DIY Giant Pom Pom Costume
Alright you guys, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… The Big Reveal of TNTP’s Pom Pom Costume is here!!!!
I first thought of this idea for my Halloween costume months ago because, well, it seemed so obvious that it might just be perfect. Next, I hopped onto Pinterest to see if this costume had been done and what it looked like and, lo and behold, not a one giant pom pom costume existed! As I began flushing out the structural logistics of said giant pom pom, I quickly realized why no one on the internet had attempted this costume before: the construction of this costume is no joke.
Three layers of papier mâché around a giant beach ball and hundreds of shaggy pom poms tied to rug mat tiles resulting in upwards of 10 hours to create the thing. There were a number of times throughout the process when I wanted to throw in the towel and attempt a much simpler costume like this and this of Halloweens past. But alas, the idea was just too promising and if anyone were going to be the first to post a pom pom costume on Pinterest, it should be this girl!
Turning back to the positive, this costume (and the ridonculous video we created in tandem) was totally worth the hours spent making and attaching pom poms to rug mats and the many splotches of papier mâché paste that splashed beyond the garbage bag shields, solidifying themselves to our hardwood floor. This project is one I’ll be proud of for a lifetime and, knowing my hoarder self, one I’ll likely hang onto for a lifetime, too. 😉
Read on to learn how to create this giant pom pom costume for yourself (if you dare!) and be sure to watch our hilarious video (TNTP’s first!!), in celebration of #ILoveYarnDay with Craft Yarn Council: Pom-ventures in NYC!
- Giant beach ball (the one I used was 42″) or balloon
- 6-7 4oz. bottles of white craft glue (such as Elmer’s)
- A container & stirrer for mixing your paste
- A large bowl for resting your papier mâché while you work
- Garbage bags for the floor
- Non-slip rug liners (I ordered the 5×8 but didn’t use it all – you should be good with 4×6)
- Lots of acrylic worsted weight yarn (aka standard acrylic yarn from the craft store) in your choice of colors (I predict I used around 30 skeins, if not more. Michael’s has a great return policy so my best advice is to purchase that many, don’t open them all at once, and return any leftovers if you have.)
- Chair legs or two wooden dowels and strong tape
- Box cutter
- Tape measure
- Hot glue
- Nylon webbing for straps in your choice of color
Create your papier mâché paste by mixing 1 part white glue, two parts flour and 3 parts water in a large bowl. You’re going to need quite a bit of paste. I used three small bowls and filled them three or four times for the whole project. Cut strips of newspaper. (I used about four small newspapers.)
Lay down plastic tarp or garbage bags on the floor and tape them down. Place your inflated beach ball or balloon on a large bowl to prevent it from rolling around. Adhere strips one-by-one by dipping each strip into the paste mixture and sliding it between your fingers to remove excess paste. Then place the strip onto the ball/balloon and repeat. You’re going to want to add at least three layers of papier mâché strips, letting each layer dry before adding the next.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Each papier mâché layer can take up to 24 hours to dry so be sure to give yourself 4+ days to work on it.
POM POM MATS
While your form is drying you can work on the outer yarn portion of the costume, which consists of creating hundreds of shaggy pom poms and tying them to the rug mat.
To get set up, flip a chair upside down to use its legs or attach two wooden dowels to something like a coffee table, like I did here. Wrap yarn around the two dowels 20-30 revolutions using both tails of the skein, if accessible. Tie the yarn every 3-ish inches, except the ends which can be tied about 1.5 inches from the dowels/chair legs. Be sure to tie tightly with a double knot and leave long strands hanging, as you’ll use those to attach your poms to the mat.
Cut the yarn in the center between each tie and cut open the loops on the two end pom poms. Repeat, repeat, repeat…
Cut your rug mat into large square panels for easier attachment to the round papier mâché form.
Attach each pom pom one at a time by threading one of the tie strands through a space in the rug mat and then up through an adjacent space. Secure the pom pom by tying the two tie strands together with a tight double knot. Trim off the excess yarn from the tie strands.
You can create whatever patterns you like! I went with haphazardly shaped clusters to mimic a color-blocked pom pom. Repeat this process to create around 10 1’x1′ panels.
Once your papier mâché form is completely dry and hard, it’s time to cut holes for your body. Measure the widest part of your body with a tape measure then place the tape measure on the top of the round form in an ovular shape to fit you your body. Use a dark marker to draw the oval onto the form and cut it out using a box cutter.
You can use the piece you cut out as a stencil to draw and cut out the same shaped hole on the bottom of your round form.
Finally, glue on your yarn panels using a hot glue gun and good quality hot glue. Before you glue, I recommend pinning the panels to your form to see how they’re all going to fit. As you fit them into place and glue them down, you can trim off excessive parts of the mat and use them to fill gaps in other spaces.
Last, use the nylon webbing to create your straps. Measure your strap length with a tape measure, as well as across your back or check to see how far apart you’ll need them. Add some extra length for gluing to the interior of your costume with the hot glue gun. In the event that the straps come off, I recommend attaching them with a strong duct tape. You can add that as a precaution too, if you like!
And voila!! A wild and crazy giant pom pom costume to surprise and delight everyone you encounter this Halloween!
Again, sure to check out our very first IGTV video, Pom-ventures in NYC, to watch as I make my way through New York City as a giant pom pom on a mission to the yarn aisle at my favorite craft store, Michael’s!
Peace, love & neon,