Moji-Moji Design

Original Amigurumi Crochet Patterns


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Pompom Cushion Tutorial

Having had a few requests for how to make my pompom cushion I’ve compiled a more in depth post for those of you who would like to make one or for those that are simply curious about the process of how I turned a heap of pompoms into a useful and sturdy piece of home furnishing.

It’s pretty easy to do but I thought some step by step pictures would help out a bit, as well as a few hints and tips along the way.

pompom-cush

First of all you’ll need to make a whole heap of pompoms. This is not as daunting as it sounds. With a shop bought pompom maker, or even just a simple fork, you can whizz up batches of these in front of the TV, listening to the radio, lolling about in the garden or on long car/train/plane journeys, in the dentist’s waiting room or even talking on the phone. The bit by bit approach is an excellent strategy here.

Pompom making is the ultimate take-anywhere craft. Just be careful where you trim them. Some people get annoyed (sorry hubby) if they turn up to work in a smart suit all ready for their Monday morning meeting only to find they’re covered in a rainbow of fluff that has somehow become stuck to nearly every soft surface in the car.

double-pompoms

For handy tips and tricks to make the perfect pompom see my tutorial here.

double-pompoms

As well as a whole heap of pompoms you’ll need an 18″ round cushion pad and an 18″ zip, a 5 mm crochet hook, some Aran weight yarn (or worsted weight will do), a tapestry needle and a pair of scissors.

For the crochet bases I made two identical circles around 17″ in diameter. Making the crocheted pieces slightly smaller than your cushion pad ensures the finished piece will be nice and puffy once the pad is inserted.

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To speed up the crocheting process use doubled up Aran (worsted weight) yarn with your 5 mm hook. Crocheting with two strands at a time will give you a thick and sturdy fabric that holds it’s shape well and is not prone to too much stretching.

If you’re not familiar with how to make a crochet circle, follow the increase method described in my pattern for recycled cloth  seat pads here. It’s about halfway down the post. Just keep increasing in this way (adding 6 stitches in each round) until your circles are the required size.

double-pompoms

Now you’ve got your crocheted bases and your pompoms ready, or at least enough for the first few rounds (there’s no need to overwhelm yourself and make them all at once) we can get started.

Begin by sewing one of your pompoms to the center of one of your crocheted circles.  I left the tying ends on this pompom and used both of them to sew it securely to the fabric. Tie off and weave in the ends at the back. For the eagle eyed among you, I later cut this pale blue pompom out and replaced it with a dark blue as I liked the look of it better, but you still get the idea, even if I messed up the continuity of the photos. I can get way too fussy sometimes!

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Next, cut a piece of strong yarn  to the required length and thread onto a tapestry needle. Make a string of pompoms by inserting  the tapestry needle through the center of each pompom, making sure your needle goes through the middle of the piece of yarn that you used to tie your pompom strands together.

You can roll the pompom around between your thumb and forefinger to feel for the doughnut shape if it’s not immediately obvious where it’s located. Don’t thread through from the side by mistake as your pompom will be liable to slip off the string.

pompom-string

You can make your pompom strings in any colour combinations you like. Once you’ve decided which colours you’re going to be using, thread enough of the pompoms onto a string that is long enough to encircle the previous round then tie the ends of the string together in a knot.

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Place on your crocheted circle and use a strand of strong yarn to sew the string down onto the fabric placing one stitch in between each pompom all the way around.

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As the strings of pompoms get longer you will find it is useful to use the tail ends from the pompom threading yarn to sew one side in place with a stitch, tying off the yarn at the back of the fabric. Begin sewing between all pompoms from the opposite side of where the pompom string is secured to the fabric. This will help keep the circle in place as you sew.

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Measure each subsequent ring of pompoms around the previous one to ensure an exact fit.

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Make sure all stitches go over and under the yarn between each pair of pompoms. Pull on the stitches firmly to make sure each round is secured firmly in place.

