Hello all! I hope you are having a great week and are enjoying this first week of December. We’re still adding to our holiday decorations around here and will put our tree up this weekend. I’m also making more pom poms and thought I’d share with you how easy they are to make, so that you can make a wool pom pom wreath & garland, too. Read on to see my step-by-step instructions to:
- Create your own pom pom maker
- Make easy pom poms (when you make your own, you’re not by store-bought color, material, and size)
- Use the pom poms to make a wreath
- And make a coordinating garland
So, remember these catalog items from Anthropologie that inspired our Christmas mantel this year:
I knew right away that I could easily make them, but you know what? I forgot how fun they are to make! I mean, they’re pom poms. Don’t pom poms just seem fun?
Of course it becomes a full-on dance party when you find the wreath form and wool at the thrift store. Cha-cha-cha.Yep, it’s another Thrift Store Transformation for ya inspired by an expensive item in a catalog. And since I didn’t want to wait any longer to post this – time is of the essence in December – I’m posting it on Thursday instead of Tuesday. But the day still starts with a T, so it’s okay, right?
I actually already had these thrift store finds in my craft stash – who knows how long they’ve been there? I know I kitted a throw using the wool and we’ve been using it for a few years – so lets go with that. I paid .99 for each skein and used 2 (with a bit left over for a few extra) for all the pom poms, and the wreath form set me back a whopping .49.
In case you’re like me and can’t quite wrap your head around math, I paid only $2.49 – and even if I add a few more cents for the cotton yarn I wrapped the form in, it’s still under $3.00 – for the same look that is selling for a total of $166.00 (plus shipping) – crazy!
Wanna 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 – cha-ching! 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, fancy-pants 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.
I should mention, though, that 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.
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, ’cause it won’t be enough. And then make your wreath and garland:
I used three different sizes on the wreath, based on my observations from the catalog: 3-inch poms on the outside of the form, 2-inch poms on top, and the 1-inch size on the inside. Which you probably already figured out from the pom pom maker, but clarification is good, right?
To make the wreath:
- 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.
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.
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.
To make the garland:
- 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? Are you all excited to get your pom pom on?