Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns

Pompoms 3 ways

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double-pompoms

Having become properly potty about pompoms recently, and having made a couple of bucketfuls, I thought I’d share with you some of the different ways there are to create one of these gloriously satisfying orbs of fluffy, shagpile, pompomiliscious, plusciousness. (I’ve got a BIG  thing for pompoms, can you tell?!). So in this post you’ll find my three favorite techniques along with some hints, tips and tricks of the trade to get you making the perfect pompom.

A note on yarn choices

I like to use Double Knit/light worsted weight yarn or 4 ply/sport weight/sock yarn for pompoms around 1″ (2 cm) or less. Aran/Worsted weight yarn works well for bigger pompoms – over 1″ (2 cm) diameter. But none of that is set in stone so feel free to experiment and see what you like best.

For a successful dense and fluffy pompom an acrylic or woollen yarn is preferable to a cotton or linen yarn. Fibres that are more elastic and squishy, with more ‘give’ in them will condense better at the core when you tie the finishing thread around the centre, resulting in a pompom with a denser pile and a rounder shape.

pompom-comparison

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(1) The Cardboard Rings Method.

Pros: No specialist equipment needed. You can make any size you like, although I don’t personally recommend using this method if you’re making them less than 1″ across as this can be quite a fiddly process and might put you off before you really get started.

Cons: It can be a faff having to keep pulling the yarn through the hole. 3-4 metre lengths are optimal. For larger pompoms you have to join in new lengths of yarn quite frequently. The yarn can’t be wound straight off the ball.

You will need:

Some cardboard – cereal packets or similar are the ideal thickness.

Two circular templates. The larger template will be the rough size your pompom will turn out. The smaller template should be approximately 1/3rd the diameter of the larger one. I used a roll of Washi tape and a button for mine.

A pen to draw around the templates.

Papercutting scissors  for the cardboard (don’t be tempted to blunt your best sharp ended snippy scissors cutting out the circles, though you’ll probably get away with it a few times it’s really not good practice in the long run).

Sharp ended embroidery scissors.

A crochet hook.

Pompom-equipment

Draw around your circular templates taking care to put the smaller one as near to the centre of the larger one as possible. Once you’ve marked and cut out your big circles you’ll need to cut out the middle one. Cut a slit from the outside to the inner circle then cut the inner circle out.

pompom-card-11

The slits make it easier to cut out the central circle and will also be used to remove the card from the finished pompom later on.

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Place the cardboard circles on top of each other, making sure the slits do not line up. You will want these to be at different locations to give the cardboard rings stability.

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Cut some lengths of yarn to approximately 3 meters. For a pompom around this size, I like to use four strands at a time to speed things up a bit.

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Wind the first couple of wraps over the beginning of your yarn ends to secure in place.

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Wind the yarn either side of the short ends.

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Using a crochet hook will make it easier to pull the yarn through the hole, especially as it begins to fill with more and more yarn towards the end.

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Wind the yarn evenly around the discs. Don’t wind too tightly or the discs will bend out of shape.

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Add in more yarn lengths as necessary.

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Continue winding evenly until the middle hole is full of yarn.

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Snip along the spine of the wound yarn with a pair of sharp ended scissors.

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Tie a length of yarn around the middle of the pompom in between the two cardboard discs. For extra security I make three overhand knots on top of each other. Pull the yarn as tight as you can without breaking it. After a few tugs you’ll soon get the feel for how tight you can pull on the yarn before it snaps. Some yarns have a higher tolerance for stretching than others. If you have used a loosely plied yarn for your pom pom this will be weaker than a tightly plied yarn and won’t be suitable for tying off. In that case, you can always tie the middle with a different, stronger yarn.

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Locate the slits in the card and gently pull apart to release pompom.

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Trim all around until you are happy with the shape.

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(2) The Fork Method.

Pros: No specialist equipment needed. Very fast to make.

Cons: You can only make one size depending on your fork. Requires more trimming than other methods.

You will need:

A dining fork.

Sharp ended embroidery scissors.

Yarn needle.

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Wind yarn around the tines of the fork approximately 40 times. Don’t wind too tightly as this will increase the tension on the yarn and make it difficult to tie the pompom in the middle.

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Thread your yarn needle with matching yarn and insert tip through middle gap at base of tines.

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Bring end of yarn over top of yarn bundle and tie in an overhand knot. Pull tight and tie two more knots to secure.

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Remove from fork and cut all loops on both sides of knotted yarn.

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Trim all around until you are happy with the shape.

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(3) The Shop Bought Pompom Maker Method.

Pros: Pompom wound in two halves, no poking yarn through a hole. Requires less trimming than other methods. Can be wound very tightly for a super dense pompom.

Cons: Specialist equipment needed. Only available in certain sizes. If you lose your pompom maker mid project you’ll have to buy another one (I did this and the next day the lost one turned up underneath the couch – aaggh!)

You will need:

A dedicated Pompom maker. I like the Clover range the best as they are very well made and will last for ages (not being sponsored here, just my honest opinion!).

Sharp ended embroidery scissors.

Pompom-makers

Open out one pair of arms and begin winding evenly.

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Wind yarn around until the semicircular space in the middle is filled with yarn.

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Close first pair of arms back to centre of maker.

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Loosely carry yarn over to second pair of arms.

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Wind yarn until full and close second pair of arms to centre.

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Snip the yarn that connects the two halves.

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Cut the spine of the pompom on both sides, making sure to hold arms in place.

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Tie an overhand knot in between the two halves. Pull tight and tie two more knots to secure.

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Remove arms from centre.

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Pull the two halves apart to reveal your beautifully formed pompom.

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Trim any uneven ends if necessary.

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If you’ve been hesitating to get started on your own pompom adventure or have struggled with making perfect pompoms in the past then I hope this inspires you to have a go. But be warned, once you start you may never stop!

double-pompoms

So far I’ve used mine to make some Halloween garlands

Mojo-Halloween

…to add zings of colour to my Christmas decorations

snow-mantel

…and to make an exceptionally comfy cushion cover. (Don’t expect to get your fair share of one of these if you have cats!).

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Now I’m busy thinking up other ways to use my growing stash.

pompoms-galore

I’m always looking for inspiration so if you’ve got any suggestions for unusual or fun pompom projects that you’d like to share, leave me a comment, I’d love to hear them!

Author: mojimojidesign

Hello! I'm an amigurumi enthusiast, pattern writer, craft addict and cat fanatic, writing and musing about all those things and more from time to time.

5 thoughts on “Pompoms 3 ways

  1. Hello Janine, great tutorial, thank you! I didn’t know how to make a pompom with a fork, I will try this out. If you need some ideas for pompoms, have a look here: https://de.pinterest.com/search/?q=pompom+crafts there are a lot of projects and it is hard to decide which one you want to make first 🙂

  2. Hi,thanks for the info about pompoms. I never really knew how to make them so I usually avoided them. After making Mr&Mrs Snow a few months ago I did my best but I have to say Mr’s came out pretty lame. Now I can try again. As always, love your cats!!! Sue

  3. Pingback: Pompom Cushion Tutorial | Moji-Moji Design

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