How to Make Yarn Pom-Poms

How to Make Pom-Poms
Mollie Johanson
Project Overview
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Pom-poms add a fun pop of color and texture to knitting projects and other fun crafts. They're easy to make and you don't need any special tools or supplies. 

Making your own pom-poms is helpful because you can match the yarn to your project. It's also a good way to use leftover yardage. You can, for example, customize a simple knit hat with a large pom-pom topper or add a row of smaller pom-poms to the ends of a scarf. When you really want to get pom-crazy, make a whole bunch to create a colorful wreath. Wherever you use them, these fluffy accessories add fun!


Watch Now: How to Make Perfect Pom-Poms

You can buy pom-pom makers at most craft stores and if you plan on making lots of pom-poms, it might be worth investing in one or more in different sizes. But when you're making just a few, you can create your own pom-pom maker with a piece of cardboard.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Cardboard
  • Circular items to trace (small glass, lids, etc.)
  • Pen
  • Scissors


  • Yarn


  1. Make Cardboard Pom-Pom Templates

    Use the lids and other round items to trace circles onto the cardboard. Trace a larger circle with a smaller circle inside. The larger circle determines the diameter of your finished pom-pom.

    By making a few sizes of templates, you can make several sizes of pom-poms.

    Make Cardboard Templates
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Cut Out the Circles

    Cut out around the larger circles. (Don't use your good sewing scissors for this!) Next, cut a slit to get to the center circle and cut away the center. You may want to widen the slit a tiny amount, to make it easier to pass yarn through.

  3. Start Wrapping Yarn Around the Template

    Begin wrapping yarn around the cardboard ring. Hold the end of the yarn in place while you wrap over the end, which secures it. Work your way around the entire ring, filling in all the gaps. 


    You can work the wrapping near the slit in the ring, but make sure it doesn't get so close that it might slip off the ends of the cardboard.

    Wrap Yarn Around the Cardboard Ring
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Wrap the Yarn Until the Ring Is Full

    Wrap the cardboard ring until it is full and then wrap it some more. To create a full and round pom-pom, you should wrap the yarn so the ring is very plump and the center circle is nearly filled in. If you want a loose and floppy pom-pom, you can stop wrapping sooner. 

    Continue Wrapping the Cardboard
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Cut Around the Edge of the Ring

    Trim the wrapping yarn, then start snipping through the wrapped yarn all along the edge of the ring. Be sure to cut through every strand of yarn. Sharp scissors with a small point make this part easier. As you cut the yarn, be careful not to let the cut pieces push to one side or come out through the opening.

    Snip the Yarn Around the Outside
    Mollie Johanson
  6. Tie the Cut Yarn Pieces Together

    When all the edges are snipped, cut a length of yarn and tie it around the middle of the pom-pom, close to the cardboard ring. Tie the yarn once, then wrap the ends around to the other side and tie a double knot.

    Pull the yarn as tight as you can, without breaking the yarn. Leave the ends long.

    Remove the cardboard template. 

    Tie Yarn Around the Middle
    Mollie Johanson
  7. Shape the Pom-Pom

    At this point, your pom-pom probably looks a little odd and misshapen. To fix this, trim the yarn to even out the shape. It's a bit like giving the pom-pom a haircut!

    Hold onto the long yarn ties and work all around the pom-pom. Keep turning it as you trim so it doesn't end up lopsided. 

    Trim and Shape the Pom-Pom
    Mollie Johanson
  8. Fluff the Pom-Pom and Finish Trimming

    When the pom-pom looks like it's almost done, gently roll it in your hands. This fluffs the pom-pom and reveals any areas that may need a little more trimming. 

    Trim and repeat as needed.

    Use the long yarn ties to attach your pom-pom to your project.


    If you're making more than one pom-pom for a project, for example, to attach to the corners of a pillow or an afghan, be sure to compare all the pom-poms so the size matches.

    Fluff the Pom-Pom
    Mollie Johanson
  • What kind of yarn do you use in a pom-pom maker?

    The best yarn to use for making pom-poms is smooth silk yarn. You can use whichever thread you prefer, but varying wool gauges present different challenges while making the pom-poms. 

  • How do you make pom-poms with yarn and fork?

    A regular dinner fork can yield one small (1-inch diameter) pom-pom, perfect to use for crafts for kids or making earrings and cat toys. Simply wrap yarn around your fork as you would wrap strands of spaghetti horizontally around a fork. Wrap yarn tightly a minimum of 20 times (or more) around the prongs. Leave space at the top and bottom of the fork where you will then insert a piece of yarn through the middle prongs to tie off the pom-pom. Tie off the pom-pom with a knot, slide the yarn off the prongs, cut the loops to create the pom-pom, and finally fluff and trim.

  • How do you make a pom-pom out of thick yarn?

    Using thick and bulky yarn for pom-poms requires just a little bit more care. When wrapping the yarn, pull it a bit to add tension so that when you cut it, the fibers are extra relaxed to create more density. Also, use large, strong, and sharp scissors to be able to cut through thick yarns. Finally, before trimming it, roll the pom-pom around on your work surface to give the thicker yarns a more lush, rounded shape.