February 25, 2011

Fabric Pom Pom Tutorial

Holy cow these things turned out so pretty!

So back in December, I hosted a Cookie Party with my friend Rachel.  It was a blast!  I really wanted to decorate using those tissue paper pom poms I've seen everywhere, so we followed the tutorials and hung big white pom poms from the ceiling with bright red velvet ribbon.   

The only problem was...they looked pretty shabby. 

We hung 'em up anyway and had a good laugh and let the party go on.  But in the back of my mind, I was bummed because I had wanted to hang up pom poms over baby's bed in the nursery instead of the traditional mobile, and now I knew that I just didn't have the knack for making tissue pom poms.

So I ditched that idea and hoped to try fabric instead.  That's when I stumbled across OnceWed's tutorial for fabric pom poms.  Perfect!  I decided to roll up my sleeves and try try again.

I LOVE the way they turned out!!
I decided to write my own tutorial since I did my pom poms differently than OnceWed -- they used a glue gun and mini paper lanterns, but I didn't have either on hand and the thought of all that hot glue unnerved me (I hate how it gets those little glue strings everywhere, don't you??)  I also wanted to include more details and tips based on what I learned along the way.

So here's a little step-by-step of how I made my pom poms for baby's room...

To make the pom poms, I used 3" styrofoam balls, a whole lotta sewing pins, regular Elmer's glue, and a generous amount of scrap fabric.

I cut out the circles (they really don't have to be perfect) to about 7" diameter and pinned them close together to the styrofoam ball.  The pins aren't going anywhere, especially since there won't be any tension on the fabric, but for peace of mind, I placed a dot of glue at the center of each circle...

...then pushed the pin up through the glue dot and pinned it to the ball.

I used a variety of fabrics, one heavy and one light.  With the light-weight fabric, I think I used at least 100 circles!!  It was crazy!  Then, much to my relief, I used about half that with the heavier-weight fabric (canvas upholstery material).  

For my final pom pom, I didn't really have enough of any coordinating fabric, so I mixed the two (heavy & lightweight) together and threw in a few scrap circles of a chocolate brown satin (I think it may have come from our wedding!)  These circles were probably about 4 or 5" diameter and I didn't need as many as I did with the other two poms.  (thank goodness!)

Another tip: if you're using a thicker fabric (which I would recommend since it will require fewer circles and hold up nicely), you may find that you want to bunch it up a little more and add more pins to help it stand up better...

Then I was a little stuck with the hanging-them-up part.  I starting browsing through my supplies to get ideas and I decided to use paper clips!  I created U-shapes out of the paper clips, ran Gorilla Super Glue down the sides, and stuck 'em down into the styrofoam ball.  Then I reinforced it with more glue and added about 3 to 4 clips per pom pom just to make it extra stout (these guys are surprisingly heavy once all that fabric is on there!)

To hang them, I weaved ribbon in and out of the hooks a few times and then tied double knots.  To attach them to the ceiling, I used pretty (and heavy duty) furniture tacks (2 per pom pom) so they would look nice and hold well.  

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