How to Make Faux-Fur Pom Poms- for cheap!
Posted on August 23, 2019
Pom Pom hats are so trendy right now! Everyone in the knit and crochet community seems to be obsessed with those happy little fluff balls on top of their gorgeous handmade hats, and pom pom hats are always a huge crowd-pleaser at markets or when given as gifts. Ever wonder how those perfectly round and fluffy, luxuriously (faux) furry poms are made? Do you have a pile of hats that could really be taken to the next level with the addition of some pom-y goodness? Let me show you how I make my super simple and super affordable faux fur pom poms!
- faux fur fabric
- fabric (or really sharp) scissors
- measuring tape/yard stick
- sharpie marker
- scrap acrylic yarn
- yarn needle
- polyfil stuffing
- optional (but not really): a vacuum and a lint roller.
So, do you have your vacuum ready? Are you not wearing your favorite black velour top & black leggings outfit with your shimmery lip gloss that collects all the fuzzes? Okay, good. Cause believe you me when I say that your home is about to look like you’ve shaved a rambunctious “faux-lar bear”/whatever colored faux-beast “pelt” you have. It’s gonna get a little furry for a minute here. But I promise you, it’s totally worth it! Nothing a little lint roller can’t fix!
1. Purchase faux fur:
I purchase the majority of my faux fur fabrics at Joann. The price range varies by color and “fur” length, from about $15-$40 a yard, but unless you’re looking to start making a lot of poms, you really don’t need much to start with! Starting off I would recommend purchasing just a quarter yard or so. And pro-tip: around Halloween seems to be the biggest faux-fur color selection, and often you can find remnants marked down! Joann stocks all sorts of colors, from traditional fur shades, to really fun bright and rainbow options! The white “fur” pictured in this tutorial is $19.99/yd, but you can often get faux-fur on sale , or you can use a coupon– Joann almost always has a 40% (or more!) off! At 40% off a quarter yard would only be around $3 for multiple poms! To give you a little cost comparison, handmade poms on Etsy run about $6-$8 for just one pom, often plus shipping! Making your own is definitely worth it, plus it allows you to customize your colors and sizes for all your projects!
As far as purchasing faux-fur, if you don’t have a Joann or don’t want to shop online, generally anywhere that sells fabric will have some selection(Hobby Lobby, Walmart, etc), and you can also keep an eye out in second hand or consignment shops for faux fur items-like vests, pillows and blankets- that you could re-purpose!
2. Do some math:
Before you start cutting, make sure you do some math to calculate how many poms/what size you can get out of your faux fur fabric ‘s length and width. You don’t want to waste any, if possible! My pom poms generally are somewhere between 5″and 6″ squares, but feel free to make any size you like! Sometimes the dimensions of the fabric don’t work out to an even amount of same-sized poms, or even to perfect squares, and I think that is okay! The ones pictured are 5″ by 5.5″- so not a perfect square- but I wanted to use all the fabric I had purchased as a remnant! And you really can’t tell at all once the poms are finished and attached to a hat!
And another note on shape and size, I have seen some tutorials that recommend cutting circles to make the poms instead. Personally, I find that the square shape #1 wastes less of your fabric, #2 takes less time and effort to cut out, and #3 makes a fuller, fluffier, more luxurious pom! I promise, they look perfectly round by the time you are done, so you don’t need to take extra time tracing and cutting out a bunch of circles!
3. Mark the fabric:
Once you have your optimal dimensions figured out, I recommend taking a ruler and a sharpie and making some marks on the back side of the fabric. You don’t have to full out graph every square, I just like to make a few tick marks so I know that I will be cutting in a (relatively) straight line.
4. Cut it out:
Using fabric (or really sharp) scissors, cut along your marks on the back side of fabric. Some fabrics you can actually notch and then tear if you prefer, but I like to use scissors just to make sure I am staying on my lines. You also want to take it slow and be as careful as you can to not cut chunks of the fur lengths off as you are cutting the backing, especially if you’re working with a longer fur. I try and brush the fur away from the line I will be cutting before I begin- just so your poms don’t end up looking like they are having a really bad hair day.
I’ve heard that you can also slice the back of fabric with a box-cutting blade or exacto-knife instead, but personally I find the scissors a little less…terrifying. Supposedly it makes a little less mess this way but, but I like my fabric scissor! But if you’re a risk taker, feel free!
5. Cinch it up:
For my ~6″ poms I cut a ~ 25″ length of yarn and thread it onto a yarn needle. You can really use any yarn or cording that you’d like, but I suggest using something that is at least a worsted or aran weight, so you will have a nice sturdy tie to pull tight and fasten onto your hat! I usually use just some scrap gray or black yarn, but if you have a certain hat in mind you could definitely match the yarn (but it will be sew on the inside, so you don’t end up seeing it!). I like to use acrylic cause it holds up well to tugging- I found cotton and wool sometimes snapped while I was tightening, meaning I had to start this step all over again. Whatever yarn you are using, loosely sew in large stitches (“baste”) around the square until you wind up right next to where you started. It doesn’t have to be super precise, so just follow along the edges in a relatively neat and evenly-spaced manner! It’ll be hidden on the inside when you’re done!
One more side note: I’ve seen a couple tutorials where you only sew the 4 corners together, rather than around all the edges. While that might be quicker, it allows for some possibility for escaped stuffing and doesn’t round the pom out as nicely as cinching it up does! But feel free to experiment with what works best for you!
6. Stuff it:
Tighten slightly by pulling on both ends of your yarn, and stuff the pom with a handful/your desired amount of stuffing. I almost always have a bag or two of Polyfil stuffing lying around, but if you don’t you could use cotton balls or even yarn scraps from another project to fill your poms! Feel free to stuff all the fur mess that fell as you were cutting in there too!
7. Close it up:
Pull the yarn until your pom is completely cinched up, and tie it up tightly. Since both ends wound up next to each other on one side of the square, I like to take just one end and sew it into the opposite side, and then tighten and knot the ends together again (just so the ties will be nicely centered and you can be sure that its closed up really well!) Trim your yarn ends and *POOF,* YOU’VE GOT A POM ready to be added to your favorite hat!
This year I made over 100 poms to add to my Puff and Pom Beanies (which are always a best seller at markets!). Ordering that many pom poms individually would have been rather costly for my business, plus I really like knowing that I made the WHOLE hat- the pattern, the finished hat, and the pom pom! While there are so many incredible pom pom makers out there that you definitely can and should be supporting, I encourage you to give making your own a try! It’s way cheaper- but a lot messier- and so simple! I’d love to see what pom pom creations you come up with!