Pom poms are simple to make and don't require any special tools. Use a simple square of cardboard, a ball of yarn and a pair of scissors to make those adorable, fuzzy little decorations. Get the kids in on the action by letting them wind their favorite colors of yarn while you cut and trim.
Pom poms are made by winding yarn around a piece of cardboard. After you determine the diameter of the pom pom, add an extra inch for the length and width of the cardboard. For example, if you want a finished pom pom measuring two inches in diameter, cut a piece of cardboard measuring three inches square. The extra inch will give you some leeway when you're trimming the pom pom.
You can use any kind of yarn to make pom poms. Keep in mind that finer yarns, such as baby yarns and sport yarns, will require that you wind more layers around the cardboard in order to achieve fullness.
Winding the Yarn
Hold the cardboard in your left hand and place the end of the yarn at its bottom left, so that you can hold it with your left thumb. Wind the yarn evenly around the cardboard, starting at the left and working across the cardboard. When you reach the right side, rotate the cardboard so that the spot where you stopped is now on the left, and continue winding. The number of layers you wind around the cardboard will determine the fullness of the finished pom pom. If you're using a four-ply yarn, you'll need at least three layers, but four or five layers will give you a better result.
Cutting and Trimming
When you've finished winding, cut the end of the yarn at the bottom of the cardboard. Cut a separate piece of yarn that's twice the length of your cardboard. For example, if your cardboard is three inches long, cut a six-inch piece of yarn.
Carefully slide the wound yarn off the cardboard and hold it firmly in your left hand. Wrap the separate piece of yarn around its middle and knot it as tightly as you can. If you find it difficult to do this, you might need to have someone else tie the knot.
Hold the ends of the six-inch piece of yarn in your left hand. Don't trim them, as you'll use them for tying the pom pom to your project. With sharp scissors, cut through all of the looped ends of the yarn, then trim them to a uniform size. You'll need to trim away almost half of the yarn before you see a fuzzy pom pom emerge.
Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.