Method 1 Materials:
A small piece of cardboard
Start by cutting a piece of cardboard into this general shape. Make it small if you want a small pom-pom or GIGANTIC if you want a GIGANTIC pom-pom. :)
Roughly matching the end of the yarn with the edge of the cardboard, just start wrapping it around the cardboard piece. The more wrapping, the fuller the pom-pom. This goes REALLY quickly.
Once you are satisfied with the number of wraps you've done, cut off the end of the yarn close to the edge of the cardboard.
Next, cut about 12 inches of yarn and thread that piece through a yarn needle.
Feed the yarn needle around the circle in the center of your cardboard, in between the yarn and the cardboard itself. This takes a little bit of finesse, but it isn't too difficult. (This is the way that I do it, but you technically can cut the edge of the yarn first and then wrap the center second. I just feel like it's too risky because I've had little bits of yarn go flying more than once!)
Tie the length of yarn a few times, tightly.
Cut the yarn around the edge of the circle.
Slide the pom-pom off the cardboard at its opening.
Trim your extra lengths of yarn OR use them to fasten your pom-pom to its project.
Fluff up your pom-pom! All done!
Method 2 Materials:
Boye Pom-Pom Maker (Pictured Below)
I thought I'd illustrate the difference in pom-poms made with the cardboard versus those made with the knifty little gadget below, the Boye Pom-Pom Maker. It's only a couple of bucks, so it might be worth having on hand. One of the really nice things about it is that it can be separated, so the one tool will make pom-poms in multiple sizes. The downside is that I actually think the other method is quicker and easier.
To begin, place the 2 pieces of the pom-pom maker ridge sides together.
You have to then cut a length of yarn. This is what I don't necessarily like about this method. It's a guessing game as to how much yarn you will need, and if it's too long, it tends to get tangled. Anyway, cut a length of yarn. I also put it on a yarn needle because it's easier to manage. Begin threading the yarn through the center hole and wrapping around.
Keep wrapping. If you run out of yarn, cut another length and repeat.
When you are satisfied with the number of wraps OR you room out of room in the center space (another downside, although you could remove the center ring and make a little more space), stop. Cut your thread to match the edge of the outermost circle.
Begin cutting around the edge of your circle. This is one of the really nice features of the little tool. It gives you an automatic gap in which you can place your scissor blade to cut.
Next, cut a length of yarn, 12 inches or so, and put it in between the two circles. Pull it tight and tie a few knots to hold all the yarn together. This is also a nice way to keep the yarn from falling apart while you are assembling your pom-pom.
Slide the pom-pom off the pom-pom maker. I also usually wrap the yarn length the opposite direction and tie a few more knots before fluffing up my pom-pom. All done!
So, can you tell which one is which?
Not a huge difference, in my opinion. Obviously, I have the little Boye gadget and it definitely has its benefits. However, it's always nice to know that you can accomplish the same thing with a bit of cardboard.... AND you can get all sorts of custom sizes!