How to make a pom pom

How to Make a Pom Pom

Yarn pom poms add a little bit of instant whimsy and a whole lot of cute to knit projects. They’re easy to make, help use up any leftover yarn from projects, and are great way to get some instant craft-gratification.

This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make a yarn pom pom and how to use a pom pom maker!

How to Use a Pom Pom Maker

Plastic pom pom makers make it easy to use a huge amount of yarn to create extra dense pom poms. The most common pom pom maker comes in two pieces. The yarn is wrapped around both halves of the circle before the wraps are cut. A string is tied around the center and the pom pom maker is opened, releasing the yarn pom pom. These plastic pom pom makers are great for two reasons: they make a uniform shape every time and the rigid plastic can hold more yarn than other homemade or DIY pom pom tools.

Anatomy of a Pom Pom Maker

How to use a pom pom maker
The most popular pom pom makers are plastic.
How to use a pom pom maker
A central channel for cutting the yarn and holding the yarn tie.
How to use a pom pom maker
The makers split apart into two pieces to release the finished pom pom.
How to use a pom pom maker
Each one has two sides with curved plastic arms that swing outward and hold the wrapped yarn.

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom

Today we’ll show you how to use a pom pom maker to create a yarn pom pom.

How to make a pom pom - step 1

Step 1:

Open one pair of colored curved pieces.

How to make a pom pom - step 2

Step 2:

Holding both curved pieces together, wrap the yarn around the central arc. Wrap from one side to the other, back and forth, until the space is filled.

How to make a pom pom - step 2b

Fill the curved space until the yarn is even with the two flat sections and comes just above the flat sections in the center. Make sure to wrap as much yarn as can fit for a dense pom pom!

How to make a pom pom - step 3

Step 3:

Close the first half of the pom pom and cut the yarn strand.

How to make a pom pom - step 4

Step 4:

Repeat steps 2 & 3 for the second half. Both sides of the pom pom maker are now loaded with yarn!

How to make a pom pom - step 5

Step 5:

Starting at the hinge on one side (where the colored halves attach), use a pair of scissors to cut along the groove. Cut all the strands on the first half.

How to make a pom pom - step 5b

Cut the yarn on the second half starting at the second hinge.

How to make a pom pom - step 6a
How to make a pom pom - step 6b
How to make a pom pom - step 6c
How to make a pom pom - step 6d

Step 6:

Cut a strand of yarn, about 10″ long. Loop the strand around the pompom so that it sits snuggly in the groove between each side. Pull tightly on the yarn ends until the yarn slides between the two halves.

How to make a pom pom - step 7a
How to make a pom pom - step 7b

Step 7:

Tie the strand an overhand knot two times, making sure to tie it as tightly as possible. This tie is what holds the pom pom together!

How to make a pom pom - step 8

Step 8:

Open both pairs of curved colored arms.

How to make a pom pom - step 9

Step 9:

Remove the pom pom maker by pulling the center white circles apart.

How to make a pom pom - step 10

Step 10:

Grasp the pom pom by the yarn ties and trim the ends of the pom pom so that they’re tidy and even.

How to make a pom pom - finished pom pom

The closer you trim the pom pom, the denser the final shape will be!

Just make sure you don’t cut the yarn tails or the central yarn tie holding everything together in the process.

How to make a yarn pom pom extra fluffy. Shows a half brushed pom pom.
A half-brushed pompom! Left side is right out of the pom pom maker, the right side has been brushed out.

How to Make an Extra Fluffy Pom Pom

Now that you’ve learned how to use a pom pom maker to create a yarn pom, we’ve got a fun way to make them even better right away.

Basic yarn pom poms are lovely and you can certainly stop there. BUT! You can make a super fluffy version by combing the fibers out.

Our secret: a metal-toothed pet brush! Use the pet brush to tease the ends of the yarn out (just like those big beautiful 80’s hair styles). Make sure you pinch and hold the center of the pom pom FIRMLY while you brush. Be very careful not to pull any of the strands out of the pom pom with the comb. If this starts to happen stop!

Brushing out a yarn pom pom extra fluffy.
a basic yarn pom pom
unbrushed, basic pom pom
a brushed yarn pom pom
brushed pom pom

You might also need to do a second trim with scissors to make the sphere even all the way around. The nice part about combing the pom poms out is that you’ll have extra length you can trim back for a nice, dense surface.

Pom Pom FAQs!

How do I choose the right size?

Pom pom makers and pom poms in general can be made in various sizes. Something to think about: the larger the pom pom the heavier it will be.

Figuring out how to make a pom pom for a hat is a common beginner knitter pom pom project. If you’re using at the top of a hat, a big pom pom might pull on the fabric over time or cause the hat to slip off. As a pom pom pulls on knits, it can create holes or distort the stitches.

What kind of yarn is best for making pom poms?

You can choose any yarn you’d like! Keep in mind, however, that a slippery yarn might create a loose pom pom while a wooly textured yarn will create a fluffier, denser pom pom.

Get Creative!

You can always use one color to make a pom pom. You can also hold a bunch of strands from different yarns together at once to create a confetti style pompom. Try wrapping different colors in sections to create patches too!

Can I make a pom pom without a pom pom maker?

There are quite a few ways to make pom poms. Some of them are DIY techniques that use a piece of cardboard or even the tines of a fork! While we definitely recommend trying these out because they’re fun and use things you probably already have around the house, we recommend tracking down commercially available pom pom makers to make the most perfect pom poms possible.

Helpful tip:

Because pom poms can be made using any yarn including super bulky yarns, finding easy ways to attach the finished pom pom to a project can be a little tricky. Luckily, we have a handy trick for easily threading a yarn needle with any kind of yarn. See the tutorial here!

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