Friday, 6 November 2009

how to make pom-poms

I'm loving making squishy little pom poms lately. I'm sort of having an off-moment with crochet - not helped by terrible wrist and thumb pain - so taking a break from that for a bit. So pom poms still enable me to play around with yarn, creating pleasing little objects of joy!

I have some round plastic pom-pom makers, but I threw them down after about 2 minutes out of pure frustration! You have to keep cutting lengths of yarn and awkwardly threading it through the middle. No, the no pom-pom maker method is best! There are a few tutorials out there on the web, but I didn't find anything truly satisfactory, so this is my version.

You will need
some yarn
a crochet hook suitable for the size of your yarn
a darning needle
some small sharp scissors
your fingers!

You can click on any of the images to make them bigger.

Step 1 Cut a length from your chosen yarn - about 30cm/12" should do. Put it where you can grab it easily. We are going to use this later to tie our pom-pom.

Step 2 Take your ball of yarn. Put the end over your palm and hold it out of the way with your ring finger and little finger.

Step 3 Start wrapping the yarn - not too tight - around your remaining two fingers.

Step 4 I am using a DK yarn here and wrapped it around my fingers 100 times, but play around with different thicknesses and different wrap amounts. The more you wrap, the denser your pom-pom will be!

Step 5 Once you have the desired amount of wraps, take your length of yarn that you cut earlier. This will save you trying to cut a piece now - not easy! Slide it between the ends of the two fingers holding the yarn. You should leave it longer at the back as we are going to secure the pom-pom with this long end.

Step 6 Take the longer length behind and over the pom-pom and towards your knuckles as shown.

Step 7 Grab your crochet hook and stick it through your fingers to grap the yarn.

Step 8 Pull it through to the palm side of your hand and around to where you originally joined in the yarn.

Repeat this step a couple of times. Now pull gently but firmly on the two ends to tighten the 'waist' of the pom-pom.

Step 9 Now you can remove the pom-pom from your fingers. You will see that by wrapping the yarn round a couple of times already, it won't budge. This will really make your life a lot easier when tying the pom-pom. Now tie the two ends together, pulling a little tighter to secure, and tie once more.

Step 10 Now we are ready to take our scissors and cut around the outside edge of the pom-pom. Continue cutting through all layers until no loops are left. Be careful not to cut your ties at the moment!

Step 11 Here's the fun bit - shaping your pom-pom! There is no quick solution for making a perfect ball (which is where pom-pom makers have the advantage), but you're roughly aiming to trim off the longer lengths to match the shorter lengths. Shake out your pom-pom every now and then, hold it up and spin it around to see where it's uneven. You will however, have to cut off a lot more than you think is necessary!

And there you have it - a (hopefully) perfect little pom-pom! This one measures about 5cm/2½" across. You can leave the ties on until you come to use it or chop them off recklessly.

Now you can experiment. Try using two different coloured yarns together with half the amount of wraps. And you can use the same method above with 3 or 4 fingers, although a little more difficult to tie on the 3-finger method. I have even made some really small ones using a straight-sided fork instead of fingers!


  1. oh, how i know that pain!
    hope you'll get better soon and what a great tutorial!

  2. Wow! That is so easy - thank you! I have one of those pompom maker things but still resort to cutting out cardboard! When all along, I had all I needed right in front of me!
    Came over from Flickr and am going to have a good read through your blog!

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks! I hope you thumb and wrist are better soon. I think all of us get some sort of tendinitis from our work whether it's crochet, knitting, quilting...the body gets cranky when it needs a rest. Try applying ice to the area several times a day. It seems to help my wrists when they are over-used! Take care!

  4. Thank you so much. I wanted to make some myself. Your are gorgeous!! love the colors!

  5. I love making pompoms too, just recently made a couple and planning to do more, they are such a fun to make!

  6. That's something that even I can try since I can't crochet (yet).

  7. Fantastic tutorial! I've felt the pom pom pull before and might just have to give in this time....

  8. Allo
    very nice picture (as usual!!!) I love your blog.
    Maybe the bad pain is coming from the tunisian?
    I remember that is was sometimes painful when I did it a long time without pause.
    Hope everything will be ok.

  9. Excellent tutorial and very cute pom pom pictures! Thanks for posting this! I hope your wrist feels better soon :)

  10. They look like candy! Can't wait to make some...what are you going to do with them?

  11. hello! I just discoered your very inspiring blog! I am a big fan of pom poms! thank you for sharing your tutorial :)

  12. So easy?!! You are so clever! Thank you for sharing.

  13. you're a genius !!
    i don't find the plastic pompom makers so convenient, either...

  14. totally love it....what a great and easy way to make these pom poms....i just got a yorkie and he loves these things! Thank you very much!

  15. As others have noted, the plastic pom-pom makers stink! I bought one today thinking it would make the process of making many pom-poms easier but just working on the first one was tedious and made my hands ache. Then, it didn't even stay together!

    Your method is excellent, simple and quick and your directions are so easy to follow. Thank you!

  16. So easy many thanks this has saved me so much time!! x

  17. Thanks so much! This is the best tutorial I've found for pom poms :-)


  18. Just finished my gazillionth hat last night. I've been saving leftover yarn for pom-poms. Yes, I cut cardboard to make one. Changed my mind and started wrapping yarn around my fingers just as you did. Great minds think alike, don't they. :D


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Leanda :)