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Carry on in this way attaching the pompoms in rings to the top part of the cushion cover…

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…until it is entirely covered.

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Place the back circle onto the top circle and use two pins to mark a place large enough to fit in the zip.

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With a 5 mm hook and doubled up Aran yarn, join the top of the top of the cushion to the back using US single crochets (UK double crochets) through the stitches on the edge of both pieces. Start from point (a) and end at point (b) on pictures above and below.

a

When you reach point (b) continue single crocheting around the edge but now make your stitches in the top part of the cushion cover only. When you reach the end of the gap for the zip you will have arrived back at point (a). Turn your work over and continue crocheting back to point (b) placing your stitches in the back part of the cushion cover only.

ab

Once you reach point (b) again your cushion cover will look like this.

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Fasten off and weave in the yarn ends.

Unzipper the zip and pin into place making sure the teeth of the zip are neatly aligned just a fraction behind the edge of the crocheted pieces. Sew zipper in place with small back stitches.

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Your cushion will now close neatly.

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To hide the joining round of crochet add one more string of pompoms using the same technique as before.

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Once the joining round is covered with pompoms you’re all finished.

finished-pompom-cushion

I will guarantee this is going to be the comfiest cush your tush has ever sat on!

As you can tell, all my cats are pleased as punch with it!

four-cats

I just want to know – when will it be my turn?!


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DIY Chair Cushion Pads

chairs

I’ve had a few requests for the pattern for my zipless recycled cloth chair pads so after a bit of photo gathering and note making I’m happy to say that I am, at last, ready to share with you all exactly how to make a cheap and cheerful bottom hugger of your own.

Seat-Pad

First you’ll need some balls of clarn (cloth yarn). It’s very easy to make, have a look at my previous post – Ripping Yarns for more info and tips on how to upcycle your own from old bed sheets and duvet covers.

Here’s me in action, ripping and rolling my way through a double duvet cover that’s seen better days.

Rolling-clarn

If you can do this part outdoors then all the better, as it does create quite a bit of dust as you tear through the fibres but it’s much quicker than cutting the strips with scissors and your strips will always follow a uniformly straight line down the grain of the cloth. I also really like the raggy edges as they add a bit of texture and shabby chicness to a project.

clarn-balls

For these seat pads I used an 18″ round, feather filled inner (from Dunelm) so this pattern will be for that size of pad, but if you have a different size pad just crochet more or less rounds until it fits.

feather-pad

I like to make my clarn covers slightly smaller than the actual cushion, so that the finished seat pad is nice and puffy, and won’t flatten out too much. Think more macaroon than pancake!

Seat-Pads

For this particular pattern I made my clarn strips approx 2 cm wide, – or three quarters of an inch if you’re not into the whole metric thing.

clarn-strips

So, clarn at the ready, you’ll also need a size N (10 mm) crochet hook, a large yarn needle, and if you’re not changing colour every round you will want to mark the ends of your rounds with a stitch marker. If you don’t have a stitch marker then a paperclip or safety pin will do the job just as well. This is my armoury of stitch markers. As you can see I have everything form a dinky jewelry clip to a chunky bag clip and all manner of things raided from the stationery drawer. I’m happy to grab whatever is to hand.

stitch-markers

On rounds where you do change colours introduce the new colour when there are two loops of the old colour on the hook, then make a slip stitch instead of a sc for the first stitch of the new colour. The slip stitch will give you less of a ‘step’ between the colours because it is shorter in height than a sc. (See below, figures a d). After step d is completed carry on making sc until the end of the round. Make an extra sc in the slip stitch you made at the beginning of the round. This extra sc will help to compensate for the shortness of the slip stitch and will give a much neater finish.

Colour-Change-Cushion

If you’re changing colours every row or two you can carry the unused colour up the back of the work to save keep cutting and rejoining. You can see the arced line of colour changes at the back of the piece below.

twisting-clarn

If you’re using lots of different colours or your stripes are quite thick then cut the clarn at the colour change, tie them together and crochet over the ends as you go.

