Quick and Easy Wool Pom Poms!

It’s been some time since the pom pom was ranking top of the craft slot but thanks to a new surge in focus from the fashion and interior design industry, these little sphere’s of retro fluff have been making a well earned come back!

As a child of the 70’s I remember them well, it was the era of pom pom back then! I loved them then and I still do today…And who doesn’t, even Winnie the Pooh likes to ‘tiddly pom pom pom’!  They have such a happy vibe about them and having been taught the skill of making them by my sister all those years ago, I’ve never forgotten it. Over the years (in fashion, or not) I’ve made many a cute ball of fluff which has found itself sewn on the odd scarf or cushion to give it some personality, or created something seasonal with them for the home…Not to mention using them as a decorative touch in wrapping to give some colour or quirkiness to a gift!

These days, with time being so precious though, the old way of making them just isn’t viable for me. For those not so familiar with the technique, it had a rather lengthy process of cutting out cardboard rings and winding wool around until you couldn’t see the middle anymore. So now, I use a perfected shortcut method which I find perfectly suitable for making purely ‘decorative pom poms’ and whilst they may not be quite as robust as the original, they’re so much quicker, meaning I can make mountains of them in just 10 minutes! Oh if only I knew that then (although as kids it did keep us quiet and out of trouble and so i guess it served its purpose!!)

So if you don’t know how to make them or only know the old lengthy way of making them, then do read on and I’ll show you my new quick and easy method…Along with (of course) some of our own decorative ideas on how we’ve use them!

what you'll need

What you’ll need:  Some wool (we’ve just used any we had left over in our craft basket), a piece of cardboard (or you can just use your fingers!) and some sharp scissors…And that’s it!

Step 1)  Start off by winding your chosen wool around a piece of cardboard –  We’ve used a rigid luggage tag (we use various sizes of tag to get different pom pom sizes) but you can use any cardboard or just your fingers if you prefer (works just as well!)

Step 2) Keep winding the wool until you feel it’s sufficient – the amount of wool needed will depend on the size of your cardboard tag and how fluffy you’d like the pom pom to be but certainly you need a fair bit and with practice you’ll get a dab hand at gauging it! Once you’re happy with the amount, remove the wool from the cardboard and secure around the middle with a small piece of wool – Ensure you tie it nice and tight – double knot! (or your wool will simply fall out once it’s cut.)

Step 3)  Cut through all the wool loops (top and bottom) ensuring you don’t cut through the wool you’ve tied it together with. This should leave you with a sort of raggedy pom pom …To get a more rounded version simply trim with scissors as desired!

Ah, and there you have it…A quick and easy pom pom! You now just have to decide what to do with it!

Here’s just a few of our own Springtime favorites and for more pom pom inspiration why not visit us on pinterest!  Click here to go directly to our ‘wool’ inspiration board (or find us at https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lovewrapping

pom pom wreath3

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How to make a Seed Heart Bird Feeder

Baby it’s cold outside! February can be a really harsh month, with biting winds and ice even on the brightest of days and so if you’re feeling the cold in all those layers, just think of all the wildlife braving it outside, day and night!

So as Valentines day approaches, we thought we’d spread the love to all those little birdies out there with these really super, easy to make and nutritious (for birds ONLY you understand!) Seed Heart Bird Feeders.

Now we do warn you, they are a bit messy to make but it’s well worth it and don’t worry if you don’t have heart shaped cookie cutters in the cupboard, other shapes work just as well . (Unless it’s like a big eagle shape…or a scarecrow…Mmmn yes perhaps you might want to avoid them!)  Read on for our ‘how to’ guide and…Enjoy making!

materials

We used:   Approx 275g to 300g of Bird Seed –  250g of Lard (or animal suet if you prefer) – Cookie cutters (or make your own shape from tin foil) –  A Pan –  A Tray  – Tin Foil or Clingfilm – A Spoon – A Skewer (or pencil), Ribbon (or Twine).  Oh you might want to have some soapy water and a towel handy too! (well I did say it might be a bit messy!)

  1. Firstly, preparation is key so line a tray with some clingfilm or tin foil and place your cutters on there ready.
  2. Carefully heat the Lard in a pan until it’s just melted and then remove from the heat. (Note that the lard can be quite hot at this stage so be careful not to burn yourself!) Stir your birdseed into the fat a bit at a time until you feel you’re happy with the consistency of the mixture.  (Don’t worry if you have a small amount of birdseed left over you can always add it in at a later stage). As a general rule you should be able to see approximately a couple of mm of melted lard sitting above the seeds in the pan.
  3. Before you can start to fill your cookie cutters, allow your mixture to cool down by placing it outside or somewhere away from room temperature until it is at a temperature where the Lard begins to go white (but just before it solidifies.)
  4. When the fat has whitened (but you can still stir it), this is the perfect time to fill your shapes with the mixture. (Note that if the liquid has not solidified enough, it will seep out of the bottom of your cutters!). It’s also the best time to decide if you need to add more birdseed. You need just enough lard to hold the seeds together and so if you need to add more, do so now. Then use the spoon to fill the cutters  with the mixture, pushing it down firmly and ensuring you fill any corners or edges well to ensure you take on the shape of the cutter.
  5. Once you’re happy they are filled enough, take a skewer or pencil and form a decent size hole (this will be to thread your ribbon/twine through at a later date).
  6. Next, place them (whilst still in the cookie cutter) in a cool place or fridge until  they’re as solid as they can be….As lard will only go so hard.

Finally….Gently press out the hardened mixture with your fingers (yep that’s the most messy bit!) and thread the Ribbon or Twine through the hole. Hang them in the garden and stand back and admire! (Preferably in the warmth of the house with a nice cup of hot tea whilst humming “feed the birds”) Nice work …Mary Poppins has nothing on you!

2 hearts back garden

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Just add a Gift Tag…

Over the years I’ve found myself with a variety of unintentional collections of this, that and the other. Things that I’m sure I’ll need in the future so can’t bear to throw away…You know the kind of thing….Odd buttons, old keys, mini toiletries from hotels and…..Gift tags!

Yes, it’s a thin line between ‘collector’ and ‘hoarder’ at this point and my profession as a gift wrapper won’t save me on this one as after rummaging through a very large box of gift tags, it’s clear my love of them started way before my business began! (Many moons ago judging by some of the styles.. Apparently tastes do change!)

So, if like me you have some (??!!) very pretty gift tags you’re hoarding (I mean saving for a rainy day) that you don’t have matching paper for, then fear not….You can use them up and plain paper is your friend!  Couple the tag with a bit of ribbon and some imagination (in other words hole punch a second hole in the tag, thread a length of ribbon through, secure on the back with double sided) and this is the result….A unique and pretty decorative touch to embellish a gift!

kraft and tag final

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