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