I tell myself that I'm pretty un-crafty. I look at Pinterest and the shit people put together and immediately feel inadequate. Once in a while though, I can surprise myself.
I had a project for my friend's baby shower, which I can now talk about because it finally happened! Seriously, planned it for months and then also took on the task of making the cake. I knew I wanted to make a cute topper for it that wasn't flags, hence pom pom's.
I know nothing about pom pom's. The scenario in my head went a bit like
Phase 1: Acquire tulle
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit!
So, I did just that. I headed out to my local Joann Fabrics, told the woman I was fabric illiterate and to please help and take pity on me.
So, when I tell you this is easy, it's really easy. Like there's-no-possible-way-you-could-screw-this-up kind of easy. I walked into Joann Fabrics and all I could do was think of the people on Project Runway running through Mood. I thankfully had a really easy time finding tulle, especially in blue, since there was a huge display right at the front showcasing MAKE YOUR OWN ELSA DRESS! Disney, you have screwed mom's forever.
I grabbed a light blue, a slightly more medium blue, and then a darker purplish-navy. I ended up getting a yard of each because not fabric savvy. This was definitely too much for a cake topper since I only needed to make 5 small pom pom's. This tutorial would work for any size, so accommodate for that when purchasing fabric. 3 yards of tulle was $6, for reference.
Now for step 1, as I mentioned before, fold your cut tulle strip in half. Grab your cardboard piece and wrap the tulle around it over and over until you reach the end. It will kind of look like a cool sword or a match at the end that makes you chase your dog around.
Step 2 - remove the looped tulle from the cardboard. You might have to get under the first wrap closest to the cardboard and pull it off with your fingers since if you wrap it too tightly, it won't slide off easily.
Step 3 - take the yarn or whatever you're using to tie and cut a small piece, enough to make a double knot. I always just cut a bigger piece and then trim the edges close to the knot. Notice how I used a darker color yarn on this; you can't see it through the finished pom pom. I was a little worried about that but these guys will get so darn fluffy that it won't matter.
Step 4 - tie the yarn around the tulle piece. Make sure you do this so that the ends you have sticking out are the looped edge. Check that third photo up there for reference.
Step 5 - cut the loops. On the smaller pom pom's like this, it's harder to cut since the loops are tighter. I would feed the scissors in one loop end until they wouldn't go any further and then cut. You can finish by feeding the scissors in the other side or keeping on the same path. You might have to pull apart the layers a bit to trim any of the deeper inside loops. Repeat on opposite side of the knot.
Step 6 - your pom pom should now look like the first photo above. A little weird, but don't worry, you're about to fix it. Some of the pieces from the loops will be long, so take the scissors and trim the tulle around the pom pom so it's uniform.
Step 7 - last step! Fluff the crap outta that little guy. Pull on it, smoosh it around, trim excess where needed. The second photo is what you should end up with.
Easy right? All I saw on Pinterest were tutorials using cardboard circles and some weird mechanism but this honestly worked great. Plus it's so easy. Once you do it one time yourself, you can bang out a ton of these guys.
See what I mean about the yarn? What yarn?
Now, if you want to continue on making a topper, you need a sewing needle, some fishing line or thread, and something to tie the line to. My husband is a Les Stroud (Survivorman) enthusiast so if I need something random, chances are he has it. He didn't disappoint when it came to fishing line. He actually had varieties.
Thread the needle and then push each pom pom through the middle onto the line. There's no real rhyme or reason to this, especially because I have zero sewing skills. Leave enough length on the ends of the line or thread to be able to tie it to the topper portion going into the cake. Fun straws are always a good source for this and exactly what I used.
Now, go forth and be free to make a shitload of pom pom's.