I have fallen in love with yarn lately. I don’t know how to crochet anything besides a long, skinny chain (which I’m sure breaks both my mother’s and grandmother’s hearts), and I’m truly terrible at knitting. But I love to wander up and down the yarn aisle at the craft store, running my hands across the soft skeins and picking out happy color palates. Thankfully, there are a million crafts you can do with yarn that don’t involve much know-how or technical skill, and my favorite no-skill yarn craft of the moment is pom pom-making! Pom poms are like magical little fiber fireworks. They are fluffy and joyful and practically sing out “Party Time!” And you don’t need any special tools to make them–just some yarn, a good pair of scissors, and your hands.
To make a yarn pom pom, start by wrapping a lot of yarn around your fingers. The more times you wrap the yarn, the tighter and fluffier your pom pom will be. I wrap mine 100 times because 100 is a nice, even number, but you can do less if you like (or more!). When you are done wrapping, cut the yarn. While still holding the wrapped yarn around 1 hand, cut another piece of yarn at least 12 inches long, and lay is out nice and flat on a work surface. Carefully slide the wrapped yarn off your fingers, and place the bundle of loops right in the middle of the 12″ piece of yarn, making sure all of your loops are going up and down. Tie the 12″ piece of yarn around the middle of the bundle (like a belt), cinching it tightly, and double knotting it.
I like to hold the knot I just tied between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand, scrunch the extra yarn up in the palm of my hand, and cover it with my other three fingers, as you can see in the pictures above. That little tail of extra string from tying the knot is very important, and by holding it this way, I can’t accidentally cut it off. Pick up your scissors and begin cutting all of the loops in your bundle of yarn. Cut all of the loops on both sides of the knot. When all of the loops have been cut in half, you’ll have a very shaggy pom pom. If you don’t like it shaggy, or if it is totally and completely asymmetrical, you can trim it into a perfect little ball. Just trim and shake until your pom pom is a sphere.
You can tie pom poms by themselves or in pairs onto gifts and ponytails, or in huge numbers onto festive garland! I made yards and yards and yards of pom pom garland for The Hello Social I hosted back in January just before Alt Summit. It got hopelessly tangled in my suitcase, despite my very careful packing, so I don’t suggest traveling far with it. But it adds a fun and cheery touch to any corner of the home, to mirrors and mantels, and even the backs of kitchen chairs. Once you have lots of pom poms made, cut another piece of yarn as long as you want the garland to be. Use those pom pom tails you carefully protected to tie the pom poms onto the long piece of yarn. Use a double knot, then trim the extra string. Adjust the spacing however you like, and hang your garland! I secured mine with tape and haven’t had any problems with it falling.