#TinyRevolutions – pom-pom revolution

Paul Simpson in Hampshire got in touch on twitter to tell us about his pompom making and sharing in his community – he started making pompoms to help with anxiety (more in a longer blog here) and has also found the process useful right now. Here’s his story …

We found a way of making a connection as people walked outside our front garden, while celebrating frontline workers too. We adorned our wall with an array of coloured pom-poms, encased in a clear bauble (the kind used for gifts on the tree at Christmas), to protect them from the elements, accompanied by a message on a gift tag.

People we’ve never met have waved across the garden; left messages of thanks on our local community Facebook page – one even left a chocolate Easter egg. Anyone is welcome to take a pom-pom as an act of solidarity, to pass one on, or leave them in the display to celebrate key workers, which everyone sees, like rainbows in windows, when we #ClapForCarers weekly.

Pom-poms are pretty easy to make, with ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube. If you are using one of the easily available ‘makers’, begin by wrapping wool until full, first one way around a semi-circle, turning over, then wrapping around the other semi-circle, before closing them up, carefully cutting between the gap around the two semi-circles, double knotting a piece of wool around the gap between them, then prise apart to discover the delight of a fluffy ball. A final trim with scissors gently fluffs up the pom, giving it definition.

Alternatively, you can create your own ‘maker’ using two cardboard discs, each with a small circle cut from the middle, and a section cut from the ‘ring’, so you can get your hand in, to wrap the wool backwards and forwards around it, as a homemade effort.

Using two strands of differently coloured wool at the same time creates a fleck effect; alternating two different colours, one at a time delivers a marble effect.

Making pom-poms has always helped me cope with anxiety, so in recent weeks, I’ve gone into overdrive. I find solace in the mindless pursuit, while listening to the radio in the evening. There is something about their texture, their playfulness – something quite therapeutic about having actually made something, which can also be used to bring delight to somebody, and help bring about some #tinyrevolutions

Here’s a basic how-to:

  1. Cut out two circles of cardboard – use a glass or mug as a template.
  2. Cut out a smaller circle in the middle of both to make a cardboard ring. The distance between the middle circle and the outside determines the size of your pompom.
  3. Put the two cardboard discs together. This is your pompom maker.
  4. Wrap wool around the circle you have created from the two cardboard circles. The thicker you wrap, the fluffier your pompom.  
  5. When you’ve wrapped as much wool as you can, cut the wool at the edge of the circle by pushing scissors between the two discs.
  6. When you’ve cut all around (and take care that any short pieces don’t fall away) wrap a few longer lengths of wool between the two cardboard discs and around the pompom. Tie it off VERY tightly. Tie it again, just in case.
  7. Pull the pompom out from the cardboard circle, give it a shake to make it fluffier and there you have your pompom. 

we are also happy to print & send to you – contact Stella here