Sunday, 25 January 2015

Pompom Snowball Flowers

Winter is still with us as I am sure you will already know and it is beautiful! We have so far missed out on any significant snow but we have had crisp and we have had cold so it is not too bad (boo-hoo). I am so inspired by the wonder of our country and by the everyday beauty all around me. 

As I mentioned, winter has been dramatic down our way with some pretty spectacular effects without the white stuff.

Blickling in Norfolk is looking fresh in the winter air and Sally is a bit boot faced. She HATES the great outdoors despite the nana knitted scarf. The cat had the right idea, stay inside and cuddle rat. Because THAT'S normal!  Beautiful sunrise though sending sailors and shepherds into a tail spin and my ferns are battling on under a cover of silver frost tracery.

Okay, enough whining and dropping hints about NOT ENOUGH SNOW! Let's get down and do some crafting.
I have been looking at a pile of twigs in my back garden (as you do!). Don't want to garden yet in this icy air and staying inside by the fire beckons. Pity to waste the sticks though says the small crafting voice hidden in my brain. 

You can do many things with a twig (or a pom pom) but this time, I want something to put into a vase - enter pompom snowball flowers!

I make pom poms from time to time but I am always fazed by the thought of cutting cardboard disks and I hear that the shop bought makers can be a bit hit and miss. About ten years ago whilst I was still living in Australia there were some forays into methods of making pom poms a few at a time. This is the ideal answer. Like many things that I have done over my crafting life, I have done this and then gone onto something else and forgotten about it. Time to revisit I think!

My method is using wood, nails and dental floss to make pom me there is a method to my madness!

Many of the tutes online feature furniture legs or even your own but I had another idea a while ago and got Husband Rob to hammer a couple of huge nails into a piece of wood about 30cm long. This has made a pretty tricky jig which works perfectly. He has hammered the nails all the way through because otherwise, the broader heads may make removing the wool difficult. Behold  the

This is so simple to make and cheap too. Careful with children obviously because of the nails sticking up.

But like all other craft ideas, there is is more than one way to do things....introducing the lovely Anne from Flax and Twine who has a slightly different way to my method. Anne's is on a larger, more robust piece of furniture but it has the same result.

With the wood jig method, you can make pom poms in different sizes with different sized nails and of course, different sized wool. The longer the wood block, the longer the shank of wool and the more pom poms but there is a limit because it becomes ungainly and hard to manage. Stick to around 30cm and it is easier.

So then, let's get on with it shall we! What will you need for this project?
You need some wool in cream or white and a bit of steely blue too, some dental floss and a hot glue gun. Oh, and the twigs that you found outside!

To make the pom poms, take the first bit of wool and start winding it around the nails like this...

When you have a fair bit (the more wool, the fatter the pom pom), cut the wool off and secure the end. Don't wind the wool too tight to begin with, the tension will ratchet up plenty when you tie the bunches off.

Now take some dental floss. What! Well dental floss is tough. It can take a lot of tension and it is really good for sewing on doll and teddy arms too. Lasts forever and is utterly fabulous when you have to tie something tight.

Cut pieces of floss which are long enough to tie at intervals around the wool shank....

Tie them about 6 cm apart and really make them really secure. The tighter you tie, the less likely that the pom pom will come apart. You don't need to leave a tail for sewing on. Just leave about 4 cm and tie in a very secure knot. You can trim it later.
Now cut the pom poms off. Cut into the middle between the tied off sections like this....

If the wool is thicker, cut partway through and then go back and do the rest rather than cutting all at once which can cause the scissors to go a bit skew wiff. 

Keep going until you have your pom poms. You might need to give them a haircut and some actually look better a little raggedy.

One tip that I find can make a difference, roll the pom pom in your hand when you have finished. This makes it look fuller and a bit more even.

All is left now is to hot glue them to the sticks. Take a look at your stick and also the pom poms. Obviously, one goes on the end but sometimes sticks have sticky-out bits (sorry for the technical term) and a smaller pom pom can look good on these bits, like a bud.

Now find a perfect container for them and you're done! Here it is again...

This is a beautifully nordic type decoration which shows a whole new use for the classic pom pom. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and thank you again to Anne for allowing me to post the link to her blog!

Debbie xxx