All posts by Anna

Pom Pom Wreath

For the first time ever, Chris and I are hosting the family for Christmas. Excited is not the word…I am ecstatic . Apart from obviously spending what is one of the most special times of the year with family, it also means that after years of reigning it in due to the fact that a minimal amount of people were going to see our efforts, I am finally going to be able to go full force on the decorating front!

So I thought I would start early this year and in order to get as much Christmas cheer (I’d like to think) into the house as possible, I have already made a few decorations in preparation for the fastly approaching Christmas day. Yippppeeeee.

The theme for this week’s post is all about making a Pom Pom Christmas Wreath and as you probably saw in my last post ‘Shake Your Pom Pom’ I am still obsessed with my new-found Pom Pom makers and all the lovely sizes of fluffy wonders I can make.

With a love of all things colourful I wanted to make a Christmas Wreath with a slight difference this year. After picking up the essentials from Hobby Craft – a Polystyrene Wreath and Glue Gun, I started the nightly duty of making many, many Pom Pom’s (you will need quite a few, I needed about 40 on a 200mm sized wreath – using varying sizes of Pom Pom’s). Some of you may think that is quite a lot of Pom Pom’s to make for one decoration, but fear not… it’s surprising how many you can churn out sitting in front of I’m A Celebrity each night. Just persevere.

POM POM INGREDIENTS

POM POM GLUE 2

POM POM HALF WAY

Once you have all the Pom Pom’s made, you are onto the easy and fun bit…getting sticky with the glue gun. Enjoy the process, make a pattern, colour co-ordinate or stick at random. All I would say is that you should try to cover all of the Polystyrene itself on the front and sides. Pin a ribbon onto the reverse of the wreath and you have a great alternative to your traditional Christmas decoration.

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Fairytale Toy Box

I don’t remember much about turning 2 years old, in fact I don’t think I can remember anything from that age. But what I do know is that toys are the most important possessions you own and they provide endless hours of entertainment! However, for the parents it’s quite another story…a sore foot from the up-turned Lego block, a hidden piece of Play Doh in your bag in place of your pen, you get the idea.

With that in mind I was desperately trying to think of the best present to buy one my best friend’s little boy who turned 2 years old today. I had a wish list of Toys to choose from, but I really wanted to try and give him something that he could keep for a long time to come and that wouldn’t end up being another hurdle for my friends to jump over in the daily rush.

What better than somewhere to store the toys….how about a Toy Box?? After finding quite a basic varnished chest of a suitable size in my local charity shop, I trundled home with great ideas of how I was going to decorate it. But first I had the fun task of stripping the varnish off of the chest itself. Using Nitro Mors and quite a bit (actually a lot) of scrubbing and sanding (glad the weight sessions at the gym are coming to good use), I managed to get the wood to a suitable standard for painting.

There could only be one choice for the paint and that was our trusty chalk paint (used in many of our previous projects). After painting a fine coat of white over the whole chest, I waited until dry and roughly sanded all over. This then provided a blank canvas for me to decorate until my hearts content. I love stars and pretty much use them in a lot of the cushions, paintings, doodles I do, so that was my main pattern of choice. After making some various size star stencils out of card, I used these and four different colour paints to make a star pattern on the front and sides of the chest.

Inspired by the lettering on the rides of Brighton Pier I decided to create my own typography and paint the word ‘TOYS’ on the lid of the chest. I stenciled the letters onto the lid and then hand painted them in. It took some time, but then again I was a bit distracted by ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’ on TV…yikes there are some interesting folks out there!

After all the stars and letters were painted, I lightly sanded them again to give it a bit more of a distressed look. Finally using one of my trusty kitchen sponges I rubbed a very light coat of paint over the stars and letters to enhance the vintage feel.

I finally fluttered my eyelashes at the hubby to attach the hinges for me and hey presto I finally had a toy box birthday present to be proud of!

And I am very pleased to report that the Toy box was very well received by both 2 year old and parents alike! Yey!

