Introduction: Quick, Easy Practice Poi for Under $5

Picture of Quick, Easy Practice Poi for Under $5

No, this is not the Hawaiian delicacy, but, according to wikipedia, is instead a form of juggling originally from the Maori people of New Zealand.

My practice poi consist of 2 skeins of yarn and 1 craft cord, takes about 10 minutes to assemble, and is very affordable.

The title pic is a beautiful shot of Nick Woolsey's fire poi.
For more on poi, check out

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

1 pair of scissors
1 10 yard craft cord (available at any craft store)
2 2 oz circular skeins of cotton yarn (available at any craft store)

Step 2: Wrap the Cord Around the Yarn

Picture of Wrap the Cord Around the Yarn

1. Unravel the craft cord, then cut at the midpoint so that you have 2 cords of equal length.
2. Stick your finger thru the center of the ball of yarn, then stick the cord through.
3. Tie a knot in the cord, then slowly, tightly, and evenly wrap the cord around the yarn over and over, until it covers the yarn like the picture.
4. Leave at least 3 feet of cord at the end (in this example, there was easily 6 feet left over).
5. Tie a knot at the end of the cord, wrapping the cord around the yarn.

Step 3: Make Handles

Picture of Make Handles

6. Next, hold the end of the cord so that the yarn ends at your armpit. This measures out the length of your poi.
7. Tie 2 loops at the end of cord in your hand.
8. Put your index and middle finger each into a loop, and re-measure.

If it is too long, you can loop the cord thru the yarn, and tie more knots.
If it is too short, take out the loops and try again.

Step 4: Rinse, Lather, Repeat, and Even It Out.

Picture of Rinse, Lather, Repeat, and Even It Out.

Now, do the same thing again on your second skein of yarn.

The toughest part of this whole thing is making sure both poi are of the same length.


Step 5: Fire Poi Video

Picture of Fire Poi Video
And for some inspiration of what you can do with poi, here's a cool video of Nick Woolsey's fire poi.
Or, check out more of his youtube poi spinning here.


DevilishConcept (author)2012-03-21

Nice Post, im actually looking for some content contributors, to posts tutorials and other articles on my website, i cover subjects such as poi, fire spinning, twirling , circus skills, flow lights and loads of other stuff that makes you jump in the night.
for any avid contributors i will be sharing the advertising income depending on what they have submitted, if any of you guys fancy it hit me up on my site, if your not but you still like poi and fire spinning etc head over and check it out an join the forums :) much love

p.s we dont sell anything and its free to join!

Lorellai (author)2008-09-12

I bow down in awe of the guy in the video - he (&others at that skill level) are the reason I first picked up poi.... I'm speechless

For anyone thinking of beginning poi this Instructable will save you many bruise (and for bespectacled brethren - many a damaged frame!)... the only point I would add is that a little weight on the balls makes the swing more fluid and gives stronger momentum for less energy expenditure. Maybe wind some think copper wire in the middle of the loops so you don't have to put as much force into swinging the poi.

Sir Camm (author)2008-08-22

That's for the instructable :) Was there a specific knot that you find works best?

graphikartistry (author)2008-08-11

holy christ. That is bad ass video! <–still stumped by the 3-wave...

heliosrising (author)2007-12-18

to get the spherical shape of the poi, most schools in NZ put a ball of wool inside a plastic shopping bag, and tie it shut using the handle. just a thought.

kittensox (author)2007-11-13

You may want to add that these are dummies and should not be ignited! Very nice. My first practice poi were small chains and tennis balls and believe me I had the lumps on my head to show my skill level!!

Mfmalive (author)2007-06-28

I would really like if you added this to my group , this is awsome,also yours has a video,really suits my group!

megziewoodles (author)2007-06-28

They look good! I shall have to make a pair of those too. And post my method for making practice poi.

Thanks! Look forward to seeing your version on here!

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