Skip to content

A Formula for Tissue Paper Poms: Large, Medium, and Small

February 22, 2013

tissue paper pompoms at speckless

I am sure you have either: A) made these, or B) seen them around the web. While they aren’t fancy, these are one of my go-tos for party decorations, because you get a lot of bang for your buck, and they are pretty versatile. I’ve always just kind of winged it with size and number of sheets, but when faced with the fact I would need to make a few hundred, I needed something more precise. And wouldn’t you know it . . . I didn’t really find any sort of specifics out there!

Well, here you go, kids – a nearly scientific formula for tissue paper poms! First off, I used these tissue paper half-reams from Nashville Wraps. They are 20×26″ and are 240 sheets. If you are making these in bulk, you will definitely need a rotary cutter, a straight-edge, a self-healing cutting mat. You will also need a sharp scissors, floral or small-gauge wire, and a small wire snipper. I’m not putting pom pom instructions here, as they abound on the internet.

tissue paper pompoms at speckless

The small poms have a finished diameter of about six inches.

To make one, you will need 8 sheets of tissue paper that measure 8×8.75 inches. Make one inch folds, starting the fold on the 8 inch edge and folding up the long way (so, when all the folds are done, the folded-up paper is 8 inches wide and one inch tall).

To make a bunch, grab a whole fold of tissue – It will have 24 sheets. Count out 8 sheets and fold them back in half (this folded tissue will measure 20×13). Position the paper so that the 20 inch edge is facing you. Using your rotary cutter and straight-edge (and cutting mat), cut the paper at 16 inches and 8 inches. This will give you 3 strips: 2 that are 8 inches wide and one that is 4 inches. Set the 4 inch strip aside and save it for something like this. Unfold each 8×26 strip so that the 26 inch edge is facing you. Cut this strip into 3 (almost) equal parts: 8.75, 8.75, 8.5. Keep going! I did all of the paper cutting first, then I snipped all the wire. After that, you can just sit and fold and finish.

The medium poms have a finished diameter of about 9.5 inches.

To make one, you will need 12 sheets of tissue paper that measure 13×20 inches. Make 1.5 inch folds, starting the fold on the 13 inch edge and folding up the long way.

To make a bunch, grab a whole fold of tissue paper and unfold it. Cut it right in half along the fold line. This will give you 2 stacks of 24 sheets that measure 13×20. Separate the sheets into stacks of 12. Start a-foldin’.

The large poms have a finished diameter of about 17 inches. This is pretty simple. Take a whole fold (24 sheets, 20×26 inches) and unfold it. Make 1.5 inch folds, starting the fold on the 20 inch edge and folding up the long way.

There you have it. I hope this helps some other poor soul out there. A warning: if you make hundreds of these, the sight of tissue paper might start to make your stomach turn. And, your self-healing cutting mat may or may not bust in half (thanks a lot, Martha Stewart craft supplies). On a lighter note, here are some inspiration photos!

StyleMePretty-Sandy!$!Alex-RealWedding-JennStarkPhotographers
Style Me Pretty

KarasPartyIdeas

Kara’s Party Ideas

DecoratorsNotebook

Decorator’s Notebook

StyleMePretty-img_0378_edit_1web$!x600

Style Me Pretty

NolaWest-DecktheHalls2010_074

Nola West

OnceWed

Once Wed

ApartmentTherapy2009-07-ashleyc2

Apartment Therapy

About these ads
29 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2013 4:22 am

    Awesome post, love making these but always have to guestimate. Totally bookmarking this!

  2. Rebecca S. permalink
    May 16, 2013 4:48 pm

    Thank you so much for taking the guess work out of it. I have been diddling around for the past couple of hours trying to find a size that works for the small ones!

    • May 16, 2013 10:17 pm

      Sweet! That’s awesome — I hope it worked for you, too!

  3. bob permalink
    June 2, 2013 3:54 pm

    Thanks so much I am making these for my graduation party and was looking all over the internet for how big the tissue paper should be. I tried to make one with 20 x 20 and it didn’t work but after reading this I made a ton of medium sized ones no problem. Thanks!

    • June 2, 2013 6:45 pm

      Woot! That’s great!

    • MsDenim permalink
      August 14, 2014 12:17 pm

      Nice blog :)
      Extra tip for those who buy the 20 x 20 sheets:
      I make a cut in the center of the fan fold on 20 x 20 sheets. I leave about 2″ to 1 1/2″ uncut at the center. (Resembles a butterfly after cutting) They make big full size rounds plus they don’t seem to tear as easy when separating them.

    • August 16, 2014 8:58 am

      Awesome — thanks for the tip!

  4. Anonymous permalink
    August 22, 2013 3:52 pm

    Thanks so much for posting the nitty-gritty measurement details! It helps enormously.

