Grandma's Fluffy Pom-Pom Techniques

Introduction: Grandma's Fluffy Pom-Pom Techniques

We are visiting Grandma (also known as "Bedste") this weekend, and when I saw the "warm and fuzzy" Instructable contest I knew it was the perfect occasion for some cross-generational teaching!

In this Instructable we will show you two techniques for making the fuzziest pom-poms.

Supplies:

  • 1x-3x Colored Yarn
  • 1x Scissors or sharp knife
  • 1x Large needle
  • 1x Cardboard
  • 1x Small pot for boiling water
  • 1x Pom-pom making kit (Optional)
  • 1x Grandma (Optional, recommended)

Any yarn will do, but the thicker the better. It's possible to change color halfway through. A pom-pom making kit makes things quicker, but it's entirely possible to make them with cardboard only. The grandma is optional, but they are known to increase chances of success as well as the likelihood of receiving cookies during the project.

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Step 1: First Technique: "hanging" Pom-Poms

The first technique is for making "hanging" pom-poms.

Step 2: Start With a Rectangular Piece of Cardboard

Starting with a rectangular piece of cardboard, simply wrap the yarn around it many times. When you feel like changing color, cut the yarn, hold it in place with your finger and start wrapping another color.

There's no need to spread the yarn along the cardboard piece - just keep wrapping it roughly around the same spot.

Step 3: Remove the Roll of Yarn From the Cardboard

Carefully push the yarn loop out of the cardboard - making sure to hold it together with one hand so it doesn't fall apart.

Step 4: Wrap Some Yarn on One End of the Loop

Take a new string of yarn, and holding the loop with one hand, tightly wrap the string around one end. Make sure to leave about 20cm of string. Thread the leftover string in the large wool needle, and pass through the bulky end of the pom-pom about 5 times in different directions (see pictures).


Then, simply cut off any leftover string.

Step 5: Cut Through the Large Loop to Free Up the Threads

Cut through the large loop in order to free up the threads that will make up the pom-pom.

Step 6: Optional: Unravel the Threads to Add Volume

This step takes time and is not entirely necessary - but it increases the volume and fuzziness of the pom-pom.

Using the large needle, unravel the threads that make up the yarn so that they separate from each other.

NOTE: The pom-pom is not finished yet - but the last step, which is Bedste's secret to make the pom-poms as fluffy as possible, is common for both techniques, so I will show it at the end.

Step 7: Second Technique: Round Pom-Poms

This is the most "classical" and known way of making pom-poms. Here, we use a kit that Bedste had - but you can easily just cut out some cardboard in a round shape to achieve the exact same result.

Step 8: Make the First Half-round

Hold the two pieces of the kit (or cardboard) as shown in the first picture, and tightly wrap yarn around it. The tighter and the more turns you make, the fluffier the pom-pom will be.


(apologies for using different colors and pieces in successive pictures - had to go and re-take some of them)

Step 9: Make the Second Half-round

Using the same piece of thread, do a second half-round in the exact same way.

Step 10: Assemble the Two Half-pieces and Cut Through the Side

Assemble the two half-rounds as shown in the first picture (if using cardboard, you can just glue the little flaps together).

Then, use the scissors to cut all the way around as shown in the second picture. Be careful to keep the threads in place, as they have a tendency to fall apart!

Step 11: Tie a Couple of Knots Between the Two Pieces of Plastic/cardboard

Go all the way around the pom-pom, through the space in between the two plastic (or cardboard) circles), and tie a couple of knots as tightly as you can without breaking the yarn.

Step 12: Remove From the Plastic/cardboard and Fluffen It Up

Gently roll and tap the pompom until it's all round.

Step 13: Make the Pom-poms Extra Fuzzy by Holding Them Over a Pot of Boiling Water

Boil a small pot of water and let your pom-poms hang in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Careful when you're holding them - hot steam can be dangerous!

The hot steam will soften up the yarn and make all the small fibers swell up, resulting in lots of fluffiness!

Step 14: Enjoy Your Pom-Poms

There goes!

It's a great way to use up small leftovers of yarn that would be too short for anything else. You can assemble many pompoms for making a scarf, carpet, or anything that strikes your imagination!

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