strands stay secure.

  6. 6

    Use the scissors to cut the loops of yarn at the opposite edge of the cardboard from where you tied the knot.

  7. 7

    Fluff and trim your pom to the shape you want. Use the long, trailing ends of the yarn from the needle to sew the pom to a hat or other piece of clothing.

    Using a Circular Pom Pom Maker

  1. 1

    Cut four strands of yarn approximately six feet long.

  2. 2

    Thread the four strands of yarn onto the yarn needle. If the eye of your needle isn't large enough, you can do two strands at a time.

  3. 3

    Hold the two discs of the pom maker together with the bevelled edges facing inward so there is a small gap between the edges of the discs. (This is to accommodate the scissors later).

  4. 4

    Wrap the yarn around the discs by inserting the needle through the centre of the discs, coming around the edge and back through the centre. Pull the yarn tightly as you work.

    How to make homemade pom poms
    Pom pom maker discs
  5. 5

    Continue wrapping until the entire disc is covered and the strands of yarn are used up. You will have lots of overlapping as you do this.

    How to make homemade pom poms
    Yarn wrapped around pom maker
  6. 6

    Use scissors to cut the yarn along the outer edge of the pom maker. The small gap between the discs, created by the bevelled edge, allows the blade of the scissors to get underneath the loops of wrapped yarn.

  7. 7

    Cut a length of yarn approximately one foot long and wrap this around the centre of the pom, between the two discs. Pull tightly and knot securely. It's a good idea to wrap and knot more than once to make sure the pom strands are held tight.

  8. 8

    Pull the pom maker discs apart sideways to separate them from the yarn.

  9. 9

    Fluff and trim the pom. Use the trailing ends of the yarn you used to tie the centre to sew the pom on hat or other clothing item.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're short on cardboard and don't have a pom maker, you can use your fingers to create a pom too. Follow the general guidelines of the cardboard method, but use two or three fingers on your non-dominant hand as the template for wrapping.

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