How to Make Tulle Glitter Pom Poms
Do you remember when you’d attend arts and craft classes as a kid either through school or in the holidays and there would always one activity where you were making pom poms from lots of left over scraps of wool? Well, I bet you wouldn’t have thought all these years later that pom poms could be a lovely addition to your wedding or party!
They've moved on a little since the wool ones though. Now pom poms are commonly made in a variety of different fabrics including tulle (fancy net), ribbon and organza. This makes them a stylish, yet affordable choice for wedding decorations and you can DIY them yourself. Imagine them hanging down from rustic beams, lining the aisle or as part of your table centre pieces!
In this blog post I’ll talk you through the four easy steps to make pom poms yourself. The method can then be scaled up or down depending on your size requirements.
What you will need
Tulle. I used this glitter tulle which I bought from eBay for £1.50.
The roll was 25 yards long (which my search engine tells me is 22.86 metres) and 5cm wide. As tulle doesn’t fray you could buy a wider but shorter roll and cut it into narrower strips to wrap around your template if you wished. I found that one of these rolls was enough for 1-2 pom poms but this is totally dependent on how large your pom poms are, and how densely you pack them.
Something to note with the glitter tulle I used - the glitter part gets everywhere! While I love that the finished pom poms subtly pick up the light and sparkle, the nature of manipulating the tulle to wrap it around the cardboard template so many times meant that a lot of the glitter on my tulle ended up on me, on the table, or all over the floor. I’m still finding it weeks later in different rooms, in the car and on my face! Don't think I’m trying to talk you out of it, the shimmer on the final pom poms is lovely, just be prepared for the chaos! Or better still craft somewhere else - in the garden or round someone else’s house perhaps?
You could also use other materials such as ribbon (I imagine a wire edged option would be best to help your pom pom retain its shape) or other fabrics but be aware that some options might fray. Organza might also be a lovely option if you’re considering decorations for a special event like a party or wedding. If you’re having organza table runners or chair sashes these might tie in nicely!
Tip: If you go down the other fabrics route, try cutting your strips with crinkle edged scissors to help reduce the fraying!
Cardboard. I just used an old delivery box. As long as you can cut two circles the diameter you want your pom poms to be, it’ll work. As you’re disregarding these cardboard templates at the end of each pom pom (you’ll need to cut off to separate them from the tulle) you don’t want to be wasting money/resources buying new materials each time.
Scissors. Ideally a pair with quite a pointy end. This will help you make the first cuts into the wrapped tulle at the end.
A piece of ribbon or spare tulle. This piece is to create a loop to hang your pom poms from at the end. It'll be visible so you might want it to look nice, but it doesn't necessarily have to match the material your pom pom is made from.
Step One - Making your Cardboard Template
It’s worth stating up front that you can miss out this step and buy pom pom makers online. For example this one from Amazon.com. However, as you’re on a DIY blog I expect you would rather do it yourself, so read on and I’ll explain how you can make your own for free. These bought models also come in set sizes which may restrict your options a little.
The first step is to cut out your two identical cardboard templates which you will wrap the tulle around to make your pom poms. Each template will be a ring made from two circles like a doughnut. These can be any size you choose but to help you work out what would be best here is some additional information:
- The larger outer circle of your doughnut shape will be the diameter of your finished pom pom
- The inner circle will dictate how densely packed your pom pom will be.
- The distance between the outer and inner circle of your pom pom is how long your pom pom strands will be.
Put simply, with a smaller inner circle you’ll have longer individual pom pom strands and a less densely packed finished ball. This can create a ‘fluffier’ pom pom.
For my pom poms I chose an outer circle which was 9cm. I’ll be completely honest and say that while this was about the size I wanted it was also conveniently the outer size of a roll of cellotape I had to hand. A handy template for drawing a perfect circle! If you are hoping for bigger think kitchen bowls, mugs or plates or if you’re specific on size you can always print a template and cut it out that way.
For the inner ring I used a larger and smaller diameter hole to help illustrate the difference in sizes I’ve explained above. For the pink pom pom the inner circle was 4cm in diameter. Conveniently the size of the inner role which the tulle arrived on. This larger circle gave a really full pom pom but I used the whole tulle roll so that might be something to bear in mind. These pom poms will hold their shape really well but in my opinion this one is a little bit too full.
For the light grey tulle pom pom I used a smaller centre hole at 3cm in diameter. This pom pom is the same size but made from longer individual strands and fewer. I only used about half the tulle roll on this one.
Note: There needs to be a compromise between a really small centre and a larger one. If you make your inner circle too tiny, you’ll end up with a straggly star like creation rather than a fluffy round pom pom. I wish there was a magic ratio or formula to tell you the exact dimensions to produce the optimum effect but unfortunately it might end up being a little trial and error.
Step Two - Wrapping the Tulle
Once you have cut your doughnut templates, you need to place them together and begin to wrap your tulle. To hold the tulle in place, you’ll first need to loop the tulle through the centre and tie a double knot. I positioned this towards the inner circle so it wouldn’t be visible at the end. Position any excess fabric either side of the knot towards the outside of the doughnut template.
If your tulle is quite large or on a roll you’ll need to cut off sections so you can thread the material through the centre. I cut about 5 metres lengths each time. You could do more or less if you wanted but remember that for every single loop you’ll need to pull all of that length through the centre of your circle. On the other hand, if your lengths are really short, you’ll need to knot on the next stretch more frequently and you’ll end up wasting material and with a pom pom that’s full of knots which could be visible in the finished piece.
Once your tulle is knotted onto the template, it’s simply a case of wrapping and wrapping your tulle until your inner circle is full (or nearly full).
To attach additional pieces of tulle, use a double knot again and pull it tight. Try to position all knots towards the inner ring, this will make them less noticeable at the end.
Note: Make sure you wrap as evenly as you can around the template. You don’t want a lop sided pom pom!
Step Three - Tying off at the end
Once you have wrapped either all of your tulle or enough that you are happy your pom pom will be full, you can simply thread the end of your tulle under its own loop to hold it in place. This is illustrated in the photos below.
Make sure you keep hold of enough extra tulle to be tied around your pom pom to keep it all together at the very end. It needs to be long enough that you can loop it all the way around the centre of your pom pom and tie a double knot. Trust me - it’s better here to have a piece slightly too long than too short!
Step Four - Cutting the strands and finishing off
Using a sharp pair of scissors carefully cut the outer edge of your tulle covered ring to part the strands on either side. I find holding the pom pom in one hand and pointing the scissors into the top and making a few tiny cuts through each layer, individually if necessary, works best. Then when you have a hole which you can angle the scissors into, you can start to make larger cuts until you’ve gone all the way around.
Once you’ve done that you should have something that looks a bit like this:
Next you need to prise the two pieces of cardboard apart very slightly. Loop the piece of tulle you saved around the centre and tie a double knot as tightly as you can to hold everything in place.
After this, you can cut each half of the cardboard template and peel them away.
Then you just need to fluff up your pom poms and you're done! You can tame any slightly longer strands with your scissors to make a perfect circle shape too.
To hang them you can either tie a ribbon or additional piece of tulle to the band around the centre of the pom pom holding everything together. If your central piece is long enough you could also just tie together the ends and use this.
Happy Pom Pomming!
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