Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Use the Clover Pom Pom Maker


True or false: pom poms are like the cutest things ever. Answer: seriously, true. Pom poms are in the list of my absolute favorite craft items of all time. When I was in Japan, shopping at Okadaya in Shinjuku, I saw a two-pack of Clover brand pom pom makers. Obviously, I've wanted them forever, but the fact that they could be a little craft souvenir from my favorite town on earth, well .. I had to get them.


Less than 1000 yen later, the pom pom makers were mine. However, the little tools seemed a little complicated to figure out on my own and the directions on the back of the package were all in Japanese. So after I got home, I turned to YouTube to try to figure out the best way to use these guys. After a few videos and plenty of trial and error, I finally figured out the best way (for me!) to make pom poms using this tool.


Tools Needed: 
  • Clover Pom Pom Makers.
  • Yarn of your choice. I used Vanna's Choice in Antique Rose. The fluffier and thicker the yarn is, the fluffier and thicker your pom poms will be!
  • Scissors. 


Step One: Start wrapping the yarn on one side of the outstretched arm of the pom pom maker. When both sides are fully extended, there will be two separate arms on each side. Wrap the yarn around BOTH, binding them together. Wrap as much as possible, as much as you think you want, and then some more. Seriously, I made quite a few wimpy looking pom poms because I didn't want to over-wrap the side. Do it. Make sure it is even, tight, and covers all parts of the half-circle.


Step Two: After the side is wrapped, cut the yarn and fold the arm back into the main circle part. What I usually do - not pictured here, because I only have two hands - is fold the arm back into the maker first, and then cut the yarn. That way you know it is secure in the tool and won't unravel once you snip. 


Step Three: Repeat the first two steps on the other side. If you want to use a different color, your pom pom will have a cool half-and-half effect. Make sure that you wrap about the same amount of yarn on this side, too, otherwise you'll have a lopsided pom pom, and, wooooof, what would be worse than that?!


Step Four: Cut that yarn! This was the scariest part for me, at first. There will be a little ridge in the side (where the two separate pieces of the side arm meet), so just wiggle your scissors in to touch that and slowly start snipping across. Repeat on other side. Be sure to kind of hold on tight to the little tabs on the edge, because as you snip thicker yarn, the arms tend to start to pull up a little. Don't let them!


See? Not too scary! Now you have a pom pom maker with some fuzzy edges. You can see the inside ridge in those photo, too.


Step Five: Take a somewhat long piece of yarn and wrap it around the pom pom maker, right in the middle. Make sure the yarn fits tight in between the two sides of the maker, pulling it through the ridge connecting the pieces. Tie in a very tight knot. I usually wrap the yarn around the other side and make a knot on the bottom half, too. Just to be careful!


Step Six: Open the side arms of the maker on both sides and sloowwwly pull the two halves completely apart. Pop! Your pom pom is (almost!) complete! It's safe outside of the maker, though. Sooo cute, right?


Step Seven: Trim up that pom pom! I kept the yarn tails uncut on these because I want to use them to sew the pom poms onto a dance belt. Hold onto the pom pom, fluff it up a little bit, and use the scissors to shape the ball into how you want. The end!


Not too tough, right? It takes a few times to get the hang of knowing how much yarn to wrap on each side, and also how much yarn to trim off the ball after you're all done, but - really - it's pretty simple. Also: do you love that tea cup?! It's the cutest little tea divination cup and plate set that my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday a few years ago.

Please let me know if you have any questions. And show me all your pom poms, please!


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