How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom

Making a yarn pom pom should be in the portfolio of any serious crafter. They are fun, versatile, and a great way to add a pop of color and texture to your projects. They can be a great addition to your project, whether you’re knitting a hat or making a pom pom garland. What’s more, yarn pom poms are quite easy to make. 

DIY POM POMS - How to Make Pom Poms With 4 Easy Methods

There are several ways you can go about making your DIY pom poms. We decided to pick out the four quickest, easiest, and most fun methods. Here is what you’ll need for each one:

- Method 1: yarn, a piece of sturdy cardboard, scissors, a pencil and a round object to trace the cutout;

- Method 2: yarn, scissors;

- Method 3: yarn, scissors, fork;

- Method 4: yarn, scissors, pom pom maker.

1. How to Make a Pom Pom With a Cardboard Template

The first way to make a yarn pom pom is to use a cardboard template. For this method, you will need a piece of sturdy cardboard, a pair of scissors, and, of course, your yarn of choice.

Cut Out the Circles

First, you’ll need to create cardboard cutouts. The easiest way to do this is to trace around two round objects (such as a larger and smaller cup) and cut out cardboard rings, but you can also use an arch-shaped or U-shaped template. While cutting the cardboard, mind the size of your template. The thicker the area between the inside and outside edge of the cardboard, the bigger the pom poms.

Stack the two ring cutouts on top of each other. Optionally, if you want to make your job easier later on, you can place a shorter piece of yarn in the middle between the two disks. This piece will later come in handy when it’s time to tie your pom pom together.

Start Wrapping Yarn Around the Template
Stack the cardboard rings together and start wrapping the yarn, going from the centre to the outside edges. Wrap all along the circle, taking care to keep the layers as even as possible. If you don’t wrap evenly, you could end up with a lopsided pom pom. 

Wrap the Yarn Until the Ring Is Full
Keep wrapping the yarn until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Keep in mind that pom poms require a lot of material to be fluffy, so don’t hesitate to use some extra yarn.

While you’re wrapping, keep track of the two loose ends of the piece of yarn that’s stuck in the middle. You will need to be able to access those loose ends in order to tie the pom pom together.

Cut Around the Edge of the Ring
Now’s the time to cut the yarn. Cut around the outer edge of the cutout to ensure that all strands are of similar length. If you start cutting closer to the inner edge on either side, you will get an unevenly shaped pom pom.

Tie the Cut Yarn Pieces Together
Before removing the cardboard cutouts, it’s important to tie your pom pom together. Find the loose ends of that piece of yarn we placed between the cutouts. Then, tie those two ends together in a tight knot.

If you haven’t used the centre piece of yarn, now is the time to introduce it. Simply take a shorter piece and slide it in between the two rings, right through where you just cut the yarn. Then, make a tight knot to ensure everything stays in place.

Shape the Pom-Pom
Once you’re satisfied that the knot is tight enough, remove the cardboard rings. Now’s the time to give your DIY pom pom the proper shape. Simply identify any longer strands that pop out and trim them carefully.

Fluff the Pom-Pom and Finish Trimming
Fluff up your pom pom by gently squeezing it to ensure it is evenly trimmed and add some finishing touches if necessary, And voila, you just made your own yarn pom pom!

2. Hand Wrapping or Finger Wrapping Method
A much quicker and easier method for making DIY pom poms from yarn is the hand-wrapping or finger-wrapping method. Simply squeeze one end of your yarn between two fingers to keep it in place. Then, start wrapping the yarn around your fingers (the more fingers you wrap around, the larger the pom pom will be). Be careful not to wrap too tightly, as that will make sliding the yarn off your hand harder.

Once there is enough yarn wrapped around your hand, carefully slide it off, making sure to keep it all neatly together. Using a 6-inch piece of fibre, tie a tight double knot across the centre of the pom pom to keep it from falling apart. All that’s left to do now is shape and cut your pom pom.

Keep in mind, however, that this pom pom-making method will usually result in larger and messier-looking pom poms than if you use a cardboard template or a pom pom maker.

3. DIY Pom Poms With a Fork
If you don’t really feel like cutting cardboard for your DIY pom poms, we have some good news: you don’t have to. Instead, you can use something you more than likely already have in your household — a fork.

