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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yarn Pom & Garland Tutorial

Since I posted my Fall Yarn Pom Garlands here on the blog, and more yarn pom making in my Instagram feed, I've had a few readers ask questions about how I make them.  
So when I could not resist more pomming for Halloween, 
I took lots of extra photos to make a yarn pom tutorial.  
For you!

I'm not claiming to be a pom expert here, just sharing the way that I do it.  
And for what it's worth - I happened to have won a Klutz Pom Pom Monster Salon 
book, which came with curved plastic tools for wrapping and making yarn poms with.  
I used these with my boys recently, curious about the difference in technique.  What I 
found was this: the tools made it much more difficult.  The few poms we made with 
those were falling apart during the tie-off, and ended up being very loose and flimsy poms.  
The ones we made with the method I'm going to show you were not falling apart and 
were much fuller and fluffier.  I know there are other pom-making tools out there, 
and maybe one of them really is the bomb, but you can make them without.  And I prefer to!

For Medium Poms ~ Roughly 2" across
I wrapped yarn loosely around the width of three fingers, making 75 turns.  Cut the yarn here, plus a shorter piece for tying around this ball you just created.  If you are cautious, leave this wrapped ON your hand, and poke your tying piece of yarn up through your fingers.  It will go up through the base of your fingers (middle photo), and underneath the back of your hand extending out toward your fingertips.  It should go completely around the entire wrap of yarn.  Tie loosely to hold in place...
...then slowly wiggle the whole thing off your hand and pull your tie as tight as you can.  
Hold with a finger (this part is crucial) and tie again to form a good knot.
After a few, I was able to slip my wrap of yarn off my hand first and THEN tie it off, without having to poke the tie up through my fingers.  The 75 wraps stay pretty well in a big chunk, so as long as you go slowly you shouldn't have the whole thing falling apart before you get it tied.  Personally, I found this way easier, but like I said, if you are cautious you can tie it off like I showed above.

After you get your wrap tied off, you slip the point of your scissors in a few loops at a time and simply snip them.  I try to pull gently so that the loop is taught and I'm cutting in the center, but the genius thing about these is that they don't have to be perfect ; )  Repeat on the other side till all your loops are cut. Fluff your pom with your fingertips, then give it a little haircut to even out any wonky ends.  The more you cut off, the more dense your pom will end up being.  I liked mine loose, so at this stage, I cut as little as possible.
For Mini Poms ~ Roughly 1 1/2" across
Same technique, except I used a large serving fork to wrap instead of wrapping across my fingers.  Since the diameter is smaller, you don't need as many wraps.  I found that 30 turns around made a perfect mini pom : )  For tying these, you can poke the end of your tie piece up through the prongs of the fork, then tie loosely to hold, and slip the whole thing off the end of the fork.  Then you can center your tie and pull it nice and tight.  Snip the loops same as the larger poms, fluff, and trim to shape.

Making Pom Garlands
These yarn poms are fab in so many decorative ways ~ glued onto a stick "stem" to make a dandelion-type flower, piled on top of each other in a glass vase, jumbled in a pretty bowl with some pinecones, made into a wreath, tied as a tassle onto a gift in place of a bow...
or made into a garlandwhich is what I've been doing with them (so far). 
I like to make a few different colors of poms and string them all together in a pattern.  
I figure out my pattern first and lay them out in a row.  
My Halloween poms are a black/silver sparkle, coral, gold, and cream.

 I just choose one of the colors of yarn from the collection that I've made my poms from, 
and string the poms on with a large plastic yarn needle.   
You just go right through the center of each pom till they are all on there.
That's it!  Then you are ready to hang your pom garland.
There is a lot of flexibility to slide the poms along the yarn to get them spaced how you like, and for the length for the area you'll be hanging your garland in, too.  Just leave yourself a foot of extra yarn on each end of your garland to play with your spacing and hanging.


I hung my mini pom garland across the top of the mirror in our entryway, 
and my large pom garland across the mantel in our living room.
Yarn Pom Garlands made for some happy Halloween Decorating in the Craft, Interrupted house this year!
My next post will show you my entry table and mantel in great detail ; ) 
For now, here's a peek at my finished garlands...

Hope this tutorial was helpful for those of you who asked me about it!
Happy Pomming!


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