Faux fur pom pom keychains and bag charms are a great way to add some fun to your everyday look. They can also be adapted to fit on a knit winter hat, scarves, jewelry, and much more. The following tutorial gives you step-by-step instructions for creating a pom pom that is both beautiful and animal-friendly!
Time to complete: about 1 hour (less time once you’ve made a few)
Materials and supplies you’ll need:
– fake fur fabric
– fabric scissors
– sewing needle
– thread (in a color close to the fabric’s color)
– a thimble (optional)
– twill tape or cording (about 6″ long)
– a clasp or clip
– polyester stuffing or filling
– pins for sewing (optional)
Most fake fur fabrics will work for making poms, but I’ve find that medium-length furs are best (especially solid colors). Prints or longer faker furs will work, but the pattern or shape may change after cutting and sewing. A bit of trial and error is involved, and you may have to make a few poms before you get a perfect one.
1. Prepare your materials.
Before starting, lay out all your materials so you don’t have to look for something during the process. Double-check that you have everything at hand to save time and frustration. Also, work on a clean, clutter-free surface to give you the best area to create your pom.
2. Cut the fake fur in a circle.
Start with a small piece of fake fur that’s about 4″ to 5″ (inches) square. Using sharp fabric scissors, carefully cut the fur in a circle that’s almost as large as the square. Cut the fur slowly from the flat (non-furry) side and be sure to stay close to the flat side so you don’t cut across the strands of fur (which would make the texture uneven). If you feel more comfortable with a template it may help to make one before this step. But I tend to eyeball it and even out the circle after I first cut it out.
3. Remove triangles from the fur circle.
Cutting out triangles is the next step. This will make a much smoother and elegant looking pom pom. Depending on the size of your pom, cut out 5-6 slim triangles, avoiding going too far to the center or cutting the fur strands. Pull off any loose fur along the cut edges and discard the triangle scraps.
4. Sew up each triangle.
This step is the most time-consuming, but it’s also the most important for a beautiful pom pom. You can do this by hand or by machine, though for the first few you make I recommend hand sewing. This way you can best understand the shape and effect desired. You’ll need to sew up each triangle shape that you removed, making sure to leave no gaps where the pom can come apart. I pin the adjacent sides together only when I’m doing this step on the machine, otherwise I just hold them together. Go a little more than 1/4″ down from the edge with your stitches. It can take a while to do this step because you need to go over it many times, but it’s necessary for a perfect pom. Be sure to also trim any dangling threads at the ends.
5. Make a loose stitch around the top.
Now it will resemble a cup shape. Turn it right side out and make a loose basting stitch about 1/4″ down from the top edge on the inside. I recommend doubling your thread so it is less likely to break during the next step. Once you go around the whole circle, leave the needle and thread hanging off and do not knot or tie it.
6. Pull the basting stitch to tighten the cup shape.
Hold the fake fur at the top edge and gently pull and gather the basting stitch until it forms a tighter cup shape. Do not let the thread break! If it does break, start from Step 5 again. Again, leave the long thread attached and do not trim or tie it off (you’ll need it later!).
7. Fill with polyester stuffing.
The pom then needs some stuffing to create the rounded shape. Holding the cup-shaped fur in one hand, use the other hand to stuff it with a small handful of filling. There’s no exact amount to use as it depends on the fabric and pom size, so just fill it and push down until it’s pretty full while still below the top line. Continue holding the stuffed fake fur for the next step.
8. Insert the twill tape or the cording with the clasp.
I usually prepare my twill tape and clasp ahead of time, so it’s ready to go, or it can be done while you hold the stuffed fur cup. String the twill tape or cording through the clasp, or you can leave off the clasp if you just want a loop. Insert the bottom ends of the twill tape into the middle of your pom, pushing it down into the stuffing. You can add a little stuffing on either side of it to fill it out a bit more. Make sure it’s centered and you’ve made the top part as long as you’ll want it since it won’t be changeable after it’s finished.
9. Hold tightly and sew until closed.
This is the hardest step, but it is all worth it! Start by using the connected needle and thread from the basting stitch (you can thread it again if that runs out). Hold the cupped fur fairly tightly in one hand (but not so tight that the stuffing comes out). Sew across the top edge of the fur and the twill tape many times, trying not to poke your hand. Turn the pom as you go and gently tighten the thread, closing the top edge. Make sure you have secured the twill tape and always sew through more times than is needed to keep your pom from coming apart.
10. Gently pull out any trapped fur.
If any long fur strands get caught while closing the pom, simply use your needle or a pin to pull them out. You don’t want to damage the fur or rip it out, so go slowly. The top where you’ve closed your pom will never be totally perfect, but spending a little time doing this will make it look much better.
11. Double-check your work.
After you’ve made your pom, the last step is to make sure it doesn’t have any looseness or gaps where the stuffing is showing. If the gathered top part is doing this, take more thread and (starting from the inside) go through it again until it’s secure. Give the pom a good shake back and forth to check that the twill tape or cord is not going to come loose.
Enjoy your handmade pom pom!
(Try not to get it too wet and handle it with care, and your pom will last for many years to come.)
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- A Guide to Using the Right Kind of Scissors for Your Sewing Project - January 15, 2020