To start off, I wanted to wish you all a fantastic New Year! My fiance and I got an amazing Christmas present last week – we found out we’re moving to Chicago next summer! We’re getting married in just 64 days (holy sh*t) and will be moving in June. It gets better, too! I’ve got some pretty promising prospects on a library internship next summer and will have my Master’s in August.
Ok, I’ll stop digressing now. The other night, I threw a craft party and enlisted some of my friends (who are amazing!) to help me make a dent in the 50 pom pons with which I’m decorating my wedding venue.
50 pom pons x 5 packets per filter x 5 filters per packet =
50 pom pons x 25 filters per pom = 1,250 filters in need of dyeing
I wanted half of my poms in green and half in yellow, so 1,250/2 = 625 filters in each color. Phew!
1250 bleached coffee filters
1 bottle of green food coloring
1 bottle of yellow food coloring
upholstery thread (color doesn’t matter)
1 tapestry needle
1 pin cushion (since I threw a party, I gave my guests some old wine corks so they could each have a pin cushion)
Dyeing the filters
In this post, I go over step-by-step instructions for dyeing the filters. However, to dye the absurd amount of filters I needed to dye without taking MONTHS, I dyed them in the sink in bunches of 50 or so and dried them in the dryer. Just make sure to use a gentle dryer setting, and you should use a timer! The ones that I accidentally over-dried shrunk like clothes.
Producing Pom Pons en Masse
My darling mother came to visit me from North Dakota last week, and she helped me figure out how to make these beasts more efficiently. I should have thought to ask for her help earlier on in my pom pon prototyping experiments. After all, she’s the one who taught me how to craft. :)
She came up with the idea of having my party guests sew packets of coffee filters together, rather than assemble whole poms. It turned out to be great because not everyone is comfortable with sewing, especially using a paper material.
How to Make a Packet of Filters
- Take 5 filters from your laundry basket.
- Fold them in half and in half again, and layer them in alternating directions (see picture). Use your coaster to hold each filter in place as you fold.
- Thread your needle, doubling the thread and tyeing a knot securing the two ends together. Punch a hole through all 5 layered filters. Sew back through the hole you punched a couple times.
- Punch a second hole through your filters, and sew back through the new hole twice again.
- Punch your third and final hole, making a triangle of holes in your filter. Sew a couple of times through this last hole. Secure your thread with a couple of knots and cut your thread.
Assembling the Packets in to Poms
Using 5 completed packets, start sewing them together. That’s it! You just have to, pardon the Tim Gunn reference, make it work. Just make sure not to sew too close to the end of the packet of filters. You’ll end up with packets raining down from the sky and your future pom pon garland will look like crap.
Once you’ve sewn 5 packets together, you’ll notice how flat-looking your poms are. Fluffing them is as easy as unfolding them at the crease. A picture is worth a thousand words:
I have yet to assemble my full pom pon garlands, other than the party decorations below, but my plan is to use fishing line. I’ll post full details when I reach that point. For now, my wonderful party guests helped me finish assembling 190 of the 250 packets of filters I needed.
I need to end this absurdly long tutorial and get back to assembling poms! Happy New Year!