How to make homemade pom poms

Use a small ball of spare yarn to make your own fluffy pom-poms for any decorating occasion. See our step-by-step instructions below to get started!

You don't need any special tools to create DIY yarn pom-poms. Make your own homemade pom-poms with yarn, scissors, and a large fork. Homemade poms are an easy way to dress up gift wrap, DIY Christmas ornaments, even home decor (like this fluffy pom-pom rug!). In no time, you'll be adding pom-poms to your party decorations, stringing color-coordinated pom-pom garlands, and even making them out of old t-shirts.

Make a Pom-Pom from Yarn

Supplies Needed

  • A few yards of yarn (we used bulky weight yarn)
  • A large serving fork with four tines
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Directions

We'll show you exactly how easy it is to make your own pom-poms. In no time at all, you'll have a pile of fluffy pom-poms ready for your next project.

Step 1: Make Figure Eights

Start by holding one end of the yarn ($1, Hobby Lobby) toward you. Wrap the ball around the first two tines of the serving fork, then around the second two tines, as if you're making a figure 8. You'll come back through the middle of the fork each time you wrap the yarn. Continue wrapping your yarn around the fork until the fork is full (or you have approximately 5-inches of yarn left, whichever comes first). As you progress you'll be able to make pom-poms of different sizes.

As co-director of our church's children's Christmas musical, I am responsible for finding six pairs of pom-poms for some "cheerleaders" in the play. Since we don't really have a budget for props, I looked for something really cheap, but that would still look good and "Christmas-y."

Do you know how hard it is to find a cheap set of red or green pom-poms?

After doing quite of bit of searching both locally and online, I came to the conclusion that it is actually next to impossible!

So I resorted to the homemade approach. I searched the internet and found one website that gave me some decent directions on how to make homemade pom-poms. I took the info, adapted it a bit (mainly in how to make the handle), and headed off to the party store to pick up the supplies.

I purchased two 1000 foot spools of curling ribbon (for a total of $5.98). I also purchased a pack of jelly bracelets ($.99). Armed with those supplies, some scrap cardboard, duct tape, pony-tail rubber bands, and a pair of scissors, I headed home and started to make the pom-poms. I was extremely pleased with the end product—I couldn't have been happier!

So, in case you need to make homemade "cheerleader" pom-poms in the future, here's how you can do it.

How to make homemade pom poms

How to make homemade pom poms

HOMEMADE CHEERLEADER POM-POMS

1. WRAP THE RIBBON: Take the ends of the curling ribbon and wrap them around your arm—like when you wrap an extension cord—many times (Every full wrap will give you two streamers in the pom-pom). The number of times will depend on how many streamers you want in the finished pom-pom. I've found that 100 streamers per pom-pom works well, so if you want 100 streamers, just wrap one ribbon 50 times (or 2 ribbons 25 times, etc.).

• To save time, you can wrap more than one strand of ribbon at a time. If you make two-color pom-pom, just wrap both colors at the same time.

• You can also wrap the ribbon around something smaller than your arm to make shorter streamers.

• Using two different types of ribbon can also give you a unique look. The pom-pom in the picture uses two different widths and styles of curling ribbon. Some of the ribbon naturally curled more than the other so it made a really full pom-pom.

2. CUT THE LOOPS: After you've wrapped the ribbon, cut the loops at one end giving you a stack of ribbon probably about 2 feet long or so (depending on how big you wrapped it).

3. ATTACH THE RIBBON TO THE BRACELET: Thread the ribbon into the jelly bracelet, pulling the ribbon so the jelly bracelet is in the middle of the length of ribbon. Then fold over the ribbon in the middle and secure it with a small rubber band.

4. MAKE THE HANDLE: Cut a piece of cardboard about three and a half inches long (or just longer than the length of the jelly bracelet) and about 2 inches wide. Then fold the cordboard in half lengthwise to give it a little more strength.

5. PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Stretch the jelly bracelet around the length of the cardboard like a handle, and then tape over the cardboard, jelly bracelet, and the rubber-banded portion of the pom-pom with duct tape or electrical tape (the picture shows a set I made for my daughter using electrical tape, which was much easier to work with than duct tape).

