Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Make your own kitty-approved, boho basket poms


  • Like any boho babe worth her tie-dye, I have a fascination with pompons, tassels, and fringe embellishments in my home decor. 
  • I also love baskets handmade in Africa.
  • My husand and I keep the temperature inside our house cool in comparison to what most people like, so I keep a stash of cozy, colorful throws in our living room for any guest experiencing a chill. 

What connects these dots?


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

A few months back I bought an African market basket to replace the repurposed magazine rack I'd been using to corral the throws. The basket brought another hit of color into my living room and made the throws more accessible, but it needed something extra before I could call it my own.

That’s where the tassels and poms came in. I'm a textile nut and already had several kinds of yarns, threads and wool-felt balls in my crafts stash. So I decided to experiment using them as embellishment for my lovely Bolga market basket from northern Ghana.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

If you have a basket, pillow, throw or something else you want to embellish, all the supplies you need are shown in this photo:
  • Sari yarn in your preferred color(s). Other kinds of yarn will also work, with the exception of sari ribbon yarns. 
  • Wool felted balls in your preferred pattern and/or color(s). 
  • Sharp dressmaking or craft scissors 
  • Pliers 
  • Darning needle 


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Choose a darning needle with a large eye and a sturdy shank.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Be forewarned that sari yarn sheds as you work with it. I keep a set of nested canvas bins by my desk to use for waste, storage and crafts, so I held onto the loose end of my yarn ball and dropped it into one to collect the loose fibers as I worked. You also may want to wear an apron or lay a towel on your lap.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

To get the size of poms I wanted, I wound yarn around three of my fingers, spread somewhat apart, 35 times. If you want a larger or denser pom, wrap around fingers and/or add wraps, respectively.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Don’t wind too tightly or you’ll have trouble removing the yarn from your hand. Carefully lay it on a flat surface without unwinding.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Then cut another piece of yarn from the ball to use to tie together the center of what will become the pom. Be sure to make this center tie piece a generous length. You can always trim off the extra later.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Then tie in the center of the bunch and knot tightly. Turn the pom over and tie tightly and knot on the opposite side as well.


Susan Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Cut open the loops on first one side, then the other. Hold your pom by the longer center tie and fluff, trimming strands until you’re pleased with the look. Be careful not to pull strands out.


Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

Next, thread each of the longer ties through the felt ball individually. Prepare each thread by wetting flat (I licked my fingers then pressed the end of the thread flat between them) and trimming uneven strands. Then pull each strand all the way through, one-by-one.


Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

I found if I inserted my needle in between the ball’s striped layers rather than across all, it went through easier. If you have difficulty getting the needle all the way through, use the pliers to grip and pull, while holding the ball with your other hand.


Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

Once you’ve threaded both ties through the ball, push the ball all the way down onto the top of the tassel/pom, tie tightly in place and knot.


Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

I chose to tie my poms onto the handles of my basket, so I was able to work the longer tie threads around and down to where I could tie in place. You may have to sew yours on. If so, I'd use a heavy-duty needle and quilting thread. Try to hide where and how you attach your pom as best you can and trim off any excess thread or yarn.


Susan Lawson photos / BoHo Home

Repeat for as many poms as you want on your basket. For me, that number was one at each of four handle connections.


Chris Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Then fill your basket with rolled throws, as I did, extra throw pillows, magazines or books…


Chris Lawson photo / BoHo Home

...as long as you realize your project is not complete until your pet gives it the once over.


Chris Lawson photo / BoHo Home

If you're a cat-owner, like me, you know every addition to the household must be thoroughly sniffed!


Chris Lawson photo / BoHo Home

Let’s just hope that’s where Maisie-Cat's interest begins and ends.


If you want more...

  • Follow the links in the post for baskets and supplies, or check out affiliate links below. 
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