How To Make A Pom-Pom Bat

Halloween is coming! I walked through the seasonal aisle at my local Sainsbury’s this afternoon. It was half ghoulish costumes for 4-foot zombies, witches, skeletons and monsters and half collectible Christmas shortbread tins. If you’d rather forego the plastic decorations for Halloween this year, I’ll show you how to create fun little bat pom-poms, which you can hang up in doorways, on your doorknobs and in the windows to greet your trick-or-treaters.

pom pom bat

What you’ll need:

  • Loome tool

  • Black yarn, any weight

  • Felt scraps in black and white

  • String for hanging

  • PVA glue or fabric glue

Make a pom-pom with your Loome tool

Use your black yarn to create a pom-pom with your Loome tool. If you’re using DK-weight yarn, you’ll need to wrap it around 140 times. If you’re using Aran-weight yarn, around 90 revolutions will do the trick. If you need more in-depth instructions on making a pom-pom with a Loome tool, just check out our previous post, How To Make A Pom-Pom.

Trim your pom.

How to make a pom pom bat
how to make a pom pom bat

Cut out the eyes and wings

Use your felt scraps to cut out two white circles, and two smaller black ones to go inside. Go ahead and glue those black circles down, before they get lost! Cut a small smiley mouth for your bat, but a row of jagged teeth also look great!

Cut two bat-shaped wings next, and you’re all done with the tricky cutting bits.

String it up

Before you glue on the bat’s face and wings, attach the string you’re going to use to hang it up. This way, you’ll know which way is up for your bat.

tie the string onto your pom pom bat to hang it up

Glue it all together

Using a hot glue gun or fabric glue, attach the eyes, teeth and wings onto your pom-pom. Separate the yarn a bit to nestle the pieces into your pom-pom, so that they’re nice and secure.

Ready, set, SPOOK!

Give it a moment to dry. This is really quick is you’ve used a glue gun. If you’ve used another kind of glue then you might want to wait a bit longer for it to dry. Hang up your bat and get ready to spook away all those ghosts and ghouls on Halloween night with your crew of pom-pom bats.

pom pom bat how to
pom pom bat with pumpkins

How To Make A Pom-Pom

One of the best things about making pom-poms is that you really don't need many tools, but if you have the right ones, then it's easy.

What you'll need to get started:

Making a pom-pom is a lot easier than it looks,

just start winding!

1. Secure the end of the yarn to any notch on either arm of any Loome tool model. Wind yarn around arms, make sure tension is not too tight or too loose. 

Note: Mix it up! You can use more than one colour. 

2. Wind 140 revolutions. When done, secure end to any notch, then cut. Note: Generally, with worsted weight yarn 90 revolutions will give you a 2.5cm* trimmed, dense pom-pom, 120=3cm, 175=4.5cm, 200+=5cm. (*approx.) 

3. Cut 30cm strong string. While yarn is on Loome tool, take strong string and tie a tight double knot around the centre of yarn bundle.

4. Gently wedge yarn bundle off the Loome tool. Flip yarn bundle and make another even tighter double knot on the other side.

5. Flip yarn bundle for a third time and make another even tighter double knot.

Note: Tight double knots hold the pom-pom together. 

6. Take scissors and cut loops on both sides in half. Make sure you cut all loops, some may be hiding.

7. Next, it's time to trim. Take the pom-pom trim guide, match it centre to centre. Start the haircut by snipping around the trim guide. Flip and repeat. Then, cut like a real haircut to finish shaping.

If you want more details on how to trim your pom-pom down, check out our post, How To Use The Pom-Pom Trim Guide. Don't have time to source all the materials separately? Grab one of our Pom-Pom Starter Kits; they come in different colourways and include a book of instructions, tips and projects to make with your pom-poms!

Happy pom-poming!

How To Use The Pom-Pom Trim Guide

Have you ever wondered how people get their pom-poms perfectly round? I'll let you in on a little secret: they use a trim guide. 

This small circular guide helps shape and trim down your pom-pom super accurately, and also quickly. We stock the Loome Pom-Pom Trim Guides in our shop, which are made of bamboo but you could also make one yourself at home out of cardboard or strong card-stock. What I love about the Loome ones though, is that they're strong and sturdy, made from bamboo, and won't bend while trimming. Plus, they double up as a kumihimo cord maker!