6. OPTIONAL CURLING: If you'd like to add a little curl to the pom-pom, you can curl each of the streamers with a pair of scissors. Just be aware that curling the ribbon will make each streamer much shorter than it started, so you might want to wrap it around something large when you cut the ribbon originally. I curled the pom-poms I made for the musical, and they turned out so cute (especially since they were meant to be used by 6 year-olds!)

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Pom poms: either you love them or you hate them. Make pom poms out of yarn or with faux fur like these. You can use a traditional pom pom maker or toilet paper rolls or a fork, or chair legs or even a cardboard cutout. The possibilities are endless.

Different Methods of Making Pom Poms

It is important to note that the size of your pom pom maker (whichever method you choose) will determine the size of your finished pom poms. Using toilet paper rolls makes for quite large pom poms, while using a fork creates quite small pom poms (great to replace bows on gifts!). Need something in the middle of those two sizes? Try two chair legs pushed together!

The most important thing is to make sure you have enough yarn wrapped around your maker, so that you get a nice, fluffy and dense pom pom.

How to make homemade pom poms

I have personally used all of these methods, but I still find that making pom poms with actual pom pom makers easiest (and a heck of a lot faster). I have all four sizes of the Clover pom pom makers, and I have gotten to where I only need about a minute and half for each one! This set of pom pom makers is similar and at a fraction of the cost. If you plan on making a bunch (like in the mohawk hats using pom poms) you might splurge and get yourself a set.

Want to try with items at home before committing to buying a pom pom maker? Read on, friend!

Making pom poms with Toilet Paper Rolls

How to make homemade pom poms

This method makes large pom poms. You’re going to lay two empty toilet paper rolls together. Wrap yarn around and around and around the two tubes until you’ve got a good amount of yarn. Take another piece of yarn (about a foot long should suffice) and work it between the two tubes and tie a tentative knot. Gently push the yarn toward one end of the tube, being careful to hold onto both ends of the yarn you’re using to securely tie the pom pom together. Once the yarn is off the tubes, tie it tight and cut around both edges of the pom pom (where the toilet paper rolls were previously).

How to make homemade pom poms

Trim to form and voila! Done.

Making pom poms with a Fork

How to make homemade pom poms

Using a fork, wrap yarn around all tines. Wrap and wrap and wrap until you get the desired amount of yarn. Now you’ll thread another piece of the yarn through the center tines, and tie a secure knot. Gently pull the yarn off of the fork and cut up both sides to create the pom pom. Trim to form and voila! Done.

Making pom poms with your hand How to make homemade pom poms

Basically the same idea as the concepts above. Simply wrap around and around your hand until you get enough yarn. Gently pull the yarn off of your hand, wrap another piece around the center of the yarn ball. Tie it tight to secure, cut up both sides. Trim to form and voila! Done.

Making pom poms Using chair legs

In this instance, you’ll use two chair legs as substitutes for the toilet paper rolls above. Push the legs as close together as possible (it is better to lay the chairs down) and wrap your yarn around two of the legs. Then, using another piece of yarn, tie around the center and gently remove from the chair legs. Cut up each side and trim to form. Voila! Done.

Making pom poms Using cardboard

How to make homemade pom poms

Using a cereal box or other cardboard (the sturdier the better) cut out two Pac-Man lookin’ circles exactly the same size. The larger the circle, the larger the pom pom. Lay the circles together and wrap the yarn around and around. Insert your scissors between the two pieces of cardboard and carefully cut around, being careful not to lose any of the yarn bits through the Pac-Man’s mouth. Using a separate piece of yarn, secure in the middle of the pom pom and tie tight to secure. Trim to form and voila! Done.

Today I’m going to show you how to make pom poms. I love craft ideas that actually have a function and go beyond just looking pretty don’t you?

How to make homemade pom poms

You’ll adore how super quick and easy these pom poms are to make and the kids will have a blast shaking them, running with them, spinning with them and dancing with them! Pom poms are such a fantastic resource for inspiring creativity and self expression and developing gross motor skills too.

How to make homemade pom poms

Supplies To Make Pom Poms

How To Make Pom Poms

You’ll be able to make these colourful cheerleader pom poms in just a few minutes and they’ll provide lots of physical play opportunities for your kids. I bet you won’t be able to resist a little song and dance with them too!

How to make homemade pom poms

1 – It doesn’t really matter what size tissue paper sheets you have but I wouldn’t go any smaller than A4 (12″ x 8″). Simply make a pile of all the colours you want to use in your pom poms. We used about 10 sheets.

2 – We’re going to cut the strips for both pom poms at the same time so fold the tissue paper pile in half lengthways. Then using your pinking shears to make lovely zig-zag lines, cut thin strips all along the length of the paper leaving a couple of inches at the top uncut to use as your handle later.

3 – Once you’ve cut thin strips all along your tissue paper, open up the two halves and cut along the fold to separate them.

4 – Roll the uncut sections of tissue paper tightly to make the handles for your pom poms.

How to make homemade pom poms

5 – Lastly wrap the electrical tape tightly around the handle to make it secure and to hold all the colourful pom pom tassels in place.

How to make homemade pom poms

I told you it was super easy to make pom poms didn’t I? Now let your budding dancer, gymnast, cheerleader or creative mover enjoy some creative self expression. What fun!

Boho style is all the rage. Nothing says Boho better than pom-poms. Therefore, I decided to add some to my decor, but I could not find the colors, style, or sizes; furthermore, they were expensive.

Creating my own was my only solution to getting the size, color, and price that I needed.

I have been making pom-poms for years using DIY cardboard makers, but they were difficult to use, and the results were not consistent.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase from one of these links, I will make a small commission, but rest assured, you will not pay more for any products.

How to make homemade pom poms

Then my daughter, Olivia, brought home this strange-looking pom-pom maker, and I gave it a try.

I finally found the easiest way to make pom poms, and I wanted to share it with you. I use this simple tool to make perfect ones every time.

Making a Pom Pom with Yarn

Gather your supplies, and let’s get crafting some homemade pom-poms.

Supplies:

**You can find all my must-have crafting supplies HERE.

Before starting, I had to determine the final size I needed for my project.

Note: The finished size will be determined by the size of the maker and yarn. Roughly the finished size will be the same as the diameter of the maker.

How to make homemade pom poms

Open one side of your maker. Then hold both your maker and the yarn tail in one hand.

How to make homemade pom poms

Start wrapping the yarn with your other hand until it is the marker’s arm is full.

Note: This might take a few trials to see what you like for fullness.

How to make homemade pom poms

Half Yarn wrapped maker.

Once the first side is full of yarn wraps, close it and then open the empty side.

How to make homemade pom poms

Open the second side

I jump the yarn over to the next side and then start wrapping the yarn until it is as full as the other side.

How to make homemade pom poms

Wrap the second side with yarn

Next, close your maker. It forms a yarn hamburger.

How to make homemade pom poms

Close the maker when filled

Securely hold the yarn hamburger in one hand. Then using a sharp pair of scissors, cut the yarn down the center following the center groove.

How to make homemade pom poms

Cut wrapped yarn

Cut a 12-inch length of yarn and tie it around the center of the maker.

How to make homemade pom poms

Wrap a yarn time around the center of the maker

I like to tie it tightly before removing it from the maker.

How to make homemade pom poms

Tie off the yarn

How to make homemade pom poms

Pull apart the maker

Once the yarn is removed from the maker, I tie it one more time through the middle of the pom-pom. It is my “insurance policy” that they stay nice and tight.

How to make homemade pom poms

Pull the yarn to one side and tie the yarn tightly

Use the piece of yarn that you tied the yarns together as “tails” to hold while trimming.

How to make homemade pom poms

Pom-pom with a long tail

How to make homemade pom poms

I used the yarn tails for holding while trimming I can now use to attach the pompom to my project or trim them if they are not needed.

What Type of Yarn Can I Use?

Well, that was the first question I asked my daughter about using this maker.

If you would like a seriously full pom-pom, then roving yarn would be the choice.

Using a chenille yarn produces a luxuriously soft product.

