Making a pom-pom is simple and satisfying. All you need is yarn, a fork, and scissors. Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- Yarn — I used worsted weight Noro rainbow-gradient wool yarn.
- Fork — You want one that has four tines. The bigger the fork, the bigger your pom-pom.
- Tapestry needle — Optional, for making garland.
- String — Optional, for making garland.
Step 2: Wrap the Fork
If you're right-handed like me, use your left hand to hold the fork, and use your left thumb to hold the end of the yarn against the fork. Begin wrapping your yarn at the base of the fork, right where the prongs begin. Don't wrap the yarn too tightly. It should feel more like you're placing the yarn than stretching it.
As you wrap, you can gradually move your wrapping hand up toward the tip of the fork, so that your yarn doesn't pile up all in once place. Once you reach the tip, slowly move back down the fork again.
Depending on the weight of your yarn and how you want your pom-pom to look, you'll want to decide how many times to wrap. I ended up wrapping 38–39 times to make these pom-poms, and I was using worsted weight yarn.
Step 3: Tie Up the Pom-Pom
Once you've wrapped the fork the correct number of times, cut the end. Make sure the yarn won't unravel from the fork, and set it on the table.
Cut a 3"–4" length of yarn. Pick up the wrapped fork and, being careful not to let the wrapped yarn slip off the fork, squeeze the center of your yarn wrap together a bit, so that you can see the base of the fork tines. Slip one end of the short length of yarn through the middle of the tines, underneath the yarn wrap. Take the other end and circle it around the yarn wrap the other way, routing through the middle of the tines on the tip-side.
Tie the yarn wrap together with the short length of yarn, cinching it as tight as possible without breaking the yarn, and then double knotting it. If the short length of yarn sticks out farther than the edges of the yarn wrap, trim them.
Step 4: Cut the Loops
Slide the pom-pom off the fork, holding one side of the yarn wrap.
Open your scissors and slide a scissor blade into the top half of the yarn wrap, above the center tie and into the loops. Cut. You will likely want to do this a bit at a time, rather than all at once. Try to get all the loops cut. Some will be shorter and others taller, so just rearrange the yarn until you've fully examined that side of the pom-pom for all remaining loops. Again, be careful not to cut that center tie.
Now time to do the other side! Turn it around and hold the freshly cut half of the yarn wrap, and do the same thing to the other side. Cut those loops!
Step 5: Roll & Trim
Roll the pom-pom between your two palms a couple of times. This spreads out and frays the freshly cut yarn ends so they are more evenly distributed in a spherical shape.
Take a look at the pom-pom and make your final trims. I don't care about my pom-poms being perfectly spherical, so I just do a little trimming to get rid of the obviously too-long pieces.
Give it one more good roll between your palms, and you've got yourself a nice, round, fluffy pom-pom!
Step 6: Make a Garland (Optional)
If you make a bunch of pom-poms and want to brighten a wall in your house, you can make them into a garland.
- A needle with a large eye
- String — something with some thickness and texture to it is going to be better than a thin thread, because the pom-poms will stay put where you put them.
If you know the length of garland you'd like to make, you can just cut that length ahead of time. But if you'd like to see how the pom-poms look at different spacing intervals, wait until you've strung all your pom-poms on before cutting the length of your string.
The only thing you need to remember when threading the string through the garland is to thread it through the center tie. Another way to think about it: Picture the center tie as an "O." Make sure your string goes through the middle of the O, otherwise your pom-pom will not be secure. You'll probably figure this out on your own, but I thought it worth mentioning.
Hang up the garland and admire your pom-pom handiwork.
Step 7: Conclusion
Pom-pom making is a fun activity for folks of all ages. I used a rainbow gradient yarn for this project, and it's a lot of fun to see how each pom-pom turned out, as they gradually changed from purple, to red, green, blue, and back to purple again.
I'd love to see your pom-poms. If you make some, post a photo in the comments, and tell me what kind of yarn you used!