With 2 cm wide cloth strips and a 10 mm hook I found the instructions below made a perfect fit for my 18″ cushion pad but you can add or subtract rows if your cushion is a different size. If you need to make the cushion bigger just keep increasing by six stitches on each round until you reach the required size.

The Pattern (Written in US terms, US sc = UK dc)
Make 2 pieces.
With your chosen colour and a 10 mm hook make 2 ch.
Rnd 1: 6 sc in second ch from hook. (6 sts)
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of next 6 st. (12 sts)
Rnd 3: [sc in next st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (18 sts)
Rnd 4: [sc in each of next 2 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (24 sts)
Rnd 5: [sc in each of next 3 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (30 sts)
Rnd 6: [sc in each of next 4 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (36 sts)
Rnd 7: [sc in each of next 5 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (42 sts)
Rnd 8: [sc in each of next 6 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (48 sts)
Rnd 9: [sc in each of next 7 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (54 sts)
Rnd 10: [sc in each of next 8 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (60 sts)
Rnd 11: [sc in each of next 9 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (66 sts)
Rnd 12: [sc in each of next 10 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (72 sts)
Rnd 13: [sc in each of next 11 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (78 sts)
Rnd 14: [sc in each of next 12 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (84 sts)
Rnd 15: [sc in each of next 13 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (90 sts)
Rnd 16: [sc in each of next 14 st, 2 sc in next st] 6 times. (96 sts)
Rnd 17: sc in each st around. (96 sts)
Fasten off. Weave in the yarn end.

You can make the front and the back in the same colours or vary them for a reversible seat pad with a different look for each side to suit your mood. Or, if you have a lot of clarn in a colour you don’t really like you can make the back in this and save your favorite colours for the top.

Here’s the first finished piece. You can see it’s slightly smaller than the pad. Perfect for a puffy looking cushion.

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To join the pieces, hold them together with wrong sides facing.

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Insert your hook through both layers of any sc from Rnd 17. Leaving a tail of around 12″ at the beginning, pull up a loop of clarn and make 1 ch.

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Rnd 18: Making sure the next stitches go through both the top and the back of the cover, sc in same stitch as join, sc in each of the next 78 st only.
(You will now have an opening of 18 stitches that you haven’t crocheted together).

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Sc in each of the next 18 st in the top layer only, Slst to the first st of Rnd 18 (a), turn work and make 1 ch (b) sc in each of the next 18st in the bottom layer only (c), Slst to the next st (d).

cishion-opening

Fasten off, leaving a 12″ tail at the end. You will now have a 12″ tail either side of the opening.

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Insert your cushion pad into the cover. Cut a 36″ strip of clarn the same colour as you used for the final round. Make sure this strip has no turning tags on it. You’ll need a good strong strip that won’t rip apart as you sew.

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Thread the strip onto a large yarn needle and leaving a 12″ tail at the beginning, sew a line of running stitches in and out of both layers of the final 18 sts from Rnd 18.

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Tie the clarn ends in a bow for a decorative finish, or you could poke them into the cushion to hide them.

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If this is intended as a seat pad for a wooden chair then use the two sets of 12″ strips to tie the seat pad to the back spokes so you won’t be slip sliding away.

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When you need to wash the cover simply untie the bows and pull out the strip of clarn you used to close the seam. You can now remove your cushion and fling the cover in the washing machine. Keep the strip to hand for sewing it together again once it’s all clean and fresh.

There’s a couple of cheeky apes getting down and cosy on mine already.

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One word of caution, crocheting with thick clarn can be quite tiring on the hands. Holding your crochet hook more like  a bread knife than a pencil will help, but make sure you take lots of breaks if you’re feeling the strain. You can always try to persuade a friendly neighborhood cat to help you out with a few rounds.

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To be honest, I haven’t had much success with that yet, I just get this steely look, but maybe you’re much more persuasive than I am!