Tissue Paper Pom Poms

I was at a baby shower for my cousin Kelly a couple of Sundays ago.  It was your typical baby shower.  There were cupcakes and babies and coffee.  And there was a bow.  This wasn’t just any bow.  It was a magnificent bow.  The kind of bow that overshadows the impending birth of a sweet smelling human baby.

The kind of bow that  incites normally kind hearted women to kidney punch each other in order to get a closer look at it.  My own mother came crawling across the living room floor to stage whisper in my ear that I should take a look at “The Bow”.  I could put it on my “plog”!  She poked me and then poked her finger towards “The Bow”.  She demanded I stand up and get a closer look so I could try to figure out how to do it.

It was at exactly that point that my niece, who was sitting beside me, let out an exasperated sigh and informed my mother that I had made “The Bow”.  Indeed.  I made the bow.  “The Bow” was my bow.

It’s actually a tissue paper pom pom.  You may remember making these in kindergarden out of Kleenex.  Yes.  A kindergarden craft was the hit of the shower.  If I’d known I’d have such an easily excitable crowd I would have stuck a Cupfake on top of the present too.  See if I could get someone’s nose to bleed.

Tissue Paper Pom Poms

You’ll need:

Tissue Paper


Pipe Cleaners


Cut your tissue paper into squares.

The bigger the square, the bigger the Pom Pom.

The more pieces of tissue, the fuller the Pom Pom.

I cut 12 pieces of tissue paper into 10″ squares.

I used 3 different colours.

You can use one colour, 2 colours, 3 colours, 12 colours.

If you make a 12 colour bow be prepared for people to spontaneously combust.

Accordion pleat the tissue paper.

No need to get out the ruler, just eyeball it.

You’ll be fine.

Pinch your paper together and get your pipe cleaner.

Hopefully it’s within reach.  Otherwise … well … you’ll be using language as colourful as your bow.

Twist the piper cleaner tightly around the centre of the paper.

Don’t worry if the colour doesn’t match.  You won’t see it.



Fan your pleats out.



Carefully pull each piece of tissue paper to separate it.



If your bow  has 12 pieces of tissue, you want to fluff out 6 pieces of tissue paper on the left side …



… and then 6 pieces of tissue on the right side.



Flip your bow over and do the same thing on this side.



Once all your pieces of tissue are pulled out, fiddle around with the Pom Pom.

It won’t look perfect to begin with.  You have to fluff it into a round ball.



If you’re going to use the Pom Pom as a bow, you can flatten the bottom out a bit so it lays nicely on the gift.

When flattened this way it looks like a flower.  Sort of.  If you squinch your eyes a bit.


If you click on a picture below you’ll see a pretty pop up gallery of more pom pom pictures!  I’m dabbling with a new picture viewer for this site.  And alliteration.

[nggallery id=1]

So now that you all know how to make the Pom Pom, you’ll be prepared when I incorporate them into an Easter craft next week.  So get practicing!

And just for fun … crash a baby shower this weekend with one of these things.  You won’t regret it.  Plus you’ll probably be able to score some cupcakes and a coffee.  If you make a really good bow, I recommend seeing if you can get some sort of Pay-Per-View deal prior to the shower.  Just in case.


  1. GORGEOUS! That’s the exact colour combo I used for my niece’s birthday party decorations last Nov!

    See here:

    I passed them on to a reader after we were done! I couldn’t bare to toss them!

  2. I think my daughter would love some big fluffy pom poms hanging from the ceiling in her room. . .

  3. Kate S says:

    Cost-co wrapping paper? I have the same stuff :P


  4. Jane says:

    I guess she’s having a boy? Congratulations Kelly:) This is so simple even I could do it, so I very much like.

    • Karen says:

      Jane – No, Kelly’s having a girl! This wasn’t the bow I used for her present. This was a “replica bow”. :) Kelly’s having girl! ~ karen

      • Jane says:

        Yay Kelly – even better*!
        I guess I can rest easy that you didn’t actually pair that bow with that wrapping paper;)

        *Kidding! (not really)

  5. Denise says:

    As one of your many stalkers, I am going to do this too, as I do with most of your items….(still looking for the perfect log in s. florida, they are very rare here).
    FYI, The picture viewer isn’t the best for me either. There is a long time lag between pictures. You know, the little bar with stripes that keep spinning.
    BUT, I love how your mom supports your “plog” :D

  6. Julie shinnick says:

    ooooo love the thought of people spontaneously combusting with the thought of someone upstaging them!!
    I remember making some like this out of normal tissues and colouring the edges *with crayon* to make them look like those carnations…..these=much prettier!
    Thanks, as always, for the giggles…..

  7. Evalyn says:

    It really looked like a flower with the yellow pipe cleaner poking up from the middle (stamens? pistols?) Plant porn, possibly.

    See what you started?

