This week we have some fun with a guest blogger, yarn-artist Emily, who I met recently at an exhibition of work for the 100 Days Project 2019. She had the most inspiring exhibition of work she had put together to raise the plight of the humble bee and was hoping her art could help her to raise money to construct a bee-friendly garden. She won me over on the spot and some of the eagle-eyed amongst you may even have spotted a recent addition to my study, a special piece Emily did just for us.
Today she is going to encourage us all to make fantastic Christmas decorations out of pompoms. So… take it away Emily…
Hi my name is Emily and I am 9 years old. I want to tell you about Christmas pompom decorations, but first I want to tell you how I got started. My mum and I were in the garden centre looking at wool and she told me how she used to make pompoms with her own Mum so we bought some wool, took it home and made our first pompom.
We really enjoyed it so we made more. This led us to take part in the 100 Days Project 2019 where we made a pompom every day for 100 days and finally strung them all into a pompom chandelier for the ‘Day 100 show’ alongside all kinds of artists including painters, illustrators, woodturners, potters and more.
Pompoms are high fashion at the moment. We see them everywhere, on scarves, earrings, blankets, baskets and even door numbers (Eli: I saw them on Kirstie’s homemade Christmas last night) but I want to tell you about creating your own Christmas pompoms either as great handmade gifts or something to cherish and bring out each year. It’s a great way to repurpose any leftover wool and get everybody crafting in the holidays.
This is what you need; a pompom maker, wool and scissors. It can be done with a circle of card, that’s how my Granny made them but we use plastic pompom makers. They are inexpensive and available from most craft shops. If you want to string a few into a garland, you will need a bodkin or thick needle for wool.
Wind the wool as tightly and neatly as you can around both halves of the pompom maker, either one colour or experiment with different combinations. Make them as full as you can for the fluffiest pompoms and lock the pompom makers into a circle before carefully cutting all the way around the outside between the two halves. Tie a tight double knot around the middle of all the wool before gently removing the maker and trimming any loose ends. If you are making an animal, you may want to trim them into an oval shape or define a nose and stick on felt eyes or string legs later.
Single pompoms with a loop of ribbon make brilliant Christmas tree baubles in any colour theme you wish.
Or string them into a garland to decorate a fireplace or favourite picture frame.
We made an all-white ‘snowball’ garland for the tree this year but I have seen brilliant wreaths and dream catchers filled with pompoms to match the room.
We called ourselves @messypompoms on Instagram if you want to find us. All the profits from our sales go towards planting our garden with bee-friendly flowers and vegetables.
Photos by @messypompoms