t-shirt pom poms TIPS and TRICKS

here are some tips and tricks to getting the perfect t-shirt pom pom!


a couple of you said you had some questions while making your *t-shirt pom poms.* i made a couple more of these curvalicious beauties and thought i’d answer some frequently asked questions and share a few tips and tricks.

  • use t-shirts that have some stretch in them
  • i did not make “t-shirt yarn” because i did not want the side seams of the t-shirt in the pom poms. this is how i cut the t-shirts:

Cutting your t-shirt


  1. first i cut off the bottom hem.
  2. then cut 1/2 inch horizontal strips up the body of the t-shirt as shown in the diagram above. you should only need to cut strips up to the arm pits to get enough for one pom pom.
  3. then cut off the side seams from each strip. this takes all of 5 minutes. but is well worth your time! the side seams don’t look very pretty in a pom pom, in my opinion.

Wrapping the Strips

  • pulling each strip tight is important. it will make the strip skinner so that it goes farther, creates the “C” shaped strands you see in my pom poms, and helps to create the nice, round overall shape of the pom pom.

Cutting around the Template

  • when you cut around the cardboard template, do it slowly and use your free hand to hold the strips in place as you cut.
  • carefully tighten the strip in the center of the cardboard template. this strip is what pulls the pieces together to create the pom pom.  **be careful not to break the tightening strip!**
  • after you’re done cutting and tightening, fluff and arrange the strands as needed. i usually need to pull the strands in the center out a little. those tend to sink in on me for some reason.
  • if your pom pom looks a bit straggly towards the edges, use two smaller cardboard circles to trim your pom pom to a smaller diameter. {this is shown in the tutorial}

Care and Upkeep of your t-shirt Pom Pom

  • someone asked if you could put your t-shirt pom poms into the washing machine. it may hold up in the gently cycle, but i would not recommend this! if your pom pom came apart during the wash, you would have a big mess!
  • if you want to wash your pom pom, i would recommend hand washing in warm water and laying flat to dry. {you could probably use a hair dryer to dry it faster if you wanted. lol}

hope that helps answer some of your questions. thanks to those who have sent my pics of their t-shirt pom poms! i’ve had tons of fun seeing the awesome pom poms you’ve made!! keep them coming :)

Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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  1. 1
    Lauren @ YoungNester

    Thank you for the tips! I've been too intimidated to try one myself but I think I will this weekend!

  2. 2

    I made three of these and hung them in the center of a wreath I made. In the middle of it all my husband asked why I was making cat toys. We don't have a cat. Some things men just don't understand.

    I haven't posted pictures yet but it's on my list of things to blog.

    1. 2.1

      This made me chuckle!! The husband part! lol

  3. 3

    Those pom poms are just the cutest thing I've ever seen. I love them so much. Adding them to my list for future events! Thanks for sharing the tips.

  4. 4
    Nancy's Couture

    These will make the perfect decoration to for our Ladies night event at church. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  5. 5

    thats funny, i was thinking it would look great in your header:) im guessing that is where we will be seeing it. super cute pom poms!

  6. 6

    These t-shirt poms are fabulous!! Thanks for the tips!

  7. 7
    ...love Maegan

    ha! I do this to garments …in a totally different way, but still, quite similar. These are adorable!

    1. 7.1

      Omgsh I was TOTALLY thinking the same thing on the g’s! My hubby has a ton that need to be done away wth, this is a PERFECT use! Love it!

  8. 8

    That is so funny about the cat toys… my husband looks at each craft in the process, and shakes his head. Then, when it’s finished, he thanks me for making our house a home!
    I love crafting hang-overs and feeling that I made something beautiful for someone as a gift, or just to enjoy my-self. My neighbors think i’m nuts, standing outside admiring my just finished recycled book pages wreath! :) lol

  9. 9

    I just stumbled onto your site via a Pintarest photo that I saw. WOW. I’m impressed…and I am now a follower :) Thanks to wonderful people who are so generous with your talents!!! Truly appreciate it!

    1. 9.1

      Thanks Pamela! I’m glad you stopped by my blog! And thank you for the follow! I really appreciate it.
      happy crafting!

  10. 10

    I will try this with my daughter! It looks like fun– Thank you for the clever idea!

  11. 11

    So I am planning my daughters second birthday party and was looking for pom poms like this but with toole. So I did the same thing but instead of tshirts, I used long strips of toole! They are adorable and now I’m overwhelmed by fluffy little toole pom poms everywhere in my craft room! I have glittered up a few and plan on making fairy wands as favors for all the little girls! Thanks for making this so easy for me!

