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Lion Brand Pom Pom Makers

Pom poms are so cute! I know that you can buy them by the bag at craft stores, but it is way more fun to make them yourself and use up your yarn stash. I was browsing around the craft store looking for a tool to review for you, dear readers, and I found this Set of Three Pom Pom Makers by Lion Brand. Only $3 and I have a coupon? Perfect! I want to see how this pom pom maker compares with the sublime perfection of the Clover Brand Pom Pom Makers I reviewed recently for Craft Critique.


Cool! It stores flat! This is already an advantage over the bulky Clover brand tool. The Lion Brand Pom Pom Maker reminds me of the old-fashioned handmade cardboard template technique, except that this tool is made out of flexible, durable plastic. There are two matching halves and there is a little wedge cut out. This wedge will guide your scissors later in the pom pom making process. The package has directions right on the back. Once you know how to make pom poms, it’s like riding a bike and you probably will never forget, so the brave and confident can discard the instructions.

Honestly, it was not immediately evident to me how this thing makes three sizes of pom poms, but then I realized that the whole thing pops apart. Neato! Another storage advantage!

Let’s start with the larger yellow size. Pop out the inside templates and put the two halves together with the wedge cutout to the inside. You’ll need to cut off a length of yarn to thread through the tool. Since I don’t know how much yarn to use, this could be wasteful. With my Clover tool, I could work right from my ball of yarn instead of cutting off lengths. I used multiple strings because that seems to be the way it is pictured in the instructions.
All wound up! I found that springy yarns work better than slick ones. This is an inexpensive acrylic yarn.


The next step is scary. You have to carefully cut around between the two circles using the cut out wedge as a guide. If you aren’t careful, all your pieces will fall out and you have to start over. Tie it up with the template still in place.
Yipes! It’s pretty shaggy, but a little haircut will take care of that. Hmm.. it is considerably smaller than the template. This is the largest pom pom, but it is only 1 3/4 inches across.

On this even smaller pink and orange one, 1 1/4 inches, I had a very hard time tying the string really tight so there is a gap in the center.


Finally, how about the itty-bitty blue template? I had to thread my yarn on a needle to wind up this one. Yipes! This thing is less than and inch! I can do it. The pom pom I made with this size was about an inch in diameter.

Here is what happens when you can’t tie the string tight enough. The whole thing comes apart and you have to discard it. Alas.

Pros:
  • Space-saving flat design is easily stored in a crafter’s crowded supply drawer.
  • Inexpensive for a set of three sizes.
  • It’s nifty how the colorful sizes snap together for storage.
  • It occurs to me that you can probably make larger pom poms if you use two or three of the sizes snapped together.
Cons:
  • There is no way to know how big the pom poms you make will be. The sizes aren’t even marked on the packaging.
  • Awkward and fiddley in your hand. Binding up the pom pom is a delicate operation.
  • Makes only smallish pom poms.
  • You have to cut off a length of yarn to thread around the tool instead of just wrapping it.
  • Shaggy poms will need a haircut.
  • *sigh* I want to use my other pom pom tool instead of this one.
After struggling with a few pom poms using this Lion Brand tool, I found myself longing to break out my other tool. When I used the Clover Brand Pom Pom Maker, I probably made about 20 fun, large poms before quitting. Interestingly, I think Lion Brand knows that some crafters might prefer the other tool and they offer the Clover product at their yarn website. I think maybe this one is for traditionalists.
I don’t recommend this tool for serious pom pom enthusiasts. I highly recommend the pricier Clover Pom Pom Makers, but if you are determined and looking online, you can buy this Set of Three Lion Brand Pom Pom Makers directly from Lion Brand, Amazon, or JoAnns.
Gosh, pom poms are fun. I like to use them with my gift wrapping. What do you use yours for?

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12 Responses to Lion Brand Pom Pom Makers

  1. Kathy June 22, 2009 at 8:07 am #

    This may sound silly, but I have always used my hand to make pompoms. I hold my hand flat and just wrap, then stuff a piece of yarn between my fingers to tie off, then trim. Use less fingers for smaller sizes. I have never had good luck with any pompom maker (except the old-fashioned rectangular ones). The round ones perplexed me….how DO you stuff the yarn through the tiny holes? Now I know. I’ll stick to my hand!

  2. IamSusie June 22, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Kathy, I agree. Hand wrapping is preferable to this tool since that is totally free! The Clover Tool is really neat because you get perfect matching poms every time.

  3. Axes DesigNs June 22, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Hehehee.. I use my fingers to make pompoms 😉

  4. Nancy ~ Inkcicles June 23, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    Never thought about making pom poms. Thanks for the critique.

    🙂

  5. Mrs E June 23, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    i want this now!!!!lol. I like pom poms too, a friend of mine and i once used them to make little birds, how cute!

  6. Cathy June 23, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Cute! My Mom had one of these many moons ago. I went on the hunt a year or so ago and couldn’t find them. Well I finally did! They are a bit tricky, but I think they are more of a bit of nostalgia than useful.

    Mom ended up just using the method the first poster mentioned.

  7. Anonymous September 29, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    Now I know that I have more than three brain cells. I never could figure out how to make a pom pom without the gap. I also did not know the thing had two sets of circles since the seller on e… only had
    one set. I’m going to upcycle the aggravating things.

  8. Anonymous June 1, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Just purchased this and figured the directions have to be wrong. So to make a larger pompom I wrapped the yarn around the outside from far side to far side. Cut it, took it off and measured it against some more yarn so my two pom poms would be the same size and then wrapped it around. Took a long tie piece and slipped it around the yarn in the center and then snipped the two edges. Worked pretty good, though I had to concentrate on keeping the yarn on the circle. A piece of cardboard would have worked as well. My basic thought is if you want the same size pompoms (I’m making them for a pair of slippers) then you need to wind, cut unwind, measure out a matching amoung of yarn, cut and then make the two pompoms. My first 3 pompoms went from large to smaller to smaller because I was winding different amounts of yarn. Not sure I’m happy I spent $3.49 on this thing, but c’est la vie, live and learn. Vicky

  9. Lauren B December 12, 2010 at 2:05 am #

    Just a thought, maybe your pom poms would be larger if you left in the inner circles.

  10. superstitches December 12, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    This style of pompom maker has been around for a long time. I have a set from (yikes) the 60’s. They were my moms. I’d love to try the ones from Clover.

  11. Trisha Garcia July 19, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    I just got this set and the first attempt with the largest ring, just did not seem like it was going to work. So I left the second ring in and I can say I was very happy with the way it turned out!

  12. Karen September 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I don’t think you’re supposed to remove the inner circles, except to make the Pom Pom fuller, and I think you’re supposed to wind it until you can no longer fit the needle & yarn through the hole. This way you get tighter pom poms without all the threads falling out when you cut them and start tying the centre.

    What I can make out of your package instructions doesn’t seem to show this, but that’s how I’ve used mine since the 80’s, so I assume that’s how the instructions were when I got mine, or there were no instructions and I assumed this. Leaving the centres in for some and out for others gives you 6 Pom Pom sizes with varying degrees of fullness. My most common usage is with the only inner ring removed for a large, full Pom Pom (leaving the centre ring in doesn’t allow for enough yarn to make it full enough for my tastes) . These will still need trimming, but neat winding of the yarn, and efficient cutting and tying will minimize this. There is also a technique for tidy, even trimming if I could only remember what it was. I think it involves using the rings as a trimming guide before you pull them off the ball.