This week’s Unplugged Project theme (fluffy) was not premeditated, it just popped into my head.
I wanted an adventure this week so I thought long and hard all week about what to do. Cotton balls? Ordinary. Dryer lint? Flammable. Pom poms? What does one do with pom poms besides add some googly eyes? Not in the mood.
But then I found this: Pom Pom International!
Amy Lamé has a vision. She is trying to bring people of the world together. But how? With music? No. Art? No. What then? Pom poms!! What could be less politically charged and more fun and appealing to humans everywhere, than the humble pom pom! As Amy puts it:
This is what it is all about:
Pom Pom International travels to areas of conflict around the globe. Together, we create whimsical,
non-political, creative balls of fluffy yarn in a gesture of peace and reconciliation. All pom poms are tagged, tracked and sewn together to make the biggest pom pom in the world.
Why not? I love this idea!! A peace pom pom!
If you can’t make it to a live pom pom making event, then you can create your pom pom at home and send it to Amy. Email her a photo of you and your pom pom and she’ll add it to her online gallery.
I remember my mother teaching me how to make pom poms and I have a distinct fondness for them, so I was quite excited to make pom poms for a higher purpose than merely a place to stick googly eyes.
Pom poms are surprisingly easy and fun to make. All you need is some sturdy cardboard (corrugated is best) and leftover yarn:
Cut two matching circles out of the cardboard. Next cut matching circles out of the middle of the original circles so you have a doughnut shape. (NOTE: Our cardboard was from an extra heavy box so I ended up using a dremel tool to cut these, but you really don’t need cardboard that is quite that tough!):
The width of the “ring” portion of your doughnut (distance between outer edge and start of inner hole) will determine the size of your pom pom (bigger band=bigger pom pom). Also, I would advise making your donuts a bit bigger than we did so that the middle hole can be bigger. A larger hole makes it easier to pass the yarn through.
Place your cardboard rings together like a sandwich.
Choose your yarn and cut a length that is several yards/meters long. Roll it into a small ball so that it can easily pass through the center hole. Pass the loose end of the yarn through the hole and hold on to it with your thumb. Wrap yarn tightly around the doughnut like this (once you start wrapping, you can let go of the loose end):
Keep wrapping all around the circle as many times as necessary to completely cover it. Keep going until you can no longer fit any yarn through the hole … or you run out of patience, whichever comes first! The more yarn you use, the thicker and puffier your pom pom will be.
When you finish your first small ball, you can easily add on more yarn by simply threading the loose end through and holding it with your thumb, just as you did before. You can change colors this way too, as I did with my blue and purple pom pom.
When you are through wrapping, cut the strands all the way around the edge of the doughnut with the scissor tips between the two cardboard pieces.
Now wrap a long strand of yarn around the pom pom, between the two sandwiched sections and tie tightly:
And finally, the really exciting part: gently pull apart the two cardboard rings to reveal your completed pom pom. Trim and fluff as necessary, and there you have it! A nice, fluffy, pom pom for peace!
In order to have your pom pom be a part of the giant peace pom pom simply print out a tag for each pom pom from the Pom Pom International website, take a photo of you and your creation for the website’s gallery (send it via email), then ship your tagged pom poms to Pom Pom International in London, England! Full instructions, tag and addresses are here.
Tomorrow after school we will be off to the post office to send our peace pom poms to England. The children are very excited!
Amy’s explanation and diagram of making a pom pom – very helpful!
Pompoms Can Save the Planet – May 6, 2008, The Scotsman Newspaper
By the way, Amy also gratefully accepts donations of any leftover or recycled yarn balls and bits. Send all “orphaned or previously loved yarn” here:
NEW Pom Pom International HQ
106 Lower Marsh
London SE1 7AB
It will be used for the free pom pom making events.
If you are feeling really enthusiastic, she also seeks Pom Pom International Ambassadors. Can you volunteer to organize a pom pom making booth at a crafts or art fair? How about a club event? The more pom poms, the better.
Did you do a fluffy Unplugged Project this week? If so, then please post a link to your project post (not just your blog) in Mr. Linky below. If you didn’t participate but would like to learn more, then please do not link, but read about it here.
The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project will be: