Not so long ago, we had our first snow here in Milwaukee. It was totally dreamy and gorgeous and perfect for getting me into the Christmas spirit. It was the kind of weather that makes you want to hole up inside with an easy afternoon craft, so I did just that.
A few weeks ago when I was at JoAnn, I saw a wonderfully tacky pom pom wreath. Huge, puffy and gorgeous, it also cost upwards of $50. Since I’m a crafty gal, I decided I’d make my own version only much smaller and more affordable. I figured it would be relatively simple, making it the perfect snowy afternoon-in make.
For this project you’ll need:
- 12″ styrofoam or straw wreath
- 2 skeins of yarn
- Coordinating embroidery floss or string (just something finer than your yarn)
- Pompom maker (mine was for 2.5″ pom poms)
- Fine gauge wire
- Wire cutter
I bet you can guess where the first steps of this DIY are going. You’re going to want to start by making a mountain of pompoms. For my 12″ wreath, I used two whole skeins of fluffy yarn. You can pick any kind you like – mine was extra fluffy with a little bit of metallic fiber running through it, but plain old yarn would be equally cute. My only word of advice is to grab an extra skein – you’ll end up needed more yarn than you think.
I’ve never used a pompom maker before, but I know from the interwebs that they make perfectly round product every time, so I popped for the $5 tool, and it was well worth it. I found that the package instructions weren’t quite clear enough, so if you’ve never used one before, you can follow my steps below or watch this video. Making all this puff balls will take some time, but that’s what Netflix and The Great British Baking Show are for. 🙂
So just a quick explanation on the pompom maker – it has two sets of jaws that wrap around the center (which is held together by a pin). To start, open up both sets of jaws and wrap the yarn around and around until it is roughly even with the high ends of the U shape.
Then you’ll clip through the yarn all the way around the circle. I truly thought it was all going to hell in a hand basket at this point, but it’s not. When the yarn is clipped take a length of embroidery floss, pull it through the crevice in the middle of the pompom maker and tie a good knot or two. Be sure to tie it tight! This is going to hold it all together.
After you’ve tied that knot good and tight (that’s where the embroidery floss comes in– I couldn’t get this fluffy yarn to hold well enough), just open up the jaws, pull the two sides apart and there’s your pompom. They come out looking practically perfect – you might have to trim a few stray hairs, but nothing major.
Once you’ve made your batch of pompoms, it’s time to start wiring them to the wreath. To do that, I just cut a length of wire, threaded it through the middle of the pompom and then wrapped it around the wreath, twisting the ends together on the back side. I did this over and over and over again until I had filled the whole circle.
I had envisioned the puffs being a little more randomly placed, but on such a small wreath with only one size pom pom, they formed two rings instead. I don’t mind the look at all, but if you want more of a staggered finish, I’d advise using multiple pompom sizes (probably smaller than my 2.5″ ones) and perhaps a larger wreath.
Once you have all your pompoms wired and spaced how you see fit, you can finish up the back. I simple took those pointy ends of wire and stuffed them into the styrofoam so they wouldn’t poke anyone or scratch the wood paneling. If you plan on hanging this on a more delicate surface, you could simple hot glue a ring of felt over the turned-in wires to prevent any potential scratches.
To finish, I simply took a loop of ribbon and pinned it to the back side with a T-pin. It’s as simple as that!
I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the way this turned out. It is a tad muted (the shimmery fibers don’t come through on camera so well), but it has that plush look I was aiming for. Plus, it was a breeze and could be easily duplicated in all sorts of color combinations for different occasions. I’m thinking of grabbing a small pom pom maker and some super bright yarn to make an everyday version. Now if only there was a second season of that baking show…