Pom-poms (originally from the French "pompon") are an easy and fun craft for adults and kids alike. While we most often think of them as gracing the tops of our winter toques, they work equally well as quiet "balls" for children to throw around. A few years ago I made a collection of them for my three-year-old goddaughter. We christened them “puffies” and had a blast playing with them.
Pom-poms only take 10 or 15 minutes each to complete, and are an ideal way to use up leftover yarn from other projects. So find those remnants and get crafting!
Below are step-by-step directions to take you through the process of crafting your very own pom-poms. You'll notice that I use an alternative method than the tradition cardboard ring. I use my own hand as a template instead. Notably, this method saves time at the front end during the winding process, but adds time at the end when shaping the pom-pom. See how it works for you!
For a 3-4 inch pom-pom, wrap desired yarn around the circumference of your four fingers 50-60 times. (Note: 3-4 inches is the average size you'll get from wrapping four fingers on an adult hand. A child's hand will make smaller pom-poms and use 30-40 rounds).
After your complete 50-60 rounds, cut the yarn and leave a tail. Tuck the end of the yarn tail through the circled yarn on the inside/palm side of your fingers and tie a knot midway.
Once you have a knot, slip your fingers out of the yarn ring you have created with the knot on one side.
Cut a piece of string 15-20 inches long. In this case, both my string and my pom-pom are white. However, it doesn't really matter if the strong is not the same colour as the pompom because it won't be seen once the pom-pom is finished and fluffed.
Tie the pom-pom tightly at the midpoint right in the same place that you have your original yarn knot. I recommend a very tight double or triple knot. (Note: I choose string rather than another piece of yarn because it is stronger and more likely to hold the pom-pom together).
Cut the two ends of the string to the length you desire. If you plan to attach the pom-pom to a toque, leave a few inches for the attachment process. If you are making "puffies" for play, cut the strings very short so as not be dangling from the pom-pom.
Take your scissors and cut through the connected yarns at both ends and fluff out the pom-pom.
Shape the pom-pom with scissors in the areas where yarn is longer. This usually takes some work because the yarn hasn’t been cut in a complete circle, as it would be if you were using a cardboard ring for a template. With some care, though, you will end up with a nice round pom-pom!