We can’t believe that it’s already the penultimate post in our pom pom series of endangered animals! Along with our friends at Purl Soho, we’ve been sharing how to make a whole bunch of cute DIY pom poms all inspired by animals that are endangered, vulnerable, and at risk – today we’re making this giant panda! Pandas live mainly in China and, if you can believe it, eat 26-84 pounds of bamboo every single day! Real panda bears are absolutely adorable, so making this DIY pom pom is an extra fun one – keep reading for the instructions below!
what you need:
- Pom Pom Maker Set (small + large)
- Pocket Posy in heirloom white
- Wool felt (black and white)
- Embroidery floss
- Tacky glue
- Printable Giant Panda Tag
Wind your skein of Pocket Posey into balls. If you haven’t ever done this, take a look at Purl Soho’s tutorial on this – it’s very simple and so helpful! Once you have a ball of yarn, wrap it around the large pink pom pom maker at least 300 times (or more – we used the entire ball).
Once you’ve wrapped all the yarn, cut an 18″ piece of embroidery thread. Thread one end through the U-shaped gap between the wrapped yarn and the pom pom maker. Bring that same end up and over the wrapped yarn and then back through that same U-shaped gap again. Bring the two ends of the embroidery floss together and make sure that the horizontal threads are centered on the wrapped yarn. Tie a surgeon’s knot but wrap the end through the loop twice. Pull the knot together but don’t pull tight yet.
Gently slide the yarn wrap off the end of the pom pom maker and pull the embroidery floss knot as tightly as you can. Use a finger to hold the surgeon’s knot tight in place and then tie a half granny knot on top to secure. Bring both ends of the floss to the other side of the wrap (make sure to do this so that you don’t catch any loops of yarn along the sides) and then tie another tight surgeon’s knot, followed by another granny knot to secure. Make sure that these knots feel secure and very tight – a loose center may cause your pom pom to fall apart later.
Use sharp scissors to cut all the yarn loops. You’ll now have a slightly shaggy looking pom pom like this.
Use the matching large pom pom guide to trim the excess yarn, forming a nice round pom pom. As you trim, fluff up the pom pom and reposition the guide on different sizes to make sure you have a good sphere shape from all sides.
Cut a piece of white felt into a little mouth patch – the shape is like a teardrop but with the top cut off. Then thread 3 strands of black embroidery floss onto a needle and embroider a simple mouth use 3 straight stitches. Tie off on the back of the felt.
Cut out the rest of the panda’s features from black felt: two ears, two eye patches, and a small triangular nose. Arrange everything on the white pom pom and use tacky glue to secure in place. Let dry.
Click here to learn more about giant pandas and what you can do to help! And stay tuned for our final post in the pom pom series next month!