You will need:
- Compass, or two circular items you can trace around.
Step one in making pom poms is to create two donut shaped pieces of cardboard. Using your compass or larger of your two circular items, trace out two circles on your cardboard. I would suggest about 5cm (2 inches) diameter. Next put a smaller circle, say 2cm (a little under 1 inche) in the middle of your larger circles. Now cut out the two larger circles, then cut out the inner circles. You will now have two donut shaped rings, 5cm outside diameter with a 2cm diameter hole.
Place the rings together. The idea now is to wind the wool around the rings. Cut the wool into manageable lengths, perhaps a couple of meters (about 6 feet) at a time. Hold one end on the outside of the ring and feed the other end through the hole, round the back and through the front again. Repeat this, working your way around the ring until all the cardboard is covered. As you use additional lengths, you don't need to tie them together, just make sure the ends are on the outside, not in the middle. If it makes it easier for you, try using a large darning needle to feed the wool through.
The next step is the trickiest in making pom poms. Once your rings are fairly full of wool, cut the wool around the edges (i.e. the scissor blade should eventually pass between the two pieces of cardboard as you are cutting.) You won't be able to cut it all in one go so just do a few layers at a time.
Pass a length of wool between the two pieces of cardboard, around all the strands of wool, and tie it firmly together. Now you can remove the cardboard rings (cut them if necessary). Trim any lengths of wool which are uneven to give your pom poms a tidy look.
To provide variety you could make pom poms in different colours, or use different coloured lengths of wool in the one pom pom. Look out for interesting types of yarn, string or fibre - sometimes you can get string with glittery streaks in it for instance.
Well now that you have your pom-pom (or in my daughters case her three pom poms after she decided that this was really fun) What are you going to do with them?
One obvious idea is to use them on knitted hats. Our 6 year old has taken a liking at times to knitting, but is going to take a while to get past working on a simple scarf, so normally a hat would be beyond her. However there is a really great site at www.loomroom.com. They sell knitting looms which allow even kids to produce a reasonable knitted product - particularly hats and scarves, and have a free hat pattern for your pom poms. Its worth a look and we now have a good idea for our daughters next birthday :-).
Another idea is a pom-pom 'puppet'. Cut out from felt (or other thick material) pieces for feet, eyes, nose and mouth which can be glued on to make a little 'puppet'.
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