    1. 11.1

      Awesome Courtney! I’ll bet toole pom poms are super cute! and so perfect for a girly b-day party! Glad you could tweak my tutorial and use it!! Thanks for stopping by :)
      happy crafting,

  12. 12

    Any suggestions on where to get a large number of t-shirts in the same three colors? I want to make these for my wedding, but not sure i can come up w/ that many t-shirts in the colors we need. I want orange, blue, and olive green ones.

    1. 12.1

      Hi Crystal, I would suggest trying your local craft store. They usually carry solid t-shirts that can be used for crafting. They would have a large quantity, But they may be limited on their color choices. you could try jiffyshirts.com or other online t-shirt shops. Make sure that the shirts you buy have some stretch {lycra, spandex, etc} to them so that you can get the C shape at the ends.
      happy crafting!

      1. Devra

        Goodwill stores have LOTS of tshirts – cheap!

  13. 13

    These are fabulous!! I had a couple of questions, if you don’t mind. ;D I have various sizes of T-shirts, which sizes work best?? If I were to use a huge T-shirt would it mess up the end result? Also, how big is the finished product? I have a basic idea but just want to be sure. Thanks sooo much!!

    1. 13.1

      Hi Sorina,
      You can use any size of t-shirt. But bigger is easier in my opinion. Plus you can get more out of a big one. You can make whatever size you want. The size is determined by your cardboard template. The distance between the inner and outer circle on the template determines how big your poms will be and how much you trim to even them out. Make sure you pull your t-shirt tight to get the “C” effect on the ends! I do highly recommend using tees with an elastic feel for best effect.
      hope that helps!
      happy crafting!
      PS I’d love to see how your turn out! ;)

  14. 14

    Wonderful and beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
    Quick question for you..while cutting the sides..the t-shirt just kinda fall off the template…what am I doing wrong? Maybe my template isn’t wide enough? Thank you again!

  15. Pingback: make t-shirt pom poms | Craftaholics Anonymous

  16. 15

    These would be so cute in girly colors hanging above our soon to be granddaughters crib! TFS

  17. 16

    I tried to make a t shirt pompom and its just didnt turn out as round and fluffy as i would have liked,. Its kind of flat on top where I tied it together. I am not giving up though…I really want these on my door this Christmas. wish me luck with ball 2.

    PS I couldn’t find your email address…i was gonna send a pic.

    1. 16.1

      hi Haley,
      Sorry to hear your pom pom didn’t turn out like you’d hoped. try using stretchy t-shirts and pulling the strips super tight, that will give you a better shape. thanks for stopping by!
      happy crafting,
      ps my email is craftaholicsanon@gmail.com

  18. 17
    Kristin S

    My strips are jaggedy. Does that matter?? I’m going to keep at it! But wonder if I need to try to cut straighter strips. If so, how do I do that??
    Your crafts are awesome. If I could be 1/10 as crafty, I’ll be a happy girl.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. 17.1

      Hi Kristin, Nope, jaggedy edges shouldn’t matter :) use a rotary cutter to get nice, straight edges. one of my fave tools ever. thanks for stopping by! thanks for the kind words :)
      happy crafting,

  19. 18

    Ok, I’m 100% new to the world of crafting and just stumbled upon this site. I have to ask (I hope this doesn’t sound too ignorant)…..what do you use the tshirt poms for? What are the possible uses for them?


    1. 18.1

      Hi Kelly,
      There are tons of things you can do with pom poms! This was what I originally made them for: http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/2011/01/t-shirt-pom-poms-tutorial.html and then recently, i made this cute little guy with them: http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/2011/10/pom-pom-spider.html I also have some plans to use them for some christmas crafts. Pom poms also make really cute party decorations or I’ve even seen people put them in baby rooms. Anyways, hope that helps! If I can help answer any craft questions, just let me know!
      happy crafting,

    2. 18.2

      I think that a bunch of these pom poms would be cute hung from the ceiling in a little girl or teenager’s room.

  20. 19

    I’m wanting to make a pom pom to use as a decorative bed pillow. What size do you think I should cut the cardboard in order to have a bigger pom pom? I know you used the 2.5″ and 6.5″ dimensions for the smaller ones. Thanks!

