How to Make Tissue Paper Pom Pom Flowers

May 30, 2012 · 68 comments

in Birthdays (everyone else's), Cute and/or Pretty, Good Things, How-To, Making Stuff

PomsCeilingTitle, Tissue Paper Pom Pom Flower Tutorial
Tissue paper poms are my absolute favorite party decoration. They are cheap and big and make a lot of impact. Unlike helium balloons, these can be made weeks ahead of time. I thought everyone knew how to make tissue paper poms but I’ve had person after person ask me how to make them so I figured a tutorial is in order. The poms I’m making are with paper that is 20″ wide. Once the edges have been trimmed and they’re fluffed up, they’re about 16 inches wide. These are frightfully easy. Like, elementary school easy.

The first and most important thing you need is tissue paper. I buy mine in bulk from Nashville Wraps. They have every color imaginable and it’s really fantastic quality at a good price. But most people don’t want to go to that much trouble. You can use any tissue paper you like but keep in mind that most tissue paper is pretty chintzy, flimsy and small. You’ll need more sheets of the cheap stuff to achieve the same look.  Just how much? The tissue from Nashville Wraps is 20×30″. Since those are pretty big, thick sheets you’ll need less. I can get away with 9-10 sheets per pom. The average tissue paper you can buy at the store (say a 99¢ pack of eight sheets from Party City) is smaller (20×24″) and thinner. So you’ll need about 12 sheets to get the same effect.  You don’t have to use that much, but if you don’t your poms will look a little anemic and lackluster. If it’s a party full of screaming 4-year olds then maybe you don’t care so much. But if it’s for a wedding or a party where there will be actual people who will notice, you might want to splurge. It averages out to about 1.5 packs per pom. Honestly it’s not going to break the bank.

You’ll also need floral wire (I use 26 gauge but pretty much any thin wire will do), clear fishing line and clear push pins.

Tissue paper pom materials

 

Your first step will be to lay the tissue paper out with the corners nice and even. You’ll fold your paper up like a fan. (I think I made a fan out of the church program every single week until I was about twelve. So I’m pretty much an expert.) First fold the paper one way, then flip the whole stack over and fold the other way. I’m sure everyone knows how to do this. If you don’t, well, maybe throwing a party is not your biggest concern.  The important thing is to make the folds about 1.5-2 inches wide. Not any wider than this. Trust me, OK?

Tissue Paper pom folding

 

If you get to the end and there’s not quite enough to make another complete fold, just bend it underneath anyway. It will look fine. When you’re done, you’ll have an accordion-ish thing like this.

Tissue Paper accordion

 

Once it’s folded you’ll trim both sides. I prefer cutting mine to a point but you can also cut the edges so that they’re rounded. Rounded edges look a little more flowery and feminine. Points are a bit more dramatic. The tissue will probably be too thick to cut all at once so just cut a few sheets at a time. There is no need to be all perfect and OCD about this. Once the poms are fluffed up and hanging from the ceiling nobody will notice any details.

Tissue Paper pointy

 

Now grab a floral wire. You don’t need the wires to be super long, so I usually cut mine in half so they’re 9-10″. Bend the piece of wire in half.

Tissue pom wire

 

Slide the wire onto your folded tissue paper right in the center.

Tissue Pom folded

 

Now twist the edges of the wire together. You don’t want to make the wire too snug around the paper. It should be a bit loose; the puffball will be easier to fluff that way.

Tissue pom twisted wire

 

Now you’ll bend the wire over to make a loop. Take the loose ends and wrap them around the bottom to secure the loop. You’ll be hanging the pom from this.

Tissue pom loop

 

The easiest time to attach the fishing line for hanging is while the pom is still folded up. So take a piece of fishing line that’s about 10′ long and put it through the wire loop. Unless your ceilings are outrageously high, this will be plenty long. Better to cut the line too long than not long enough.

Tissue fishing line

 

Once the fishing line is through the loop, hold both ends together and tie them in a knot. This will keep the line from squiggling out at some point. Finding the wire loop again is a total pain once your pom is fluffed up, so make sure it’s a nice tight knot.