If you are looking for a pretty petite-sized one, then use an alpaca yarn (like this).

What I would call a regular yarn (this is the yarn) produces an ordinary product.

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How to make homemade pom poms

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How to make homemade pom poms

I used some on one of my favorite projects, the Gnome pillow.

How to make homemade pom poms

Mr. & Mrs. Gnome easy appliques

How to make homemade pom poms

DIY Valentine’s Wreath

Please join me ( HERE ) as we craft up some fun. You can look forward to receiving new inspiration every week. As well as special online crafting events, seasonal and holiday crafting too.

How to make homemade pom poms

I love to go to my kids sports carnivals and cheer them on! I used to love cheering at school when I was a kid too and I remembered we used to make our own Pom Poms! You can make them super easily and quickly!

To make your own you will need:

How to make homemade pom poms

  • A roll of streamer in your team colour/s
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Bull clip

How to make homemade pom poms

Step 1

Cut your streamer roll into long strips (we did about 30cms and did about 30 strips per pom pom)

How to make homemade pom poms

Step 2

When they are all cut secure them with a bull clip to keep them in place

How to make homemade pom poms

Step 3

Tape the ends using the masking tape. I did quite a few ‘laps’ around it so the kids had something to hang on to!

How to make homemade pom poms

By Penolopy Bulnick Etsy Store Follow

How to make homemade pom poms

How to make homemade pom poms

How to make homemade pom poms

Yarn pom poms are great on their own and they’re perfect for various knitting and crochet projects. They’re really easy to make and there are lots of different methods (and products) you can use to make them.

This is the way I’ve come up with that is cheap and easy, leaves you open to any size, and doesn’t require you to cut yarn off your ball to wrap them.

In the last few steps, I’ll also show you how to make the pom pom fluffier and how to do a multi-colored pom pom.

How to make homemade pom poms

Step 1: Supplies

Here’s what you are going to need to make your pom poms.

Don’t want to deal with all of this? There are lots of pom pom making products to make it super easy on you. I have never tried any so I don’t know how well they work.

Step 2: Pom Pom Wrapper

First you need to cut out the cardboard for something to wrap your yarn around. A popular shape for this is a donut, but I find that a little inconvenient since you will have to cut the yarn off your skein to do this. My solution was to make a cut donut.

  1. Start by tracing your large circle with the smaller circle inside (Don’t make the inside circle too big or too small if you can help it. Too small and you won’t be able to wrap the yarn in there, too big, and the pom pom might have too much extra space when you go to tie it.)
  2. You want to make one cut through the donut and cut out the center of the circle.
  3. Fold up the ends of your cardboard as shown in the photo.

The folds may annoy you and you can cut them off entirely if you want, but I find them handy for holding the yarn on while you wind it, and also you can fold them down when you go to cut the yarn which keeps the pieces from falling off.

Step 3: Wrap Yarn

Time to wrap the yarn!

Put your pieces together so the flaps face out on both sides.

Now wrap. Just keep going and try to keep it as even as you can. If you have big bulges, you are going to have longer pieces that will just have to be trimmed later, but it isn’t too big of a deal. It is hard to wrap the yarn near the ends, so it might be easier to stay more towards the middle like I did.

Step 4: Cut and Trim Pom Pom

Time to cut all your yarn!

Go along the edge of the cardboard and just start cutting.

After all of the yarn has been cut, take another piece of yarn and wrap it around your pom pom going between the pieces of cards board.

Tie it up! I liked to tie two knots on one side, then wrap the yarn around to the opposite side and tie two more knots. You won’t see them so you probably can’t knot it too much.

Trim off the excess yarn and try to make it as circular as you can (it will be uneven).

As you can see from the last image, the pom pom should have pretty much the same diameter as your cardboard circle.

Step 5: Tips!

  • It helps to fold down the tabs when you start cutting. Then those yarn pieces won’t try to escape through the opening.
  • I found holding as much of the pom pom as I could while cutting made it hard for stray pieces of yarn to escape. Though, the more you cut, the more they’ll hold themselves in place.
  • If you want to hang this, make sure to use a long enough piece of yarn to tie up your pom pom and then leave one or both of them long.

