Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Making a Pom-Pom Throw Rug

Because our budget is usually pretty tight, I tend to find ways to make things rather than buy.  It doesn't always work out, and the finished product may not be quite as well-made as a professional version, but I like trying new things and seeing just what I am capable of doing.

This is another project that I really didn't know how to do, but with a little research and patience (mostly from my daughter's perspective - it can take me a long time to finish things...), I can add this to my portfolio of experiments!
When we moved last year, the room my younger daughter chose didn't have carpet, so we discussed and looked at small area rugs.  They can be rather expensive, and though there are some beautiful options, none of them fit her personality (at least not the ones that were in our budget).

So I did what I do quite a bit - I asked the "magic box" to see if there was a way to make a floor covering. And found some tutorials on making pom pom rugs.  I asked M. if she would be okay with that option, and she was, so we went to the fabric store and she picked colors of yarn that matched her room.  Because we are renting we couldn't paint the walls, but she had picked out a bedspread that gave us some colors to work with.

I had her choose five, because odd numbers are a little more interesting from the design perspective.

I saw a few different tutorials, and they had some differences and some similarities.  I will walk through what I did here.

I began with looking up how to make pom-poms.  If you already know how, then you can skip this step!  At first I made my own cardboard template/pom maker.  It worked great for a while, but because I was making so many, it started losing its shape.

Here are my directions for using a cardboard template (pictured in the photo above):

Cut two circles out from cardboard, then cut a center circle out of each. I traced around a jar lid that was about three inches in diameter, then traced a nickel for the center.  The size of your (outer) circle will be the approximate size of your pom-pom. 
  1. Cut a length of yarn about 8 inches long and set it aside.
  2. With the two circles together, wrap your yarn around, creating about three layers - depending on how full you want your pom-pom.
  3. Using smaller, sharp scissors, cut the yarn moving the blades between the two circles.  Be sure to hold the circles together even after you are finished cutting.
  4. Take your length of yarn and work it between the two cardboard circles, and tie a slip knot, pulling it as tight as you can between the knots.  This is what holds the pom-pom together and creates the round shape.
  5. Remove the cardboard circles, and you have your first pom-pom!  It may need to be trimmed a little, so give it a hair cut as you see fit.
 Repeat this process to make as many poms as you need.

For the backing of my rug, I used the rubberized shelf liner which is less expensive than the no-skid rug backing. I simply slip stitched two lengths together to make it wide enough and away I went. . .

To attach the pom poms to the backing, I used a crochet or rug hook to pull the two yarn ends through two separate holes, then knotted them on the bottom.  Repeat this until you have the size rug you want, or you have used all your pom-poms.

As I mentioned, the cardboard circles worked great to begin with, but eventually started wearing out.  I found out about these pom pom makers, so I went to Joann's and got a set that included the size I needed.  It was much easier, and they come with instructions so I won't bore you with those here.  :)


I didn't get the rug as large as I was hoping, even after buying more yarn, so know that it does take quite a few poms to fill in.

The neat thing about making this is that you can choose the colors, you can make a pattern with the colors if you want, and it is really soft on the feet!  I suppose if I made smaller pom-poms it might have used less yarn, but M. wanted a thick rug, so this is what we did!

Have you made pom-pom?  How did you use them?

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