Tissue Pom knot

 

Now it’s fluffing time! Just a reminder that tissue paper is incredibly easy to rip. No duh, right? But I guarantee that at some point you will tear the paper. Just take it slow and easy. Start by gently lifting the top sheet of paper away from the others.

Tissue pom fluffing

 

The first piece or two should go straight up. The easiest way to do this without ripping the paper is to put your pointy and middle fingers on each side of a fold. Slide them from the outside of the pom towards the middle.

Tissue pom finger slide

 

Do this with about four layers of paper on both sides of the loop.

Fluffing tissue paper pom

 

Then flip the pom over and repeat until the whole thing is a big fluffy ball. Puff it up until it looks full and gorgeous.

Tissue Paper Pom Flower Tutorial

When you’re ready to hang your poms, it’s as simple as dragging a ladder around and sticking pushpins in the ceiling. It’s ever so helpful to have someone on the ground telling you if the poms are hanging at the right height. There actually is no “right height”. If they’re too low, you’re merely inviting all small children to try to jump up and hit them. I think about about 7 feet off the ground is nice so that tall fellows don’t get bopped in the head.

Tie the fishing line from each pom onto the pushpins and you’re all set. I bet you’ll be so thrilled you’ll consider leaving the poms up long after the party has ended.

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie May 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Love pom poms for decorations. I’ve used these is so many church/birthday party/shower/end of school year celebrations and they always make a huge impact without breaking the bank.

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Zina May 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Good tip about the pushpins. I still have masking tape residue on my dining room ceiling because we didn’t properly remove it right away–and it also didn’t hold the pompoms up; they kept falling down during the party.

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Amy May 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm

love them… I like making baby ones…..6″x10″ 6 layers and thread works instead of wire. They are hanging from my outside umbrella and will come down eventually when they start to look bad!

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suburbancorrespondent May 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Thank you! I’m pinning this.

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suburbancorrespondent May 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm

And…it’s been repinned 25 times already…

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Baby Making Mama May 31, 2012 at 9:06 am

These are sooooo pretty! Thanks for sharing! I pinned it too! And I’m definitely going to attempt these for lil’ girls party!

Maybe she wasn’t calling me fat and just seeing into my future, but either way it doesn’t matter cause I have the same eating disorder you do.

PS: Your segment is going to air next Tuesday. I held it this week since it was election day.

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Hildie May 31, 2012 at 10:12 am

The big difference between your eating disorder and mine is that you have a totally rockin’ bod to start with. Not joking. You’re hot!!!

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Kay June 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!11 I have never seen these before. Seriously, they have just never arrived this side of the Atlantic. I’ll be sing them for decorations at a pre wedding party I am hosting for my best friend’s daughter in 10 days. I had been thinking about making lots of bunting, which is the in thing over here but the sewingmachine and I have never been happy together. Many thanks again.

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Kay June 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Not ‘sing’ them, I meant using them. I really must proof read things before I make a fool of myself.

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Betsy July 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Thank you for sharing. I have a question though, I know where Nashville Wraps is, but can you go in and buy from the store or do you have to buy online?

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Hildie July 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I live in Texas so I order online. If you live closer, though, it would save a bunch of money to be able to pick your order up. You’d have to ask Nashville Wraps if they allow pick ups. Good luck!

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Corinne July 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

This are amazing and so simple! Thank you, thank you so much for your clear step by step on how to make these. I am a new teacher this fall and I am decorating my room and everything is sooooo expensive and I have been looking for a way to creat exactly this for my “birds nest” to go with my theme and the best way I found was spending $75 on large Styrofoam balls and I have not even bought the flower petals that are $10/box…until now! This is going to save a TON of money and look so much better! Thank you, thank you!!!!

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Hildie July 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I hope your poms turn out great! Good luck in your new career. Hats off to anyone who can teach for a living; I’d last for about three hours! Send me some pics of your classroom when it’s all finished!

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Maggie July 26, 2012 at 11:14 pm

This is by far the BEST tissue paper pom tutorial I have seen…I’m planning on making a ton of these to decorate my daughters my little pony birthday next month and I already know they’re going to look FANTASTIC!
Thanks so much!

