25.3.16

Craft | Pom pom wall hanging

This is something of a departure from my usual posts, but I've been doing a lot of sprucing in the flat lately. After reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up late last year, I've thrown out so many things that failed to 'spark joy' (which is the foundation of author Marie Kondo's approach) and steadily started to introduce a whole host of new things that I really, really love. Careful sourcing of new furniture has brought new pieces into my life that I would previously have discounted on the basis that they felt too indulgent, but the happiness they've brought has convinced me that the investment has been worthwhile. I've spent so many delightful hours on Pinterest in recent weeks, and the fact that my home looks so much more like I want it to has meant that I've been much more keen to add things that I find really beautiful. What's been a revelation to me is that, despite my belief that I had a complete lack of artistic flair, I've managed to create something that has absolutely delighted me since I hung it last week: meet my pom pom wall hanging.
Before I get into the how, I can't pretend that this was a purely creative endeavour. I rent a very lovely Georgian flat in London, but one of the walls in my bedroom is blighted by quite a long, horizontal crack. Fellow renters will know the pain of finding common ground with one's landlord on what constitutes 'essential maintenance', so something needed to be done to conceal it. After hours browsing 'wall hangings' on Pinterest, I stumbled across a sweet pom pom creation, and skipped out to Crystal Palace's newly-opened wool and fabric shop to grab a couple of balls of wool: one grey, and one black for £4.95 each. My next destination was the garden centre to pick up an eight-foot bamboo cane for the bargain price of 60p! I had a spool of black cotton and a needle at home, so investment for this project was a very manageable £10.50. To make the pom poms, you also need a regular dining fork and a pair of scissors.

I followed this pom-pom making tutorial which involves wrapping wool around a fork 50 times, and then tying the yarn around the centre so the bundle is held together. You tie an additional loop around the middle and snip along the circumference, and you're left with a very fluffy little pom pom which needs to be trimmed down. The trick here is to be bold as bold as you dare with your trimming as it gives a much better result. You'll see below that the grey ones on the left are much fuzzier than the black ones towards the front, and this is all down to braver trimming of the latter!

To make the black and grey pom poms in the middle, I alternated ten wraps of each colour up to the regular 50 wraps. After a few practice runs, I was whipping up both plain and mixed poms in a few minutes. I found it much easier to create batches of the tied-off proto-poms, and then return to trim them down, as the latter stage is definitely the more labour-intensive step, requiring a bit more focus. You'll also get completely distracted by your finished poms which slows you down: they're so satisfying to hold! In total, I made 12 black, 12 grey, and eight mixed, which took me about 1.5hrs.


Once the poms were complete, the next step was to start threading the finished articles. I measured and marked even spaces along the length of the bamboo (8.5 inches apart, with space at either end) and started to thread the pom poms onto my thread using a sewing needles. I used regular cotton, measuring 36 inches in length, and spacing the poms 7.5 inches apart. You'll see that, despite trying to measure accurately, the pom poms at the bottom of each line are at slightly different heights. This is entirely accidental but I quite like the effect! I made an effort to line the top row up as evenly as possible, but there's definitely room for creative license here. I tied a double knot under each pom pom, hanging four to each thread. I attached them to the bamboo by looping the end of the thread a few times around the cane and tying them off with a double knot. I fixed three gold nails into the wall (from a picture-hanging kit from Ikea), and balanced the bamboo on top, tying strands of cotton around the bamboo and then around the head of the nail to ensure it was securely fastened. 

And here's the finished article! It started out as a project to conceal an unsightly patch on my wall, but it ended as something I really love, and that I can't quite believe I created. In total, this probably took me four hours (the measuring, threading and hanging definitely took the bulk of the time), so it's a great rainy day project. I'm already pondering what's next for my pom pom endeavours as I have so much wool leftover, and have a feeling that if it doesn't move, it may end up with a pom pom on it. I've told family and friends to keep moving if they see me clutching the wool!


So, hurrah for my first craft 'tutorial'! Please do let me know if you fancy seeing more of this kind of thing, and if you're looking for more inspiration, you can follow me on Pinterest here.

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