Why is it that when a fella tells people that he is making pom-poms, other blokes get uncomfortable and question his manhood? When are people going to publicly admit that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, loves a good pom-pom?
It’s been a long time between dad-crafts but here I am, back with a cool Zootopia craft to celebrate Disney’s cool new movie!
I won’t explain my long craft hiatus here but will let you know what spurred me to get dad-crafty again. The funtastic crew from Spotlight invited Big Kid Little Kid to their hands-on launch for Spotlight National Craft Month and I couldn’t resist the opportunity!
In case you weren’t aware (I wasn’t), April is the duly appointed month for craftiness and Spotlight wanted me to check out some cool projects and products; I had my first attempt at hand-sewing, learned how to colour-in and even piped icing onto cupcakes. But the activity that totally grabbed me was Rachel Burke’s pom-pom ‘apomogies’ (read all about them here) table. She shared her pom-pom making secrets and it inspired me to get dad-crafting asap.
Without further ado let me introduce you to:
Zootopia craft: Pom-pom Judy Hopps doll
You will need:
- 2 x balls of wool – grey (100g)
- 1 x ball of wool – white (50g)
- 2 x balls of wool – light blue (100g)
- box cutter (Stanley knife)
- felt – white, black, purple, dark blue
- yellow store-bought pom-pom
In case you don’t know her yet, meet the hero of Disney’s latest movie Zootopia; the first bunny-cop, Judy Hopps!
Let’s see if we can recreate her animated awesomeness with two pom-poms and little dad-ingenuity (note: please don’t return to this image after seeing the final outcome. It my ruin the illusion of success!).
You’re going to have to bare with me. I’ve been out of craft-practice for many months, this is my second attempt at making pom-poms and the actual doll creation is all by the seat of my pants:
Start by cutting out a U-shape from a doubled piece of recycled cardboard (I used a KFC box… naughty revelation). Back in primary school, when I last attempted to make a pom-pom, we used circular frames but Rachel Burke uses this U-shape as it is easier to wind. SO much easier. With this unique frame I was able to wrap 200g of wool in about 15-20 minutes.
Next, cut out a slightly smaller U-frame. The big one will be for the body and the small one for the head.
I began with the smaller frame first. Wind grey wool around until you have a layer a few stands thick across the whole frame.
Add a layer of white wool around the bottom of the ‘U’. This is going to become the white muzzle around Judy’s mouth.
I actually went waaaaaaaay too wide with this (as shown above) and I really needed to keep within the base of the shape and not ride out to the sides. Get this layer nice and thick, about 10 strands deep.
Back to the grey wool again. Use up the rest of your grey wool to cover the white layer and keeping wrapping until you can barely fit any more strands between the ‘U’s uprights.
Grab a stanley knife (box cutter) and slide the bade between the two layers of cardboard of your frame.
Hack the heck out of it without taking off a finger.
Place a piece of wool or string between the cardboard layers, wind twice around the centre of the pom-pom and tie off. This holds the pom-pom together.
This may actually be the hardest part as you need to stop the mass of wool strands from getting away from you as you try to tie it!
Pull out the cardboard frame.
Use fabric scissors to trim the abstract strands. Using the U-shaped frame does give you a non-spherical (aka. rather Dada-ist) ball but a quick haircut will have it ready for it’s big date with pom-pom number two!
My excited 3YO assistant got to work on the body pom-pom using the larger cardboard frame and the light blue wool. Frankly I was concerned that this level of dexerity and concentration may be beyond his years – the only thing that can hold his attention for more than a moment these days is Netflix.
But he was AMAZEBALLS!
It took a bit of tutoring and discussion but before I knew it Little E was winding away and enjoying himself. He was so AWESOME at it!
Once all of the wool has been wound around the frame follow the previous steps to turn it into a big fuzzy blue ball.
Using the dangling ends of the string that tied off each pom-pom, knot the two balls together. Angle the ‘head’ pom-pom so that the white patch is touching the ‘body’ pom-pom.
Then attack the head with your scissors until it has a Bugs Bunny shaped noggin. You can really cut into these things! Do you think that this is how they train hairdressers? I reckon a few of my cuts in the past have looked a lot like this!
Next up we need some bunny ears. Shape a pair of ellipses out of thin craft wire, leaving a long end that can be poked into the pom-poms. It should be long enough to go through the head and into the body, to help anchor them better.
Wrap more grey wool around the wire frames. This takes patience and a bit of fiddling. Every few winds I would weave the thread in and out of the frame to help hold it together. The top of the ear is a massive pain-in-the-behind and I would love for someone to suggest a much better way to make this ear work!
You’re also going to need some felt carved into funky shapes to help make this doll look like more than a massacred snowman. Layer black, white, purple and black to create eyes. Pink nose, black eyebrows, and a blue bullet-proof vest.
I hacked away at a store-bought craft pom-pom to make the police badge. The thing wasn’t woven, just felt massed together, so the scissors carved it well.
Now, get crazy with a hot-glue gun (my fingers are still stuck together… don’t be filthy) and you should end up with something that looks a little like this:
A BIG THANKYOU to Rachel Burke (click here to see her cool design blog) for teaching me her pom-pom-Jedi ways and to Spotlight for giving me the chance to find my inspiration again. You all ROCK!
In fact, you can head along to your local Spotlight store in April to have the same hands-on crafty experience that I had. If you’re into sewing and all things fabric then check out their Fabric Fiesta on Saturday 2nd April 2016 (click here to find out more) or for all things crafty there’s the Craft Party on Saturday 23rd of April 2016 (click here to get the deets).
Don’t forget to share anything you craft up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using these hashtags:
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