Monday 27 November 2017

How to make festive pom pom robins

I wanted to share a step-by-step guide to making these cute pom pom robins.
Perfect for the festive season.
Once you've got the hang of it, you'll want to make loads.

tutorial for handmade pom pom robins

When I was growing up, each year our Christmas decorations were bought out of the loft. My Mum would display her own handmade pom pom robins in pride of place on the mantlepiece. My Mum's robins are now over forty years old, they still come out every year, but I thought it was about time I made my own set.

They are easy to make once you get the hang of the wool layering. Once you've mastered that, you are set to make a whole family of these super cute pom pom robins.

supplies needed to make pom pom robins

You will need:
* Wool in red, white and brown
* Cardboard, empty cereal packets are ideal.
* Scissors
* Felt in black and yellow
* Pipecleaners in yellow or white
* Glue

To start with you need to create your cardboard 'doughnut' shapes. I prefer to use the old school method of making pom poms with cardboard hoops. I know there are all sorts of pom pom makers on the market these days. But this is my preferred way of making all my pom poms.

It's up to you how big or small you make the robins. I usually draw round a large mug and for the inner circle use an egg cup or similar. As you wind the wool round, you want the inner circle to be virtually full. This will give you a nice, dense pom pom.

brown, red and white yarn

I usually like to create a few spools of wool in the shades required for these projects. You need to wind them into these narrow cylinder shapes so that you can thread them through the central hole.

Now you can begin to layer up the wool. First start with a layer of red in top section of your cardboard hoop. I usually wind round at least four or five layers of red.

using old school pom pom making method

Now for the white. Tie on your wool to the left of the red section.
You need to build up a layer of white wool to left of the red. Start winding the wool about 1cm away from the red.
Make sure the 1cm section of white wool is the same depth as red wool.
Carry on winding white wool over the top of red section to create a thin layer of white.
Then do the same on right hand side by layering up another 1cm section of white wool to match depth of the red.
See image below to give clearer idea of technique.

layering up wool to create pom pom robins

Now you need to start adding the brown wool to the bare section of the hoop at the bottom.
You need to build the brown layer up to match the red and white section.

layering up brown wool to make pom pom robins

Once you have wound the brown wool round to the same depth, you need to extend the brown wool layer over the top of white section.
If you want a nice fluffy pom pom, keep winding brown wool around until white layer can no longer be seen.

making pom pom robins

Once the central hole is nearly full, you can stop layering up the wool.
Now it's time to cut the wool off the cardboard hoops.
This is my favourite part of making pom poms.
Part the wool carefully so that you expose the cardboard beneath.
Carefully slide the scissors between the two cardboard hoops and start cutting the wool.

cutting wool to make pom pom robins

how to make pom poms using cardboard hoops

Once you have cut all the way around, don't take the cardboard hoops off. They will help to hold the wool apart for the tying off part. Take a length of brown wool and wrap it round your pom pom, tie off securely with one or two knots.

tying off wool around a pom pom

Once the pom pom is secured with a length of wool, you can add the pipe cleaner to create its feet.
Wrap the pipe cleaner around and then twist it once to secure.
You want this twisted bit to be located towards the bottom of the red section (see photo).
This means his feet can be created under the red breast section to help it stand up.

adding pipe cleaner legs to pom pom robins

Once the pipe cleaner is secured, you can take the cardboard hoops off. You may need to carefully cut them off, but they should slide off.
To finish off the pom pom, you can give it a trim to make a nice round shape.
Bend the pipe cleaner around to create two little feet.

trimming handmade pom pom

To complete your pom pom robin, cut out a diamond shape in the yellow felt to make the beak.
Then cut out two small circles in the black felt to create their eyes.
Put a small amount of glue on the felt eyes and attach to robin's face.
Fold over the diamond and glue onto the pom pom.

Your pom pom robin is now complete, doesn't it look sweet?

completed pom pom robin

finished pom pom festive robin

Now you can make as many festive pom pom robins as you like.
Why not try experimenting with different thicknesses of wool.
The one on the left in the picture below had a layer of very chunky brown wool added and he's turned out very plump indeed...

handmade festive pom pom robins

I hope you enjoy making some of your own and I would love to hear if you've made any.
Please feel free to share my images, but credit me if you do so.
And finally, if you would like to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, you’re more than welcome!

tutorial for making pom pom robins pinterest image

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