A Giant Christmas Pom Pom Decoration

Now for a different kind of Pom Pom, not as soft and fluffy as the Pom Pom’s in last week’s post, but certainly just as pretty and effective. In fact I had so much fun and got so much satisfaction from making these, that I got carried away and made loads.

When I say these are easy to make, I mean they are so easy to make, you could fill your house in a day. And what is even better is that they are so cost-effective, it wouldn’t even cost you a lot to fill!

I bought a pack of 5 sheets of tissue paper (75cm x 50cm) and cut them in half, therefore having 10 sheets in total. After laying them on top of each other, I folded them back and forth in a concertina fold, at a measurement of about 3cm.

TISSUE POM POM INGREDIENTS

FOLD MEASUREMENT

After folding, I used some fine floral wire to secure the middle of the folded paper, leaving enough wire to make a loop (to use as means of hanging the Pom Pom). Once the middle is secured, fan out the sides and on one side separate one of the top layers of tissue paper. Gently manoeuvre the tissue paper up to the centre of the fan. repeat this on both sides, raising at least 4 sheets of tissue paper on both sides.

POM POM FOLD

POM POM CURVE

POM POM FAN

Once that is done, turn the Pom Pom over, being careful not to crush the sheets you have already pulled into place. If you want, use the wire loop as something to hold onto. Repeat the process on the underside, pulling up to 4 sheets either side. You should then be left with the final middle sheets. Pull these apart and fan them out, being careful not pull them apart too much. This way you are forming more of a circle with your Pom Pom.

POM POM FANNING

All that is left to do is a bit of fluffing, to make sure all the sheets are evenly spread out. Then attach a lovely piece of metallic thread or fishing line to hang from wherever you please.

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Shake Your Pom Pom

Making Pom Pom’s…it’s my new obsession. Ever since stumbling upon a local knitting circle, where this wonderful Granny was making them in abundance and amazingly quickly (quite something to behold I must tell you), I have been hooked. Though I am not quite sure what I am going to do with the dozen’s I have made, maybe an elaborate head-dress or giant cat toy, I do think there is so much fun to be had with these gorgeous little creations.

Therefore I thought I would share with you a step by step guide on how to make these bundles of joy.

Firstly you are going to need to purchase a Pom Pom maker (you can make your own like you used to at school out of card, but this tutorial is based on the Pom Pom Maker’s available to buy). I purchased the Clover Pom Pom maker from Hobby Craft, which is available in various sizes – depending on what size Pom Pom you want. Pick your yarn and you are ready to go.

Open the Pom Pom maker on one side, with both arms folded out. Start to wrap your yarn around the arms holding one end of the yarn firmly, so you can keep it tight as it is continuously wrapped.

POM POM STARTING POINT

pom pom STEP 2

Ensure you keep the yarn even and tight as you wrap it around the arms. Make sure that the yarn covers the arms completely from the very ends and back again. Keep wrapping the yarn until it sits level with the ends of the arms, almost creating a semi-circle as pictured.

POM POM STEP 3

Once this is done, push the arms back towards the center of the Pom Pom maker and trim the two ends of yarn. Repeat the same process on the other side.

POM POM STEP 4

Now for the fun and rather accurate bit. You have to manoeuver your scissors in-between the two arms and underneath the wrapped yarn. It can be a little tricky to make that first cut, but persevere. Make sure you cut all of the yarn on both sides. You will start to see the Pom Pom starting to form.

POM POM STEP 5

POM POM STEP 6

Now cut a single piece of yarn about 20-30 cm and pull it tight between the two circles, encompassing all of the yarn. Make sure you pull this as tight as you can and tie a knot. This is going to be hard to judge as you won’t be able to see the knot behind the circles.

POM POM STEP 8

Once this is done you can open the arms of the Pom Pom maker and separate it at the middle.

POM POM STEP 7

POM POM STEP 9

Before your very eyes you should see a Pom Pom. It might need a bit of a shake out to get it a little more rounded. If there are any longer ends sticking out them just trim them off.

POM POM STEP 10

And there we go. I promise you, that you will make loads of these!