This time, you will be wrapping your yarn around the prongs of the fork. Be careful not to wrap around the very bottom of the prongs. That is where you will need to push a smaller piece of yarn in order to tie it all together.

The fork method can only be used for smaller pom poms due to the limiting size of the fork. However, the fork also makes it easier to maintain a uniform size and look for your pom poms. So this method could be a great choice if you need to make a bunch of similar pom poms.

4. Making Pom Poms With Pom Pom Makers
Lastly, instead of DIY-ing it all the way, you can always turn to pom pom makers to make your yarn pom poms. These are small, plastic items that come in various sizes. They basically work like an advanced version of the cardboard template, and they can help you make great, fluffy pom poms in no time.

Start by opening your pom pom maker and wrapping yarn around each half of the circle.

If you find it easier to follow video instructions rather than read the pattern, this Chunky Balaclava tutorial is perfect for you. Follow along to make an open-face, hoodie-style thick and warm balaclava. This is a beginner-friendly project, so don’t be afraid to give it a shot even if you don’t have a lot of knitting experience.

Once both sides have been wrapped, close the pom pom maker and cut the yarn down the middle of the outer edge, as you would with a cardboard template.

Wrap a longer piece of yarn around the middle of the pom pom maker and tie a tight knot. Now, the process is pretty similar to all the other methods. You can simply remove your pom pom from the maker, trim it, and fluff it.

Tips for Making Yarn Pom Poms
As fun as pom poms are, they can be a bit of a drag to make, especially if it’s your first time doing it. So before we leave you to it, here are a few more useful tips to keep in mind:
- Always use more yarn. If you’re not sure whether you’ve used enough yarn for your DIY pom pom, the best advice we can give you is to use a little more. By not using enough yarn, you risk having a flat, lifeless pom pom.
- Keep track of pom pom size. If you have to make several pom poms of similar sizes, the best way you can do this is by using the same size template and keeping count of the number of wraps for each pom pom.
- Choose yarn wisely. Not every type of yarn will give the same final result. As a rule of thumb, thicker threads make for fluffier pom poms.
- Wrap evenly. If your DIY pom poms keep coming out lopsided, you might be wrapping the yarn around the cardboard template unevenly.
- Stay away from the edges. When wrapping your yarn around a cardboard cutout, try to stay away from the slit in the cardboard ring. If the yarn slips off, you might end up having to start all over again.
- Attaching the pom pom. If you want to attach your pom pom to a piece of garment, the best way to do this is by stitching straight through the centre of the pom pom with a needle. This will ensure that your pom pom stays in place.
- Pom poms don’t have to be round. Once you get confident in your pom pom making skills, don’t hesitate to play around with multiple colours or other shapes. Simply make your pom pom as you usually would, and then trim it into a shape of your choice.

Once you get the hang of it, making yarn pom poms can be quite fun. Especially if you let yourself play around with colours, shapes, and sizes. But before we let you dive right into your next pom pom project, let’s quickly go over some of the most frequently asked questions about making yarn pom poms.

What is the best yarn for pom poms?
The best yarn for pom poms is acrylic yarn, ideally in the DK weight or worsted weight category. We recommend the Mary Maxim Starlette Yarn, a 100% acrylic, worsted weight fibre that comes in a wide variety of vibrant colours. Acrylic is affordable and easy to care for, along with being durable enough to maintain the shape of the pom pom. However, any yarn will do the trick, depending on the type of DIY pom pom you’re making.

On the other hand, you should avoid using super thick yarns (especially for smaller pom poms), as well as cotton, since it doesn’t really fluff up all that well.

What kind of yarn do you use in a pom-pom maker?
The best yarn to use in a pom pom maker is any worsted weight or DK weight yarn. However, any other type of yarn will likely do the trick, depending on what kind of pom pom you want to make. As long as it can fit on the pom pom maker, you can use it.

How do you make yarn pom poms that don’t fall apart?
If your DIY yarn pom poms are falling apart, the odds are that the knot on the middle piece of yarn that is holding it all together isn’t tight enough. Try tightening it more and using a more secure knot, such as the surgeon’s knot, to keep your pom pom in one piece.