Sunday, 5 January 2014

Crafty Sheep

I remember making pompoms as a child and have shown my children how to make them, duly cutting out the necessary sets of cardboard rings. They thought it was a great idea until they got about halfway through, stopping as it became more tricky to push the wool through the centre of the cardboard circles. I suddenly remembered that I  had often started them as a child but rarely finished them :/
So, like mine, their pompoms were never finished. Then this year, whilst on a trip to a Youth Hostel with some other home educating families, we were introduced to the delights of pompom makers :) Even my not-particularly-interested-in-crafty-stuff boy loves them :)
That said, I decided that I had to find a way to incorporate them into our Picture Book Explorers time.  And with PBE- Floss recently having been the Currclick freebie of the week, fluffy pompom sheep seemed the way to go...

Here's what you'll need:-
a ball of wool icon
2 pipe-cleaners icon
fabric glue icon
black foamboard sheet icon/cardboard/felt
2 googly eyes icon
sharp, pointy scissors icon

Start by wrapping the wool around one arm of the pompom maker.
When this section of the pompom maker is about half full, bend the 2 pipe-cleaners around the wool that's on there. If you twist the ends of the pipe-cleaners around each other, it helps to hold them in place.
Continue wrapping the wool around the pompom maker until it is full. Cut the thread.
 Fold the full arm into the middle section of the frame.
Wrap wool around the remaining arm of the pompom maker until it is as full as the first half. Don't add pipe-cleaners this time. When it is full, cut the thread.
Fold the second half into the central circle of the frame. Make sure that the wool is wrapped so that it is touching the inside of the circular section. This will hold the wool in place when you cut.
Using the sharp, pointy scissors, cut the wool using the groove in the frame as a guide.
Before cutting the wool on the section with the pipe-cleaners, make sure you untwist the pipe-cleaners and spread them out so that they don't get in the way of the scissors.
When all the wool has been cut, take a length of wool and wrap it between the two sections of the pompom maker as shown. Pull it tight. I wrap it round at least twice, pulling tight each time. It is important that the wool is pulled tight at this stage.
Tie the two ends of the wool together, using 'dressing gown knots', otherwise know as a reef knot. Make sure the wool is pulled tight!!
Now it's time to remove the frame to reveal your pompom masterpiece :) Unfold the two halves of the frame.
 Pull the two sections of the pompom maker apart.
Et voila!! One pompom - with black bits sticking out of it ;) Bend the 4 ends of the pipe-cleaners and twist to make legs. 
Cut a face with ears from the foamboard sheet, cardboard or felt - use whichever you like. Glue the googly eyes into place. Glue the whole face into the appropriate position on the pompom.

And there you have one very easily made pompom sheep. Why not make a whole flock for Floss to round up?

I bought our pompom makers from CraftMerrily which is owned by the fabulous Merry of Muddle Puddle, a great resource for early years Home Educators :0) Make sure you checkout her other websites too. They're all listed in the right-hand sidebar of her page.

I hope you found this pompom sheep tutorial helpful. I bet it can be adapted to make lots of different animals. I'd love to hear what you and your family make from pompoms.

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