This tutorial was originally published in December of 2012 and remains one of my favorite holiday crafts ever! It’s a super-fun DIY project that results in a wreath that can be used in lots of different ways (see the update at the end of the post!) and even makes a great transition into January winter decor. The garland is so cute, too, and both deserved a better pinnable graphic and updated photos for 2015. I hope you’re inspired to make one or both!
Hello- I hope you are having a great week! When I shared our silver, white & burlap Christmas mantel, I promised to show you how to make your own wool pom pom wreath and garland for a fraction of the price of the store-bought versions- and while I mentioned that they do take some time to make all the pom poms, I didn’t tell you how FUN they are to make! I mean, they’re pom poms. Don’t pom poms just seem fun? My daughter and I sat down to watch a holiday movie and just cranked them out. It probably helps that they are so cute, too.
So, I’m sharing complete step-by-step instructions to make the wreath and garland (see the Anthropologie inspiration pieces here), plus how to create your own easy, practically free, pom pom maker which is WAAAAY better than a fork – you can really produce a lot with this easily! Then you can continue to make custom pom poms in any color, material, and size you want, like these colorful pom pom ‘flowers.’
How to Make Wool Pom Poms, Wreath & Garland
Here’s what started with: two .99 thrift store skeins of creamy wool and a wreath form for .49. So just for fun, let’s do the math: I paid $2.49 at the thrift store and a few more cents for some cotton yarn to wrap the form in which brings the total to something under $3.00. The higher-end store version? The wreath and garland would sell for a total of $166.00 (plus shipping) – crazy, right?
Want to save big bucks, too? All it takes (after your few dollars) is time making a lot of pom poms – first for the wreath, and then for the garland. It does take a few hours, so find a movie (or two) you’d like to watch and maybe even a friend to enlist (or a daughter, like I did!) to help and before you know it you’ll be gazing at your high-end wreath you made for pennies.
- Wreath form (I used a 9″ form and ended up with a 12″ wreath – the Anthro version is 22″ as a comparison)
- Wool yarn (I suppose you can use acrylic, but the Anthro version used wool and I wanted it to be as close as possible)
- Yarn needle (or needle with a large hole for threading yarn)
- A way to make poms – since I wanted three different sizes, I crafted this high-tech pom pom maker:
Yep, I pull out all the stops here. You can make one, too (I know you want to) by simply hammering six long headless nails into a scrap piece of wood about 8 inches long. Make two of them 3-inches apart on one end, the next two 2-inches apart hammered about the middle of the board, and the last two 1-inch apart on the other end.
Whew. That was hard. Better go take a coffee break.
If you don’t want to DIY your own (hard to believe…), though, you can also use thick cardboard cut into 1,2, & 3-inch pieces to wrap the yarn around if you don’t have scrap wood and nails hanging around. The reason I like the wood-nail version is because I find it easier to get the pom poms to be similar sizes (the nails are only so long…) and the cardboard ends up bending after a few uses.
Make Pom Poms
You might have made pom poms as a kid (they come and go in popularity…), and they are pretty simple:
- Wrap yarn around two nails. The more yarn, the thicker the pom pom. Experiment to see what you like and then eyeball that same amount for each pom pom. It’s not exact, as you can imagine, so don’t sweat it too much. Cut the yarn.
- Cut a piece of yarn 5-6″ long and push it between the wood and the wrapped yarn with your finger at the middle. Tie it as tight as you can and knot it to secure.
- Slip the yarn off the nails (the reason why they need to be headless nails) and use scissors to cut all the looped ends.
- The pom pom will be essentially done, but may be a bit lopsided. The smaller pom poms are usually more oblong at the initial cutting.
- Trim it up with the scissors to create round balls. The 1-inch balls will need more trimming than the bigger poms in order to be round.
There you go – now just make a lot. And then make some more because it won’t be enough (and I’m not joking…).
Make Pom Pom Wreath
After looking closely at the Anthro wreath, it seemed they used different sized pom poms, so I used three different sizes on the wreath: 3-inch poms on the outside of the form, 2-inch poms on top, and the smallest 1-inch size on the inside (which you probably already figured out from the pom pom maker, but clarification is good, right?).
- Wrap the form with yarn. Use the same yarn if you have enough or a matching yarn. I used a cream colored cotton yarn I had because I didn’t want to use up the wool on this part. I could easily tie the beginning and end to this type of form, but if you are using a straw or styrofoam form you can use hot glue.
- Attach the outer pom poms. I wanted to be able to adjust the pom poms on the wreath, so I used a yarn needle and the tails left on the poms after making to attach them, tying them securely and clipping the ends. Hot glue is another option for attaching, but of course they’re set in place then.
- Finish attaching the pom poms. After completing the outside, attach the 2-inch poms to the top center and then end with the inner row of 1-inch poms. Tying the pom poms made it easy to adjust how close the pom poms were to each other as I went along so that the form could be completely covered.
Note: You may want to trim your pom poms into more rounded shapes after they are all attached, as well, depending on the look you’re going for. After I finished the outside and part of the center rows, my daughter mentioned that it looked like a shag rug. NOT the look I was going for. A bit of trimming to better see the pom pom shape and I was loving it again.
Make Pom Pom Garland
I used all small, 1-inch pom poms for the garland, though alternating with all three sizes would be a fun look, too. I sized it to fit my mantel which ended up being a 6-ft length – the exact size of the Anthro version. But of course when you do it yourself you can customize it to any length you’d like.
- Cut a piece of yarn to your desired length of finished garland, plus an inch or two for knotting. Thread a yarn needle (or similar large-holed needle) with yarn and sew through the middle of one pom pom that has tails. Tie the end of the long yarn piece to one of the tails as close to the pom pom as possible. Secure with a knot and clip the tails.
- Use the needle to sew through all the other pom poms, spacing them evenly along the length of yarn (my 6-ft garland has 14 pom poms, as an example).
- Sew through the last pom pom and tie off as you did the first one, clipping all the loose ends.
I really am enjoying this fun pom pom look and how it’s different from the normal wreath and garland. What do you think? Did you see the Anthropologie wreath, too, and like it? Think you’ll make these, too?
I LOVE this wreath and have used it every year since publishing this tutorial in 2012! To give you an idea of how versatile it is – and how it looks as good years later as it did the first year – here are some pictures of how it has worked in our Christmas decor through the years:
2013 – still on the mantel, but the colors are green and white.
2014- The wreath moved to the door of a rustic cabinet in our entry.
2015 – the wreath holds a place of honor on our Christmas chalkboard.