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Angela Robinson August 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I am doing the tissue pom poms for my 18 year old daughter’s birthday party. By me having so much to do for the preparation of the party I had a question. Can I spread the pom poms and store them in my storage room area in a hefty trash bag to help me out a bit? Or will they loose their fullness? Please HELP!!!

Thank you,
Angela

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Hildie August 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I’ve made them a month ahead of time before and they looked fine. The bottoms were a tiny bit flat but after hanging up for a while they looked great. I would suggest finding someplace where you can just leave them sitting out, though. Putting them in garbage bags will probably smoosh them even more. But if you think people will mess around with them or if space is tight, maybe just get them all cut and ready until a few days before and then fluff them up. Don’t wait until you’re in a big hurry, though. You’ll be a lot more likely to rip them.
It took about an hour and a half to hang up about 18 poms (have to drag the ladder around and it takes a while).

Good luck! I hope your daughter has a great birthday!

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Nelly Martell September 11, 2012 at 9:32 am

Thank you for a well tutorial!!! I so love these and your color choice. Your tutorial has inspired me to make some poms poms for my sister’s baby shower (Boy) in November. Its’s funny because your pom colors are the exact colors we are considering for the shower. I’ve looked on nashville wraps but can’t figure out which one you used in the above photos in terms of colors , size, fold, flat,etc. Is it turquoise, or caribbean teal and is it citrus green, bright lime , oasis green or grovy green. Your respond is greatly appreciated.

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Hildie September 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Those colors are confusing aren’t they? I ordered bright lime and citrus because I couldn’t really tell on my monitor. When they arrived they were almost identical. I would say citrus is just a smidge yellower. But they’re both pretty much lime green. I also got turquoise and Oxford blue. I wanted to have a little variety in the blues. Oxford is like a pale turquoise (think Tiffany blue).

I got the 20×30 packs of 24 sheets each. If you figure you need about 8-10 sheets per ball then you can decide how many packs you need. Hope that helps! Good luck with the shower.

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April September 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Ok it seems very easy and I have followed step by step but after I have fluffed up it does not looke the same as your….. Help what am I doing wrong?? I’m planning a baby shower and want to use them as decorations for the shower.

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Hildie September 18, 2012 at 10:02 am

I’m not sure what you’re doing wrong. Maybe your tissue paper wasn’t big enough or you didn’t use enough sheets. It’s hard to say without seeing what they look like.

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Lori September 23, 2012 at 8:27 am

Hildie,

I am the least-crafty person you will ever meet. However, I’m planning my daughter’s first birthday party, and I really want to make these poms. I have all of my supplies ready, but the first one I made looked more like a fluffy wheel than a fluffy pom. When I first lay the tissue paper out, should it be laid like land-scape (wide) or portrait (tall)? Thank you so much for making this tutorial.

Lori

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Hildie September 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Lori. You’re going to fold it so that it’s going to be shorter and fatter, not skinnier and longer. Say that your tissue paper is 20″x30″. You’re going to fold it in 2″ increments so that means you.ll have 15 2″ increments. Does that explain it?

Make sure you put the wore around the tissue loosely; it will fluff up fuller that way. Make sure that the first few sheets you fluff up go straight up. This will make the ball look rounder.

Good luck. Practice makes perfect!

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Lori October 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm

That did it! Thank you, Hildie!

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Annabel October 11, 2012 at 11:36 am

What a great tutorial!!!!! We are making lots of pompoms for a wedding!!! BIG to very small!!! What’s the best way of hanging up more than one pom pom on the same thread??? Could this be a disaster????!!!!

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Hildie October 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I think that would look great. My suggestion on how to do this (not that I’ve tried it; just my thoughts): when you put the wire around the folded tissue paper, twist a loop onto both sides (one on top, one on bottom). That way you could tie fishing line onto both sides easily. Good luck!

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Gayathri December 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

Absolutely beautiful! I wanted to make these for my little niece’s bday party. You blog was soo helpful! thankyou so much! :)

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Hildie December 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Glad they turned out well. They’re such a great decoration!

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Jessica January 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hi Hildie,

I love this idea but I saw a picture online of some mini pom poms that were made to look like flowers in a pot. They also were flattened on the front side and a picture was placed in the center of the flower. I hope I am explaining this right. My question is how would you seperate the tissue to make it flat in the front? I have posted the link to the pic I found below. Please let me know what you think.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/110126227/tissue-paper-pom-pom-baby-shower-book?ref=correlated_featured

Thanks so much!

Jessica

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Hildie January 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

I would assume that these are made exactly like regular poms but maybe using half as much tissue. When you fluff them up, only fluff them towards the back so the front stays flat. That would be my guess but I could be totally wrong. I would suggest getting some tissue paper and playing around with it. It can’t be that hard. Good luck!

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Jerri Anne May 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I looked at the picture on the link. I’d say just smoosh the photo on there with a little glue.

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janell March 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

thank you so much these will make my birthday party smashingly beautiful

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Sanu March 15, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Wow…these look amazing and I didn’t realize they are this easy to make…
Thanks a lot, I am going to try them out for my daughter’s Birthday Party!!!

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Kacie March 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Just finished making these and they look amazing!!! Took me two tries before reading into the comments of what I was doing wrong, turns out I was simply folding the paper the wrong way but now that I got it they look fabulous!!! :D Thanks for this awesome tutorial.

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Veronica April 14, 2013 at 9:37 am

How to you keep the fishing line from getting all tangled up while you are storing the poms till you hang them?

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Amy April 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Just made my first tissue paper poof ball using this tutorial! It was a trial run for my wedding reception. Ordered the paper from Nashville Wraps and it worked perfectly! Lots more poof ball making in my future. Thanks for this awesome tutorial!

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Hildie April 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Glad your poof ball worked out well! Good luck on the wedding and hopefully finding some minions to make the rest of your balls!

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Marva April 18, 2013 at 1:45 am

I love your pom poms, but I would like to make smaller ones that looks like flowers and have green on the bottom. Can you tell me what size my tissue paper should be if I want the finished flower to be about 13″ wide and 6″ high, and also how to have the bottom layer be a different color? Thank you.

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Maria April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

How many tissue paper do you start off with?

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Nick May 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

My sister thinks these will look lovely for her wedding, thank you for such clear instructions :D

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Jerri Anne May 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

How do you blend the “seems” together so they’re not obvious? By seems I mean the place along each side where the two bunches come together.

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Hildie May 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Once the pom is all puffed up and hanging from the ceiling, nobody will see any sort of seams.

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Raylene May 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Hilde, what a fabulous tutorial. I stumbled upon your site from another blog showing your tissue pompoms, can’t even remember which one it was.

Your instructions were fantastic and Nashville Wraps was awesome, thank you! I made about 150 of these in three different colours; turquoise, aqua and grey (their class colours) to decorate the school gym for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation reception.

I don’t know how to include a photo for you here, but thanks to you it looked absolutely amazing! It certainly gave such a huge room that extra “wow element” everyone simply loved it!

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Hildie May 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm

I’m so glad they worked well and helped to make your graduation party a success. I’m sure you never want to see another one as long as you live, though!

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Lisa May 31, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Hi! I wanted to let you know that your blog saved me!! I have been making pom pons this week for my daughter’s 8th grade graduation dance. I purchased white tissue paper that was 26 x 20..which worked perfectly! I also purchased black and red tissue but the size for these colors was 20 x 20. The pom poms I made out of the 20 x 20 tissue looked really awful. So, I read all of the comments here and noticed one about tissue paper size. So, I cut the square 20 x 20 tissue proportionately back to a similar ratio of the 26 x 20 tissue that has been working great. I cut about 5 ” off…making the paper size 20 x 15 and it worked perfectly! Thank you so much for all this great information!

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rebecca June 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Im doing a blue and green balloon theme party and I wany lots of these. Im thinking of possibly switching it up and mixing the blue and green tissue paper up when making it.

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Hildie June 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I think a mixture of blue and green would be super cute! Good luck!

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Lindsay N. June 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I saw some of these beautiful poms for sale recently and I loved them! I was curious how they were made. Thank you so much for this awesome guide! I think I’ll be making some for my birthday in July.

