DIY Pom Pom Pajaki Chandelier
You guys!!! Pom pom pajaki day is finally here!!!!!!!!! Pajaki have been on my DIY wish list basically since I launched TNTP and I can’t believe the day to share my obsession with them is today. Last year I shared a similar-ish tutorial for a pajaki-inspired pom pom chandelier, but this one takes the freaking cake, if I do say so myself.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “a pa-what-ie?,” let me back up a sec. Pajaki (plural, pronounced “pah-yahn-ki”) are traditional Polish decorations usually crafted with colorful paper elements. In old school Poland, families would get together to make them around the holidays and hang them in their homes from Christmas to New Years, as well as for Easter and other celebrations such as wedding. The word pajaki means “spiders of straw” as they are made with straws or actual straw and are designed to resemble spider webs. These colorful decorations are intended to ward off the evil eye and bring good luck to the home, not to mention they’re really, really beautiful.
You can read more about the history, meaning and makeup of traditional pajaki here and here. You also HAVE to check out the incredible Karolina Merska, a London-based maker who is reviving the art of pajaki and making some unbelievable pieces.
There are tons of pajaki DIYs out there (HonestlyWTF, Oh Happy Day! and Martha Stewart have amaaazing ones, to name a few) but today, we’re putting our Neon Tea Party spin on the folksy handicraft and making one almost entirely out of, what else, pom poms and tassels!
I thought this pom pom pajaki chandelier would be the perfect addition to my little home “office” in our kitchen. I already love being able to look up while I work and admire what’s probably my favorite creation yet!
While the process to make this show-stopping decoration is definitely time consuming, it’s not terribly difficult and it is totallyyyyy worth the effort. Plus, our Pom Pom & Tassel DIY Kit already comes with many of the tools you’ll need to bring this beauty to life!
Read on to learn how to whip one up yourself.
DIY Pom Pom Pajaki Chandelier
- Loome tool*
- XL Loome tool
- Embroidery floss*
- Trim guide*
- Plastic yarn needle*
- 22 Paper straws (we used gold)
- 12″ Wooden hoop (we used the inside one from an embroidery hoop)
- Strong thread or string (we used cream and gold bakers twine)
- 2″ Wooden ring
- Small binder clips
- Measuring tape
*Indicates item use to make pom poms and are included in our Pom Pom & Tassel DIY Kit
Step 1: Make a Ton of Pom Poms & Tassels
The first step is to make a whooole lot of pom poms using the supplies indicated with * in the list above. 42 small ones and 6 large ones, to be exact, plus 6 tassels.
Find step-by-step instructions for how to make pom poms here in our totally FREE video lesson!
Follow our video tutorial to make 42 pom poms using the 1.75″ trim guide included in our Pom Pom & Tassel DIY Kit. Next follow the same steps to make 6 large pom poms with a 2.5″ trim guide (instructions here).
Last, make 6 tassels using the method of your choice. We made ours using the XL Pom Pom & Tassel Tool from Loome. You can find our professional finish tassel tutorial in our virtual course How to Master Pom Poms and Tassels.
This is my uncle-in-law’s dog Poppy. She helped me make all those pom poms behind her. 😉
Aren’t these rainbow tassels so pretty?? We made them by wrapping multiple colors at the same time for this rainbow-unicorn effect and finished them with a neon yellow wrap. That funky tool is the new tassel comb from Loome – I’m obsessed! (It also comes in a smaller pink version.)
Step 2: Pajaki Assembly
Start by prepping your straws. Cut 16 straws into thirds (about 2.5″). Cut the remaining six straws in two pieces: one piece should be 4″ and the other should be 3″. In total you should have:
- 48 2.5″ straws
- 6 4″ straws
- 6 3″ straws
Next, cut three strands of a strong string of your choice to 106″. Match up all six ends of the three pieces of string, bend them in half to create a loop at the top, and secure the loop to the 2″ wooden ring by throwing the loop through the ring and pulling the six strands through the loop. It should look like the photo above on the right.
Find something to hang your wooden ring on. A hook works great (you can even hang up a temporary Command hook) or tie the ring to a clothing rack, shelf or the back of a chair. The idea is that your pajaki should be hanging as you make it and you should be able to comfortably stand or sit while working on it.