    • Karen says:

      Evalyn – I know! I loved the yellow stamen. I could have focused on how to use the pipe cleaner to your advantage as such but … I always seem to run out of time! I already have a ridiculous amt. of pictures in each post. Tomorrow doesn’t look to be any better. :) ~ karen

  8. Shauna says:

    Oh yes, I love making these. Another fun thing to do with them – before you fan them out, take some scissors and cut them up a bit, I like to make this shape < and then fan them out – really pretty.

    Martha Stewart actually sold kits of these for an arm and a leg. I giggled when I saw them.

    • Karen says:

      Shauna! I know, someone else left the comment about cutting the tips. I forgot to do it. And now … I’ve moved onto tomorrow’s post. Feel free to do one and post a picture! :) ~ karen

      • Shauna says:

        pictures…I can post pictures?? I probably have one from our Halloween party actually, but alas, I don’t know that it would add much more to your already perfectly poetic pom pom post (I’m not quite as drunk as Laura).

  9. Jenn says:

    Tres sweet. Both story and bow!

  10. Liz S. says:

    First – Your new picture viewer is not working right on my computer. It took forever to load and I could only look at a couple pics at at a time.

    I am so looking forward to making some big pink and purple pom poms for my best friend’s baby shower. I’m also making like 100 feet of chains made out of streamers to decorate the church.

    • Karen says:

      Liz – Yes, depending on your Internet connection it can take a while to load. I have cable so it’s pretty quick for me. How it should work is you click on the first picture, and it pops up then you should be able to just click the forward arrow to see the rest of them. It’s possible your computer just had a glitch with loading the pics. Try again! If it doesn’t work I vow to never use it again. Well … no I don’t actually … but I will take it into consideration! ~ karen

  11. Patti says:

    Love them! I will be making some of these for sure for my wedding decorations!! Yee haw!

    • Karen says:

      Patti – For wedding decorations (if you can) hang them over the tables from the ceiling from fishing line at different heights. It’d look great! ~ karen

      • Patti says:

        Love it! Love it! The theme of my wedding is a mixture of DIY and camping – we’re a laid back couple! In fact, our engagement shoot was yesterday – we did it at a 50s diner! I really like that idea, I think I’m going to try to find a natural looking tissue paper!

      • Karen says:

        Patti – If you can find natural looking paper napkins, those’d work too. ~ karen

  12. Angela says:

    These are also MUCH cheaper than the version that a certain craft/food guru who has her own magazine sells at Michaels.

  13. sera says:

    for some reason when I first read this, I thought it meant TOILET PAPER pom pom. I think I need more coffee…

  14. marilyn says:

    karen i saw these somewhere else a while back and tried to make one and just about slit my wrists! maybe my mistake was cheap tissue? because it kept ripping..they are fabulous and so are you my dear..thanks

    • Karen says:

      Marilyn! Thanks! :) I got all my tissue paper at Dollarama! I was fairly careful, but not “crazy” careful. Didn’t rip a single piece! ~ karen

  15. Kathy says:

    Love it, Karen! If I get married again will you do my car?

  16. Theresa says:

    I had my kids do these for their bday party favors and we even lightly sprayed them with perfume….they loved it!!!

  17. Diana says:

    This brings me back to the mid-80s…sitting on the high school gym floor making 100s of tissue-paper flowers for a dance. Haven’t made one since.

    Coincidentally, I have a baby shower to attend in a couple of weeks…

  18. blake says:

    Sadly I strive to be the one at the baby shower who kicks everyone else’s ass in the gift/display department…I’m not usually a competitive person…but here I like to shine a bit!
    I have no idea why I like to do this..

    I WILL make this bow!

  19. mick says:

    Way back when, we made them with coloured kleenex with a bobby pin for the center. Looked great on ‘wedding cars’ and were a hell of a lot cheaper than renting a limo.

  20. Connie says:

    I just had to make one right away, so I made one out of two thick paper napkins and 2 pieces of tissue paper and a tiny rubber band. The napkin is bright yellow (I pulled apart the layers) and the tissue is pea green. Looks pretty cool. I tacked it to my bulletin board.
    Thanks for all the great ideas.
    Lucky for me I have a baby shower in my future. Not for me of course!

  21. Theresa says:

    Yeah for the crafty Kinergardener in all of us. I’m seeing pom pom possiblities every where.
    @ laura crown princess of alliteration,Brava!

  22. Farquist says:

    Laura forgot penis

  23. Laura says:

    Your plucky pom poms were probably popular perhaps because pom poms are pretty and perky with plenty of picturesque, plain-free, playfulness. Pimento, poncho, poetess, too.

  24. Cindy says:

    Love! I used to make these when I was a kid. After making the accordion and adding the pipe cleaner, I cut the ends in a rounded shape. Then when you pull the papers open it looks like flower petals! If you cut the ends into sharp points they look like chrysanthemums. Never thought to use as a bow for a gift. Good idea!

    • Karen says:

      Cindy! Eep! I forgot to mention the part about cutting the ends. Crud! Well … now you’ve told them. Good enough. :) ~ karen

  25. Tricia Rose says:

    You brought a tear to this joyless utilitarian’s slitty snarky eye… this is….PRETTY!

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