Let's get started!

1. Make your pom-pom

Check out our tutorial how to make a pom-pom. Once you've tied your middle string, you're ready to trim. I always start by trimming the middle strings down, so that they don't show later. Then, trim all your loops. Make sure none are hiding down inside.

2. Place trim guide centre-to-centre and cut

Then, place your trim guide in the centre of the pom-pom and holding it firmly, snip generously around the guide, keeping your scissors close to the guide. Don't be scared, the first could cuts are a bit of a hack job to get the general shape.

using a pom-pom trim guide
trimming the pom-pom

3. Turn your pom-pom and trim again

Turn the pom-pom on its side, so that your trim guide is now flat against the side you just cut and cut around the guide again.

4. Fine tuning

Now you can put your trim guide to the side, and use your scissors to trim slowly around your pom-pom until you get the desired density. Start by trimming one side first, then rotating your pom-pom and trim the shaggier areas of the pom-pom. 

half-trimmed pom-pom
finished colour-burst pom-pom

Every now and then, roll your pom-pom in your hands and use your fingers to fluff out the pom-pom to find any strands hidden inside that need to be trimmed. 

And that's your pom-pom trimmed up nice and quickly with the trim guide! Made some pom-poms? Share them with us on Instagram using the tag #gettingsewcial!

Blooming lovely floral accessories

The sun has decided to make an appearance, at last, and it has finally been feeling a lot like spring the past couple of days! It's perfect weather for a bit of outdoor crafting and sewing and what better place to find inspiration than in your own garden!

Want to make some of your own? These flower brooches, rings or hair clips are the perfect way to spread the springtime cheer, and they're also part of our popular party offering. These are such fun to make, and go as far as you let your creativity take them!

What you'll need:

  • assorted colours of felt
  • flower templates
  • scissors
  • needle & thread
  • hair clips, ring bases or brooch backs (you can find these at Poundland or your local crafty store, or Amazon... but shop locally first if you can)
  • hot glue gun

Let's do it:

1. Download our templates and print them out at 100%. Cut them out and pin them to your pieces of felt. Carefully cut out your shapes.

2. The beauty of these felt flowers is that you can stack the pieces however you like, biggest to smallest, and mix and match them. We've added little circles of felt that we've snipped into to create sort of sun-burst flowers. Once you find the right mix, sew the layers together by starting from the back and pushing the needle up through all of the layers at the same time. Secure them with 2-3 stitches and then sew on a bead or a button to complete the centre of the flower.

3. Finally, once your flower is done, get that hot glue gun plugged in and ready to go. Once it's hot and ready, put a dab of glue onto your ring base, hair clip or brooch back and press your flower onto the glue, being very careful not to burn your fingers on the glue.

4. Let it rest for a few minutes while the glue sets and ta-da!

IMG_7500.jpg

The Golden Rules of Sewing

We all have our favourite quotes and mantras to live by. When it comes to teaching sewing, I have my golden rules, which aren't really rules at all, but rather things to think about when just starting out. Whether you're eight to eighty and learning to sew, here are some thoughts to sew by.

Always be positive.

Start every project with a positive attitude. Think it's going to be super hard? You can do it! If you get stuck, remember to take a break before you get panicky and stressed. Sewing should be fun, challenging but fun. 

Use your imagination and make it your own.

Don't be afraid to get creative and try something new, and maybe different. Mix and match fabric patterns, go bold and unusual, make your project your own. It doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn't have to look the same as someone else's. 

Practise.

Sewing with success does take practise. I can always tell when my students haven't touched their machines over the summer holidays or Christmas break! Just like any other skill, it requires regular practise. It took me at least a dozen test buttonholes to get them just right! Thank goodness for scrap fabric :)

Sew slow... the turtle wins the race, remember?

On week one when I get a fresh group of eager students, they just want to sew, sew, sew! They're so eager that they put the pedal to the metal and sew as fast as the machine will go. STOP! Control is key when sewing and while some think sewing faster will get their project done faster, that's not true at all. You'll often make more mistakes when rushing, have to stop and unpick and sew again. Sew slow like a turtle and you'll get there in the end, with a beautiful project to boot!

What's your creative mantra?