    1. 19.1

      I am not sure if it is okay for me to be answering as I am new to the community, but I have done a LOT of crafts and have done lots of pom pom’s of various types and sizes, though not pillow size, I love the idea! I will have to add that to my list of to-makes. To get a pom pom pillow size, decide what the finished size you want it to be is. Say you want the pillow to be 16″ across. To that, you need to add some length that will be trimmed to get your perfect shape. With a 16″ pillow, I would add 1 to 2 inches for trimming, though how tight you pull the t-shirt fabric will effect the final size also. For the bounce back of the stretch take one of your strips of t-shirt and measure it stretched. Then let it go see how much it shrinks. Measure the difference from the stretched to let go length. If you take a 20 inch strip (measured pulled tight) and let go and it shrinks to 18 inches, then you will need to add about 2 inches to your template that you wrap the pom pom pillow around. So given 16 inch pillow, 2 inches of trimming extra and 2 inches of shrink, your template will need to be 16 + 2 + 2 = 20″ total. Due to the template being half the circle width, you would need a template that the cardboard is 10 inches from the inner circle to the outer circle. You will need a larger inner circle to fit the extra fabric you will need through it. I would use a 5 inch inner circle and a 15 inch outer circle. That will give you the 10 inches needed between the inner and outer circles to make the 16 inch final size pillow. From there wrap as the instructions call for. You will probably need at least 5 layers of t-shirt fabric, or more to have a full enough shape to make the large pom pom. I would even suggest that you use 2 inch wide strips of t-shirt, but it really depends on the final look you want. Wider strips will give a more substantial look and the narrow ones will look more like a pillow made of strings, so it depends on the look you are going for.

      Due to the length of the fabric needed to go around a 10 inch template, you may want to purchase t-shirt fabric or use the continuous cutting method of the t-shirts – that will leave the seams in though. You will need 20 inches of stretched length to go around your template once. You will also need to use a heavier cord to tie the center than a narrow strip of t-shirt, though you could use a wider strip most likely. The bigger the pom pom the more the tie has to hold, so it will need to be sturdy for a pillow. I hope my comments are not too confusing. You may need to make a couple to see how full you want it. One that is not perfectly round may be a nicer pillow effect than a pure ball shape depending on your taste. Don’t be surprised if you need 8 or ten layers of fabric wrapped around the cardboard for a really full pom pom shape. If your pom pom is turning out flat in places, you just need to wrap more layers until you get the fullness you want.

  21. 20

    These are so cute!

  22. 21

    i’m still adoring these pom poms – so fresh and fun! thanks so much for sharing again!

  23. 22

    tee shirt yarn would work great. If the shirt has side seams it does not work as well.

  24. Pingback: how to make a fabric pom pom | Craftaholics Anonymous™

  25. 23
    AJ Gibson

    I made a couple of pom poms today to add on the end of a recycled T-shirt spring scarf i made. Just finishes it off nicely and uses up the majority of the t-shirts to leave minimal waste =) AWESOME! Thanks!

  26. 24

    These are adorable! I’m re-decorating my daughter’s room and wanted to hang 3 of these in a cluster from her ceiling. Any tips on how to make a much bigger version of these?

    1. 24.1

      Hi Missy,
      They would be totally cute in a girl’s room! {wish i had a girl!} To make them bigger, you’ll want to make a template with a larger diameter and wider where you wrap the fabric strips around. So I depending on how big you want, I’d do like a 10-12″ outside diameter and then the inside circle diameter at like 3″. That will give you a 9″-11″ pom. Does that make sense?
      happy crafting,

  27. 25
    gina marie lash

    When I cut the pom pond on the template it falls apart in pieces. I do not know what I am doing wrong!:(

  28. 26

    You can also use a long plastic cable tie and snug it down very, very tightly. It won’t ever break, and I think it would make the pom pom machine washable. It might even last longer than a net bath pouf if you wanted to use one that way……just sayin’! I just finished making the corregated cardboard template, and I’m looking for a t-shirt! GREAT fun project! Thanks!

  29. 27

    so i didn’t make strips like you did, i cut the shirt in one strip like how those potato peelers peel a potato, or how you open an orange without breaking the peel…kinda like twisty? anyways it worked so much better for me and was a lot less confusing. and making sure you stretch the material when you put it on the templates really makes it bounce right into shape when you are done

  30. 28

    Anytime you need something dried gently, just place on a floor air vent, hang from a ceiling air vent, or place in front of a fan on low speed. It will dry overnight. This goes for pom poms to wet shoes.

    1. 28.1

      Thanks for the tip!