All about pompoms

Yesterday we were working on the Nutcracker dress, and got to the point where we needed to make the pompoms. (What, you say, pompoms? Yes, look closely: there are quite a few on the skirt’s hem!) So, I dusted off my pompom skills and put them to work. And we all thought the result was so cute that we had to show you! So here’s a little tutorial on how to make pompoms of your own.

Here’s what you’ll need:

–embroidery floss (this way the fluff will be about the right scale for dolls)

–a floss threader (sold for helping get dental floss through braces and dentures, these very flexible blue plastic “needles” are useful for a host of crafty purposes!)

–sewing thread, to match your embroidery floss

–scissors

And, two small plastic discs. These are very important, as they’re what will form the base of your pompom. We cut ours out of an old plastic container. Ours are about 5/8″ across; the diameter of the ring is the finished diameter of your pompom. The slit in the ring is very important; not only is it easier to cut out the hole in the middle if you’ve slit the ring, but it also lets you reuse them later.

Cut yourself some embroidery floss (we used about 48″ per pompom. It also helps to separate all the individual strands of floss and then put them back together — floss can get very tangly otherwise.) Next, put your two discs together, and with the aid of your floss threader, start wrapping the discs! Don’t knot the end of your floss; just hold on to the end until you’ve wrapped the rest of the floss enough times to hold it in position. Try to wrap the floss evenly around the plastic rings.

When you can’t force any more thread through the middle of the ring, it’s time to stop! (You may have to use another piece of floss; just hold onto the end as you as you did when starting with your first piece.)

Next comes the fun part: the cutting! As you can see here, we’ve trimmed all the edges so that what used to be one very long piece of floss is now lots of smaller pieces, and you can see the two plastic rings exposed in the middle. Make sure you’ve trimmed all the way around the pompom.

Then, cut yourself a couple pieces of sewing thread (this is generally stronger than embroidery floss). Put it between the two plastic rings, and tie it securely. This is what holds all the bits of fluff together. Then, pull out the plastic rings (this is where the slits are invaluable!) and give your new pompom a good shake!

Of course,  if your pompom has any hairs that are too long, go ahead and trim them with the scissors. Then, have fun thinking of ways to use it! We think these would be delightful on little Christmas trees, or on slippers, or perhaps even for wrapping presents…the possibilities are nearly endless!

–Melinda

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