This how to make pom poms with cardboard tutorial shows you how to make pom-poms the classic way which will give your pom-poms a great shape and result in thicker fluffier pom poms. Get the sizing you want without any measuring with my printable pom pom template.
How to Make Pom Poms with Cardboard Tutorial and Template
Pom poms are a fun way to decorate hats, bags, clothing, Christmas presents, necklaces… I think this is an endless list! We are going to learn how to make pom poms from yarn but you can also use similar techniques to make tulle, thread or even paper versions. Pom poms attached to the top of knitted beanie hats are also called bobbles.
Did you know? Pom poms can also be referred to pom-poms, pompoms or even bobbles.
How to Make Pom Poms with Cardboard - Supplies
Here are the supplies you will need to make yarn pom poms.
- YARN in any fun colors. I like to use 8 ply or 12 ply yarn but you can use any thickness you like.
Best Yarn to Make Pom Poms
The thicker the yarn, the quicker it is to make the pom pom and the fluffier it will be. You can use all one color or use several different colors in the same pom pom for a rainbow effect. For smaller pom poms use a medium weight yarn so it looks to scale.
Acrylic yarn is much cheaper than that made from wool and can be found at most craft stores. Also, look for yarn that is smooth and even. Yarn with uneven thickness and bits of glitter or bobbles on it is much harder to wind, and the results are a little more unpredictable.
- CARDBOARD - Here I used a box from the garage. No need for anything fancy! Thicker cardboard works the best. If you don't have a cardboard box to cut up, look in your pantry. Cereal boxes work well too.
- TOOLS - Sharp scissors. Blunt scissors will burr the ends of the yarn.
- CARDBOARD TEMPLATE - Print my printable pom pom template. Choose the desired size and get started.
Printable Pom Pom Template for Cardboard
Click this link to DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE POM POM TEMPLATE.
The PDF will open in a new window. When printing, don't forget to make sure the printer is set to 100% scale and "fit to page" is NOT ticked. If you are new to printing PDF patterns and pages, here is a quick tutorial - how to print PDF patterns.
How to Make a Cardboard Pom Pom Template
Don't feel like printing? You can make your own template using a compass or circular items found in your kitchens, such as a mug or glass.
Trace the outside circle and then use something like a milk bottle top for the smaller circle. You want to draw a donut shape.
The pom pom size will be determined by the difference between the inner and outer circles. The diameter will be double this measurement.
How to Make Pom Poms with Cardboard - Video
Here is a YouTube video I made for you on how to make pom poms. Like all my videos, it is short and sweet. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for weekly sewing and craft videos.
How to Make Pom Poms With Cardboard - Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 - Cut the Cardboard Disks
Trace the template onto cardboard and cut out 2 disks in your desired size.
Cut through one side of each cardboard disk as shown.
You can make a pom-pom without the slits and just pass the yarn through the center each time in the next step, but I've always found that this takes 4 times as long to wind as you will need to cut a long piece of wool and thread it through the center with a needle. I like fast and easy methods, don't you?
Step 2 - Cut the Center Piece of Wool
Cut a piece of wool 10 inches (25cm) long and lay it aside. This will be for the tie around the middle.
Step 3 - Start Winding Wool
Hold your 2 template pieces together and start winding the yarn around both pieces of cardboard.
Make sure the 2 slits line up. You will find that you can wind really fast by winding the yarn through the 2 slits instead of trying to pass it through the middle circle.
Now I have used just one color, but you could combine several colors. Just start a new color on the outside edge.
Stop when you get to the end. Don't worry if there is a slight gap at the slit, as you won't notice in the final product.
If you want a dense pom pom, make sure the yarn is thick.
Step 4 - Cut Around the Edge of the Cardboard Ring
Cut around the outside edge of the cardboard between the 2 layers.
TIP: It is best to lay the rings flat on the table to do this and just slowly cut around it while supporting the top with your hand. You need to be especially careful at the slit that the pieces don't come off the cardboard.
Step 5 - Tie the Center
Thread your 10-inch (25cm) piece of yarn through the center of the two cardboard disks. Pull tight and tie a knot.
You will notice that when you pull tight and tie the knot, the wool starts to pull through the disks.
Step 7 - Remove the Cardboard
Remove the disks and trim the pom pom into shape if necessary. You can cut the long tie ends off or use them to attach them to your project. And there you have it! A beautiful fluffy pom-pom.
Alternatives to Cardboard Pom Pom Makers
There are 3 other ways to make pom poms:
- With a commercial pom pom maker
- With a fork
- Using your hand
Pom Pom Makers
Pom pom makers are produced from hard plastic and replace the need for using cardboard circles. Coming in limited but different sizes, they can be purchased in kits on eBay, Amazon, and from craft stores.
If you are making many of the exact same size pom pom, they can save you cutting circles, but they don't save much time, and I find them a bit gimmicky. You still have to wind the yarn around, trim the edges, and thread through the center. Maybe there will be some tool to do the winding for you in the future! That would really save time.
Make Pom Poms with a Fork
Using a fork to make pom poms is a great time saver if you need to make tiny pom-poms under an inch (2.5cm). Instead of using cardboard, wind the yarn around and around the prongs of a fork.
How to Use the Fork Method:
- Wind the yarn around the fork until it is nice and thick.
- Cut a 10 inch (25cm) piece of yarn for the center.
- Tie the center through the middle prong of the fork.
- Cut the ends and slip it off the prongs.
Make Pom Poms Using your Hand
You can use your hand as a substitute for cardboard for medium-sized pom poms. The pom poms with your hand don't end up quite as thick and fluffy as those made with templates, but it is quick and easy. You will get consistently sized pom poms since they will be the width of your hand.
- Wind the yarn around your hand. IMPORTANT - Wind loosely so you can remove it easily.
- Gently remove the wound wool from your hand. If you have wound loosely enough, it should be easy to slip off.
- Cut a 10 inch (25cm) piece for the center.
- Wind the yarn around the middle a couple of times.
- Then tie the center and cut the ends.
How to Make Pom Pom with Cardboard Crafts
Now you have finished learning how to make pom poms with cardboard, it is time to attach and use them on some projects. One idea is to add pom poms to the ends of the ties on clothing. If you add them to kids' clothing, make sure they are sewn on very well. Make headbands, pom animals, beanies, and keyrings.
Pom pom animals are an easy kid's craft for holidays. Use a hot glue gun to glue a couple of pom poms together, and then add eyes and felt pieces for ears, noses, or beaks.
Rainbow pom poms can be made using different colors wound around your template. Wind the different colors evenly or in clumps for differing effects.
More How to Make Pom Pom Articles
- DIY Pom Pom, How to Make Pom Poms - 4 easy ways to make pom poms
- How to Make Pom Poms with a Fork - Mini pom poms with a fork
- How to Sew Pom Pom Trim - All about sewing pom pom trims
- DIY Pom Pom Pillow - Make a fun pillow for your couch or bed
How to Make Pom Poms with Cardboard
- Yarn Light to medium weight acrylic. DK, worsted weight (8 or 10ply)
- Make a template by tracing around a glass or mug. Draw a smaller circle inside so you have a donut shape. The distance between the 2 circles will be the size of the pom pom. Alternatively print out the templates in this tutorial. Cut 2 cardboard disks using your pattern. Cut a slit into each disk.
- Put the 2 pieces of cardboard together. Match up the 2 slits. Start winding yarn around the templates all the way around. Wind all the way around so the yarn is thick.
- Carefully cut around the edge, in between the disks.
- Cut a 10 inch piece of yarn and thread it through the 2 disks. Pull tight and double knot.
- Remove the disks and trim your pom pom.