Learn how to quickly and easily make a pom pom out of yarn for the top of a hat, you don’t need any special tools!
Do you ever wonder about random things like, who was the first person to put a pom pom on top of a knit hat? I mean, there must have been someone who came up with that idea, right? Was it a fashion statement? Or was it practical? It’s a little mind-boggling to think about things like that we see as everyday and normal.
Some people point to a very old Viking statue that shows a hat with a pom on top (circa 11th century A.D.) but others say it became popular among sailors so that they wouldn’t bang the tops of their heads on low ceilings or beams. They’re also used in military uniforms and religious ones. The fact that there is not a definitive answer makes the question infinitely more interesting to me because there must have been a first at some point!
Is that too deep for a thursday morning?
Anyway, if it was up to me, the majority of baby and child hats would have pom poms, they just look so adorable bobbling on top of little heads. I also love them for a little pop of color, you can do an accent color or a new color or even polka dots or multicolored poms. There are tons of options to add a little something extra to your knitted hat!
I’ve got to tell you, I also rarely use a pom pom maker. I have nothing against pom pom makers. But I do have kind of a small house and I just need less stuff in it. I did buy one thinking it would make my poms more uniform and even and perfect, but do you want to know the truth? It doesn’t really. I still have to trim them just as much at the end. A pom pom maker might be easier for a beginner or if you’re teaching a kid but for me, it’s at least even in terms of effort.
So I thought that today I would show you my super easy method for making pom poms without a pom pom maker. All you need is yarn and scissors! You can easily vary the size and they still come out even and uniform after you trim them up at the end! I include these instructions in many of my knitting patterns but I thought it would be good to share them here.
Are you ready to get started? Let’s start with a fun stop motion video of me making a small pom and then scroll down for the detailed step by step instructions!
How to Make Pom Poms with Yarn
- First cut one piece of yarn about 18 inches long and set it aside. This will be your center tie.
- Then begin winding yarn around the fingers of your non-dominant hand (I’m right handed, so I wind around my left). You can use two fingers for a small pom, three for a medium pom and four for a large pom.
- Continue winding until your hand is full. The more times around, the fuller and denser your pom pom will be. I would recommend AT LEAST 80-100 times around. (Psst! You can also wind your yarn around a strip of sturdy cardboard or a large fork!)
- When your hand is full, cut the yarn. Next you need to tie one end of the center tie around the middle as tightly as you can. If you can slide one end between your fingers and tie while it’s still on your hand, do that. If not, then gently slide the entire wound bundle off your fingers and then tie the center tie around the middle. If you are using this pom for a hat, I tie the center tie using only end and leave the other end long so I can use it to sew the pom to the hat later.
- Then use scissors to cut the loops on either side of the center tie. This is easier with sharp, pointy scissors.
- The final step is to trim your pom pom. You need to do this whether you make poms by hand or with a pom pom maker and I’m going to warn you now, it’s messy! I always do this standing over a garbage can to try and catch as much of the fluff as I can. Use the scissors flat across the surface of the pom and trim carefully like you’re giving your pom pom a haircut. Turn it around in all directions as you go to make sure it’s even.
- If you are sewing the pom to a hat, you can then thread the long end of the center tie on a yarn needle and use it to stitch the pom pom securely to the hat!
Now go forth and make pom poms!
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