  5. deezS permalink
    October 17, 2013 11:18 pm

    Hi. I was wanting to make these poms poms as centrepieces for a christening…thanks so much for the tips on varying sizes. How would you suggest keeping them upright..i.e. like a flower and what would you use? i was thinking of putting a few in a vase for each table. thanks so much :)

    • October 18, 2013 8:16 am

      Hi, Diana!
      That’s a great idea! Here’s what I would do: Before you fluff out the pom (you’ll have it all accordian folded and have the wire wrapped around the center), wrap the extra wire ends tightly around a stick or dowel. Maybe put a little glue there, too, if you don’t think it’s secure enough. Then fluff it out! It might help to use a longer piece of wire to secure the center of the pom, so that you have those longer wire ends to wrap around your stick.

      Alternatively, if you find this to be too unwieldy, you could make the pom completely. Then spread apart some of the “petals” to find the inner center and put a dab of hot glue there and attach your stick or dowel that way. I think the first way will be more secure, though. Let me know how it goes!

  6. October 21, 2013 2:49 pm

    Yay! So glad to have found your pompom tutorial. I’m making flower poms too and your advice and tips are SO VERY helpful. I’m pinning this right now if it’ll let me.
    Cathy

  7. October 21, 2013 2:53 pm

    Reblogged this on cathyswraps: whimsical vases for weddings, events & gifts and commented:
    I was so excited to find this formula for making tissue paper poms from {A Midwest Girl Makes Do} I just had to share it!

  8. Katie permalink
    December 4, 2013 12:38 pm

    Hi Heidi-I was wondering if you could share secrets or tips on how to cut curved tips instead of pointy, especially when making the large pompoms with 20+ layers of tissue? I am planning to make about 200 large and medium sized pompoms for my wedding in May and any tips would be appreciated. Thanks :)

    • December 18, 2013 4:06 pm

      I used a VERY sharp sewing scissors, for one thing. But most importantly, I didn’t cut through all layers at once, but did them in about 3 cuts each side, separating groups of folds with my fingers. It’s a little awkward, but it’s the only way to get a curved edge!

  9. Anonymous permalink
    January 3, 2014 11:32 pm

    how about when I buy the 20×30 sheets, how do I make the different sizes

    • January 4, 2014 10:21 am

      I would just divide the difference of that extra 4 inches! Remember, once you fluff out the poms, it will hide minor imperfections. If your tissue squares turn out more rectangular than square, I would fold the accordians up with the short side facing you — that will just give you some extra “fluff.” Let me know if that is not clear!

    • January 6, 2014 2:29 am

      Love all your “stuff” very inspiring and pretty however I have paper from several sources and they are of various sizes and number of sheets. Although it’s great to read the info I think it would be usefull to us, the less practiced” If there was a chart or point by point list of key sizes for each size pom-pom..

    • January 7, 2014 7:46 am

      Sorry about that! I think that might be a problem for a mathematician — it would take me forever to figure out a chart or formula for every paper scenario :D

      If anyone out there is a math whiz, this may be a good project for you! I know that a math expert produced a chart for figuring out granny square color combos, so maybe this isn’t far-fetched?

    • January 7, 2014 3:28 pm

      Thank you for your prompt reply. My apologies for not being clear, what I meant was:

      Size pom No Sheets Fold
      ————————————————–
      Big 24 (20×26) 1.5 inches

      Med 12 (13×20) 1.5 ”

      Small 8 ((8.3/4×8) 1 ”

      Made some already Great. Thanks so much.

    • January 8, 2014 6:30 am

      Oh. My. HAHAHA! Sorry, I thought you wanted the sizes and instructions for, well, any size of paper and any number of sheets. Yes, this chart is very helpful — thanks! No math for that ;)

  10. January 9, 2014 4:28 am

    I love the scalloped edge best but do find it impossible to cut with scissors through all the layers. Will a rotary cutter go through several sheets? Is there any other way to get the scallops neat? Thank’s.

    • January 9, 2014 6:31 am

      Yes, it is impossible! I would cut the scallops in groups of folds, separating about 3 folds at a time then cutting a rounded edge on the right side, then on the left, to make the full rounded edge. Let me know if that doesn’t make sense!

  11. Johnc160 permalink
    May 29, 2014 3:55 am

    I relish, cause I discovered just what I used to be taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye gfkbeceakdbe

  12. Anonymous permalink
    August 25, 2014 5:24 pm

    Maki

  13. November 16, 2014 11:47 am

    Thank you for this wonderful post. It really helped me in the last minute to figure out the sizes I needed. Fantastic Blog.

Trackbacks

  1. CraftCrave | Blog | Free Handcraft Items or Tutorials (large): Saturday, 23 Feb 2013
  2. Freeze | Speckless Blog
  3. Princess Sparkle Pom Poms - The Gracious Wife

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,299 other followers

%d bloggers like this: