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Before my first plane trip, my grandmother Franny made yarn pom poms for my bags. When my luggage arrived on the carousel, it was easy to spot. My daughter is working at Girl Scout resident camp this summer, and I am helping at day camp. We thought our campers would enjoy decorating their bags with pom poms.

We updated my grandmother's cardboard templates to use plastic lid templates instead. The lids only need one hole cut, and the plastic is easy to cut. The lids have lips and are better for little hands to hold. Scissors slide between the lids when cutting the yarn edges.

Update: The top photo shows the pom poms my Lilburn Day Camp juniors made to decorate their camp items.

Step 1: Supplies

  • 2 Round plastic lids with lip (about 3 1/8" diameter and 1/4" lip)
  • Yarn (about 16 yards)

Step 2: Other Things Needed

  • Nickel
  • Pen (e.g., permanent maker)
  • Scissors
  • Yard stick

Step 3: Prepare Pom Pom Templates

Using a pen, trace nickel in center of plastic lids. Cut out inner circles.

Step 4: Wrap Templates With Yarn

Place templates together with lip facing outwards. Using about 2 yards of yarn at a time, wrap yarn around templates. Make sure to overlap the yarn at the beginning, so that it does not unwrap.

It works best if the yarn is not tightly wrapped. Try and evenly space the yarn when wrapping.

Continue wrapping 2 yard lengths of yarn until it is difficult to get more yarn through the center hole. It takes about 16 yards to complete a pom pom.

Step 5: Cut Around Edge

Slide scissors between the two templates, and cut the yarn around the edge of the template. If the yarn is wrapped tightly, it should not slip when cut.

Step 6: Tie in the Middle

Using a 24" piece of yarn, tightly tie around the middle of the pom pom using a double knot. Then wrap the tying yarn around a second time and tie it again to make sure yarn pieces do not slip out. Carefully remove plastic lids. Trim pom pom as needed.

Step 7: Decorate Your Luggage or Favorite Camp Item

Tie the pom poms on your luggage or favorite camp item. For variety, use variegated yarn or multiple colors.

<p>These are great! And a brilliant reuse of plastic lids, rather than buying pom-pom makers as seen in other Instructables. I can imagine many different sized lids for all different sized pom-poms. Well done :-)</p>
<p>I always wondered how pom poms were made....used to see them on ski hats all the time. </p>

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