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Hildie June 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I hope they turn out well! They really are pretty easy and make a great statement decoration!

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Sue October 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

see one thanks so much for a detailed description on how to make tissue paper flowers. I had a I got to one in person while out last night at a friends for supper and got a good look at one already made, well, she says: oh! it’s so easy. I would to make a small carnation size to try this. you had the measurement of 6×10 looks weird when I cut out my cardboard for a template. how would I size it down small for a sample test. hoping you can help me out, tissue paper is ready to start. thanks so much for your tutorial and I’m waiting for your input to get mine started. everything is ready to go.

have a great day

Sue McInnes, Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada

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Terry Bandy October 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm

This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have
found something which helped me. Thanks!

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Priya October 25, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Lovely.. will try it for festive season now..:)

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Stephanie November 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Cool! I am definitely making these for a bridal shower I am planning end of this month. Thank you.

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Hildie November 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

Hope they turn out well! Send me a picture!

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Sariah December 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Hey Hilde – I’m trying to make these for Christmas and my sister’s shower and there is no circular shape to the one I’m doing. You can definitely tell where the “middle” is on each side. It looks more like a giant bowtie than a ball. Any advice?

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Hildie December 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm

When that happens it’s usually because the layers of tissue aren’t being fluffed all the way to the middle. Make sure each layer of tissue is being bent straight up from the middle. By the time they’re fluffed up completely they should look more ball shaped. Also make sure you’re using enough paper. The more layers of tissue, the better. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Michelle December 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm

I love these pom poms and have already tried a few, I tried curved and spiky( I like spiky better ) I even cut some with a v point facing in like when you cut ribbon, I think this is my favorite. I have a slight problem though, when I flip it over to do the other side I have trouble getting the paper to fold up to the middle. It doesn, t want to go up all the way and leaves a big circle and sometimes rips. Should I make my wire looser?

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Hildie January 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

Michelle, it’s hard to say whether loosening the wire might help. I like to make the wire kind of loose. A lot of times there are problems when you don’t get close enough to the wire when you bend up the tissue paper. That can make a difference too.

Good luck!

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Laurie February 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Did you order the tissue paper in reams or mini packs. We will be making quite a few as we are decorating for a wedding reception

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Hildie February 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I ordered tissue paper in reams. The reams are gently folded, all sheets at once so there’s no crease. As far as I can tell, the packs feature individually folded pieces. Although you can’t really tell once the poms are made, I think it’s easier to work with tissue paper that hasn’t been folded a whole bunch. Good luck!

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ralaine April 11, 2014 at 10:15 am

These tissue pompoms are so beautiful. I’m planning to make these for my graduation party, but I’m having a difficult time to figure out the right shade of blue that I need. Is the color of the tissue paper you used for demonstration (above) is the oxford blue or turquoise?? thanks!! :)

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Hildie April 11, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Relaine, I made poms in the demo out of the Aqua color from Nashville Wraps (the item # is CTQAQ). But I also did a few poms in Turquoise so everything wasn’t the exact same shade. Aqua is paler than turquoise and is almost a Tiffany or Robin’s Egg blue. The green color I used is Bright Lime. Good luck with your party and congratulations on graduating! My daughter is graduating this year too!

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ralaine April 16, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Thank you so much for your help!! I got the oxford blue and it matches the shade of blue that I want. I bought the 20×26 tissue paper instead because unfortunately the 20×30 doesn’t come in half reams. Anyways, how many sheets did you use for your tissue pompoms above?? I want to achieve that same fluffiness in the ones I’m going to make.. :) Congratulations to your daughter!! You must be very proud!:)

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Hildie April 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

10-12 sheets should be perfect.

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komal May 21, 2014 at 5:19 am

Hildie it is an excellent way to decorate our house .I told this to my friend and they appreciated the same.

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Keena June 4, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Hi Hildie,.
I have a question about the step right after fluffing.. How do you secure the fishiing line to the tact?…

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Hildie June 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Just tie the fishing line onto the loop of wire that keeps the whole thing together. It’s best to tie the line on before you fluff the pons, though. It’s easier that way. Good luck!

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