Hack a VHS Cassette Tape Into SUPER POM POMS!




About: ♫ Basking in sunshine ☼, creating new dishes... growing zucchini and swimming with fishes. Rattlesnake hunting the desert in Spring; these are are a few of my favorites things. When the wind flies, when the...

When you're ready to really cheer your favorite football team to victory, you're gonna need real pom poms! 

And you're not going to settle for cheapo foo-foo paper or ribbon pom poms, either, no sirree!

Not when there's an old VHS cassette tape collecting dust in the closet... just waiting to rediscovered and hacked into the most voluptuous pair of personalized, indestructible, free pom poms the world has ever seen. ;-D

Let's get 'er done!

Step 1: Dismantle the VHS Tape and Create the Poms:

For this step you'll need:
  • 1 VHS Tape for 2 Pom Poms (Suggestion: Terminal Island with Tom Selleck or any 120 minute VHS tape)
  • 1 6" strip of ductape, torn in half lengthwise.
  • A Hammer
  • Scissors
Make sure the tape has been rewound.

Forget the tiny screwdriver... grab a hammer and give the cassette 2 strong, exhilarating whacks on each corner!!!

Pull the spools out and use scissors to cut the empty spool free. Discard empty spool and broken tape casing.

Secure the loose end of the tape in the crook between your thumb and forefinger. Begin winding the tape around and around your elbow and back, like you would wind up an extension cord. (see pictures) 

Stop winding when you guesstimate you're halfway through the tape. Don't worry if the tape get curly and  kinks as your winding it. It will unwind by itself a little later.

When you've stopped winding. Cut the tape free from the spool. Keep grasp of the cassette loops in one hand. Use the other hand to secure those loops of cassette tape with a strip of duct tape.

Take the scissors and cut through all of the loops opposite the duct tape. 

Now you have one pom pom as seen stretched out in the last picture. Repeat this procedure with the tape left on the reel for pom pom #2.


Step 2: Pom Pom Handle:

For this step you'll need: 
  • An old spindle, a section of broom handle or thick wooden dowel
  • Dremel with small bit and sanding barrel
  • White spray paint
  • Clear gloss spray paint
  • Assorted acrylic paints and tiny brushes
  • Sharpies- assorted colors
I used an old 12" spindle that I found in the local landfill. I cut it in half to make 2 handles. Then I drilled 2 holes into each half. 
One hole was drilled for the wrist strap. The other was a pilot hole I drilled into the head-end where I planned to attach the pom pom later.

Next, I sanded the cut edges smooth, spray-painted both handles white and let them dry.

Painting the Logos:

After choosing Patriots and Giants logos from the internet, I outlined the design with a colored sharpie and filled it in with acrylic paint. This was a lot of fun, but also time-consuming because I don't have but a smidge of artistic talent.  

You could also use decals (and such) to personalize, embellish or otherwise bling the handles as desired. Personalizing your pom poms also gives them magical powers ... and it discourages theft from a jealous, magical-powerless rival. 

After I finished painting the team logos on the handles, I coated then with clear gloss spray paint.

Step 3: Attach the Pom Pom Head to the Handle:

For this step you'll need: 
  • A hammer
  • A thin nail
  • Electric drill w/ phillips head bit
  • 2- 1 1/4" screws and 2 washers (1 of each per handle)
  • 1 thin twist-tie
  • 2 large rubber bands (1 per handle)
Lay the duct-taped center section of the pom pom on a piece of wood. Place the nail in the middle and hammer a point hole all the way through the duct tape. (This will prevent the duct tape from twisting when the pom pom is screwed onto the handle.)

Remove the nail. Place the washer over the center point hole on top of the duct tape and manually twist the screw through the washer and out the other side.

Settle the tip of the screw into the hole on the wooden handle. Use an electric drill to screw down firmly.

Gather up 4 strands of cassette tape from both sides opposite the screw head. Tie the strands (8 total) into a square knot. This will keep the pom pom strands from separating and parting down the middle. See the 3rd pic for a better-detailed pictorial. ;-)


Step 4: Add the Wrist Band:

You'll need:  
  • 2 sturdy rubber bands or elastic (1 for each pom pom)
  • a twist tie
Use a thin twist tie just like you'd use a needle threader. Pull the rubber band through the hole and secure it as pictured. 

Rah-Rah!!! Well done!!!

The easy-peasy wristbands will keep your precious poms poms right at your fingertips... ready to express your innermost exhuberance as you gleefully (and magically, don't forget!) cheer your favorite football, baseball, or basketball team to VICTORY!

GO GIANTS!!! oopsie... did I say that? I really meant to say GO PATRIOTS!!! lol... no I didn't. ;-D



    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest

    21 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, I think my kids would love having these around the house.

    Though I can imagine my boy using it from the other end to whip people with the handle....hmm! Still worth a try :-D

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    SAFETY ALERT: VHS tapes are covered in a very thin layer of heavy metals, which makes them TOXIC to touch. The metals can absorb through your skin. The metals allow them to be magnetized. This is why they are not recyclable. THEY SHOULD NEVER BE HANDLED WITH BARE HANDS FOR ANY REASON. Making a usable item such as a rope by hand is (unfortunately) a terrible idea. They are especially dangerous for kids.


    3 years ago

    SAFETY ALERT: VHS tapes are covered in a very thin layer of heavy metals, which makes them TOXIC to touch. The metals can absorb through your skin. The metals allow them to be magnetized. This is why they are not recyclable. THEY SHOULD NEVER BE HANDLED WITH BARE HANDS FOR ANY REASON. Making a usable item by hand is (unfortunately) a terrible idea.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just FYI, to get the video cassette open, just remove the screws. There are four or five of them and you're less likely to have the plastic shatter and cause injury.

    I worked in a video store and had to splice broken tapes so I've had dozens of these things open over the years. Yes, you can repair broken VHS tapes. :)

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    If you've got an itty-bitty screwdriver, this is the easiest way to go... but it isn't near as fun as a hammer-whacking. :-) Safety glasses are a must.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hammer-whacking is fun, no doubt about it. But I can't imagine an pro on Instructables not having an itty-bitty screwdriver. /*enormous grin*/

    I think hammerwhacking should be included in the next Oxford English Dictionary.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    lol... I found that incredibly attractive hammer at the dump! It's obviously had a lot of practical experience. ;-D


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    lol... yeah, they drive me crazy sometimes... short trip, though! ;-D

    Thanks for your comment puppy!