The Frieda Khalo craze saw the humble woolly Pom Pom re-emerge as a go to accessory and seems set to continue in popularity. As children, we would cut two circles of card and laboriously wrap them with yarn then glue googly eyes to the resulting pom pom, sigh.
But then, the ingenious folk at Pom Maker, created an enticing selection of wooden pom makers, painted in macaroon colours and… mine is Pistachio thank you! A quick google investigation had my pom pom making tools increase to include several natty plastic ones from Prym, and a ‘slip them in your handbag’ nestling set from Pony. So what has this got to do with beading? not much except that yarn = colour so what’s not to love about any yarny craft. But, how about beaded pom poms, tada!
Earlier this year, with aubergine and lime yarn, I spent a happy afternoon winding and fluffing, what turned out to be, enormous but delightfully sqidgy pom poms. Isn’t it the truth that stepping outside the comfort zone, trying something a little different and revisiting your inner child, is how inspiration starts.
I looked at my pom poms and decided that the addition of beadwork would make for great bag charms. Ergo several evenings of frantic beading later and the Pom bag charm took shape. Because the pom poms were super sized (about 6cm diameter) I used size 8 beads for the bands, 4mm crystals for sparkle and size 11 beads for the rest. Frantic beading because I also decided to give the bag charms to some awesome beading friends I was about to visit.
The beading plan is simple. You can bone up on the basics with my free Stack a Rainbow bracelet pattern, (minus the edging). It can be worked in just one bead size, or mixed sizes. To start make a ring of beads that fits snug around the pom pom, making sure you have multiples of 4 beads. Work the stitches and join the stitch tips.
Start a second band from a tip bead of one of those apertures, and anchor it to a tip bead of the aperture directly opposite on the first band. The bead count is half the original ring, minus 5.
If the original ring was 40 beads (10 apertures), the half ring will be 15 beads (20 minus 5). Add the stitches, then join the tips attaching to the next tip bead of the apertures on the original band.
Repeat on the other side of the same two apertures and voila, you have a frame that will hold the pom pom securely once you squish it into place.
Next, go crazy with crystals and colourful beads and embellish each aperture (again, the how is in the bracelet pattern).
The finishing flourish is to stitch from bottom to top through the beading and the pom pom, to secure a large sparkly crystals and a loop of beads for the bag charm clasp.