The next step is to add the straws and pom poms to the top of your pajaki. Working one strand at a time, use your plastic yarn needle to string on the following pattern: 2.5″ straw / small pom pom / 2.5″ straw / small pom pom / 2.5″ straw.
If you have trouble getting the needle and string through the straw, try twisting the string while gently pushing and you should eventually see the point of the needle come out the bottom of the straw.
To add your pom poms, be sure to go directly through the center of the pom pom. My trick is to find the string inside the pom, identify the straight line the string makes, then go through the center of the pom pom, perpendicular to the string. That way you’re going through the center of the circle the interior string makes inside the pom pom and essentially stringing the pom pom on like a bead.
As you finish each strand, use a binder clip to hold your pattern in place. Repeat until all six strands look the the one pictured above right.
Next, temporarily attach the six strands to your wooden hoop using small binder clips. Make sure the strands are evenly spaced out on the hoop.
Next, attach your large pom poms to the outside of the wooden ring. Working one strand at a time, unclip the binder clip from the hoop and use your plastic needle to go under the interior string of your large pom pom. Push your large pom pom up to meet the bottom of the bottom straw on the strand and position the large pom pom on the outside of the hoop with the long string hanging down. Keeping the yarn needle on the end of the long string, bring the long string up from the inside of the hoop wrapping around the hoop, then go back through the interior string of the large pom pom. Gently pull on the long string until the string loop is tight around the wooden hoop and your pom pom is secured to the outside of the hoop. The result should look like the photo above right.
Repeat until all six strands and large pom poms are attached to the wooden hoop like so. You can adjust the taughtness of each strand to make sure the hoop hangs evenly.
You’ll notice the bottom of the pajaki has 12 segments: six long strands with tassels and six pom pom Vs. Ideally, you’ll want to start with the six long strands with tassels before moving on to the Vs, but you can also alternate, working around the perimeter of the pajaki. I did the latter, but suggest the former. Either way, you’ll want to plan out your pom pom color placement before attaching the bottom segments.
As I said, we’ll start with the long tassel strands. Using the same stringing method as the top of the pajaki, add the following pattern to the six long strands: 4″ straw / small pom pom / 3″ straw / tassel. To add the tassel, go underneath its top loop.
To finish the strand, go back up through the bottom of the 3″ straw, pull on the string to remove any slack, then tie a double knot under the pom pom above it. Trim off the remaining string.
Once you trim off the string, you should have about 24″ of string remaining. We’re going to use these 24″ strands to create our pom pom Vs. To prep each 24″ string, use your plastic needle to guide the string between each large pom pom and the wooden hoop, as in the photo above right. Make sure the string is secure.
Match up the two ends and pull to even them out to two 12″ strands. To each 12″ strand add: 2.5″ straw / small pom pom / 2.5″ straw. You can use the binder clip to secure one side of the string to the hoop while you add the straws and pom pom to the other side.
Repeat this step on the other side of the V: Add the 24″ string to the adjacent large pom pom, even out to two 12″ strands, then add the straws and pom pom to the other arm of the V you’re working on.
Finally, the two arms of the V will meet with a pom pom in the middle. Use your plastic needle to bring the strings under the center pom pom string in opposite directions, creating an X. Pull ends to bring the pom pom to meet the bottom of both straws, secure with a double knot and trim the excess string.
One V will look like this. Repeat the process all the way around your pajaki until it’s complete!
And there you have it!!!!!!!!!!!!! The most beautiful pom pom pajaki in all the land. Like I said, it definitely takes some work but OMG is the result worth it! What a special gift this would be for a child’s room, nursery, play room, dining room, office, wedding, birthday party, Christmas, Chanukah, Easter — YOU NAME IT. This project is inherently filled with so much love and care, and the result is knock-your-socks-off beautiful.
Don’t forget, many of the supplies to make this gorgeous pajaki are included in our Pom Pom & Tassel DIY Kit. You can sign up for our free pom pom video lesson here to learn how to make pom poms for this DIY. And you can find our complete virtual course How to Master Pom Poms and Tassels here!
As always, be sure to leave any project questions below!
Peace, love & neon,