You can see what my cardboard pom pom maker looked like after making 7 pom poms. Mine mostly got beat up because I kept clipping it with my scissors.

Step 6: How to Make a Pom Pom Fluffier

The best way to do this is to take an old brush that you don’t care about (though, it is pretty easy to pick the fluff out when you are done). It is also good to use a brush that doesn’t have little nubs at the end of the bristles. Those nubs will just get in the way of catching on the yarn.

Hold the pom pom tightly in one hand and start brushing with the other. If you brush hard you could pull out some of the yarn pieces, but if you grab it good enough, you shouldn’t have that problem. Just keep rotating the pom pom in your hand and try to brush all over so it is fluffy all over the outside.

If you look inside the pom pom after you are done, you’ll probably notice that the yarn strands are still pretty intact, but the outside of the pom pom should be nice and fluffy now.

Step 7: How to Make a Multi-Colored Pom Pom

It’s really easy, just wrap two (or more) colors of yarn at the same time. Wrapping them together ensures you’ll get a more even distribution of the colors throughout the pom pom. Also, the more colors you do, the less times you’ll have to wrap since you’ll be wrapping more than one strand at a time.

Step 8: Have Fun Making Pom Poms!

They’re fun to make and they’re just so soft and cute! I couldn’t help making them in all colors.

Here is an easy DIY pom pom maker you can create from a scrap of cardboard.

This craft has been super popular since I first published it in 2016, and I’ve had lots of questions about measurements and requests for a template. I hear you, and now I’ve added one! I’ve also created a short video tutorial.

How to make homemade pom poms

I really hate to admit this but as a craft blogger I struggled for a long time to make a decent pom pom. In the olden days when I was a child we used cardboard discs shaped like a donut and you would spend a very, very long time carefully wrapping yarn around and through the hole in the centre until it was plump and ready to trim.

In this day and age we’re all a bit less patient and that technique seems very cumbersome and tedious (I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself here).

After a some experimenting I’ve come up with a much quicker and easier way of creating big, fluffy pom poms. I already own several plastic pom pom makers purchased inexpensively from the craft store and although I’ve given it a good shot I haven’t been able to figure them out. Quite possibly I’m a big dunce when it comes to following instructions but this way has been FAR quicker and easier for me. Let me show you how it works.

How to make a DIY cardboard Pom Pom maker

You will Need:

  • Scrap cardboard – the thicker and stronger the better
  • Yarn – I’ve found the very thick, chunky yarn works great for the large sized pom poms and the finer yarn works best for the small size but there are no real rules here
  • Scissors – sharp scissors are a must for cutting and trimming
  • pom pom maker template to get the small, medium and large pom pom makers (optional – you can see from the photographs that I have roughly cut the pom pom makers free hand, but in the video I’ve used the template)

How To:

Cut out a shape that resembles a rectangle with a slit running down the middle but not all the way, like in the image below. You can see I’ve made three different sizes.

How to make homemade pom poms

Wrap these in yarn. The yellow yarn in the image directly below is 8 ply, the other two are thicker.

How to make homemade pom poms

While the yarn is wrapped around your cardboard pom pom maker tie it tightly in the middle.

How to make homemade pom poms

Slide it off the end, turn it over and tie even tighter on the opposite side.

How to make homemade pom poms

Use your sharp scissors to cut the looped ends. It will come out looking very shaggy and a bit uneven.

How to make homemade pom poms

Now it just needs a good trim which is the big secret of making a fluffy, round pom pom.

How to make homemade pom poms

Instead of throwing out your pom pom trimmings store them in a plastic baggie and keep for future craft projects. They can be used in art collages or anything else you can imagine up, like these fluffy yarn pet rocks.

How to make homemade pom poms

The best thing about this technique is that is SO quick you can churn pom poms out in no time at all – no more cumbersome round disc. My kids struggle with the part where a knot needs to be tied very tightly (that is the trickiest thing about this craft), so when they make pom poms they need help in that area but that is all, it really is very, very easy!

You can use our DIY pom pom maker to make a pom pom hedgehog or a pom pom panda