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Pom-Poms and Luminarias

Martha Stewart Weddings, Volume 36 2006

Joyous bursts of color dance above a table, imparting a cheerful radiance to a rehearsal dinner or casual reception. The dahlialike pom-poms appear to float in the air; in reality they are hung from the ceiling with monofilament. Echoing the vibrant hanging puffs, pom-pom napkin rings in citrus shades adorn each place setting. Square glass vessels in various sizes line tables. Covered in sunset-hued tissue (cut to size and secured with double-sided tape), they cast a soft glow.

How to Make the Pom-Poms
You'll need tissue paper and 24-gauge white cloth-covered floral wire.

Hanging Pom-Poms
1. Stack eight 20-by-30-inch sheets of tissue. Make 1 1/2-inchwide accordion folds, creasing with each fold.

2. Fold an 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, and slip over center of folded tissue; twist. With scissors, trim ends of tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.

3. Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

4. Tie a length of monofilament to floral wire for hanging.

Napkin Rings
With just a few changes, these follow the same steps as the hanging pom-poms.

1. Stack four sheets of tissue. Cut a 10-by-5-inch rectangle, going through all layers. Make 3/8-inch-wide accordion folds.

2. Fold an 18-inch piece of floral wire in half, slip over center of tissue, and twist to secure. Trim ends of tissue.

3. Separate layers, pulling away from center one at a time.

4. Bend wire into a loop to fit around napkin, and twist end around loop to secure.

 

Comments (98)

  • 29 Jul, 2014

    These are easy and well worth the effort. I found inexpensive tissue at the dollar store and made 8. I experimented with solid colors and stripes. They were all impressive but I prefer the solid colors. If you don't have wire, I don't see why string or yarn wouldn't serve the same purpose as the wire. In fact, next time I will use yarn which will make them easy to hang. I attached mine to fence posts. Impressive splashes of color for an outdoor party! Try this craft -you won't regret it!

  • 13 Feb, 2014

    I think these look adorable, but I wouldn't want to make them for a big wedding -- so much work! I think I'd rather just find a creative way to display flowers instead, like one of these 5 projects: http://bit.ly/1cxnY9z

  • 5 Oct, 2013

    i really liked this ! thank you!

  • 22 Apr, 2013

    Wow, these would make great decorations for a baby shower. Definitely a project worth trying! KC @ Parenting Today

  • 9 Oct, 2012

    I made my first pom pom with only 8 sheets of tissue and it also turned out bad. I added 4 more sheets to make 12, and it came out full and perfect! I'm making several for a baby shower and they really are easy, inexpensive and so cute!

  • 21 Sep, 2012

    Does any of you know how to fold the napkins the way it is folded in the picture? It would be of great help. Thanks :)

  • 25 Jul, 2012

    I want to make 6-8 inch size pom poms for pew decorations. Does anyone know what size my tissue paper should be?

  • 27 May, 2012

    I found that eight sheets did not make a really nice full pom. I doubled it to 16 and the result was beautiful! I worked with eight sheets at a time in order to keep the project manageable. I combined them in the end with either florist wire or ribbon. Super-fluffy large poms! :D

  • 8 Feb, 2012

    Just made a couple of these to hang for a 3 year old garden party. SUPER simple and easy! I used 8 sheets of tissue and cut it down to half the size to make 2 smaller balls from each 8 sheets. I used uncovered florists wire which was fine.
    Beautiful result... I'm thrilled!! Thank you

  • 3 Jan, 2012

    I used them for a baby shower...some I hung from the ceiling...others I placed on the gift and dessert table...I separated it only half way...and it makes a beautiful lotus flower....

  • 30 Oct, 2011

    I made a 'trial' today (wedding in 6 months) and it turned out ok. I started with 10 pieces and ripped the first couple so took them out, thinking 8 would be ok. But I think it needs 10. didn't have any floristry wire so used some thread, which was difficult. My tissue then kept ripping but I think if you're careful enough it should be ok, and tbh it's not that noticeable now it's hanging up. I also used You Tube to help me out with the fluffing, as I think the instructions on here are sparse?xx

  • 8 Sep, 2011

    I tried making these and it didn't turn out so well....my scissors couldn't cut through the ends! So....I ended up buying some on Etsy from "Pomtastic". www. pomtastic.etsy.com, and they turned out great! I will be buying more in the future, saved me so much time and hassle.

  • 11 Aug, 2011

    I used 4 - 20x20 sheets and cut them in half and stacked the halves. It makes a smaller but nice size pom. You can buy the tissue paper in 40 sheet packs at the dollar store. I also bought a pack of 20 sheet glitter paper and alternated the glitter sheet with a plain white sheet just to give them a little sparkle. They turned out nice and I'm really pleased with the results!

  • 1 Aug, 2011

    hi felonJA, to make them look nice and puffy you have to use many sheets, i use around twenty. then start bringing them up one by one, 10 on one side and then 10 on the other side, so that they meet in the middle. hope this helps! good luck, L

  • 5 Apr, 2011

    how do you make these to be pouffy like pictured? i am having a lot of problems with that...HELP, PLEASE!!

  • 16 Mar, 2011

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  • 9 Feb, 2011

    I bought these from an Etsy store, and it was so easy, all I had to do was fluff them! www.etsy.com/shop/pomtastic It really saved me a lot of time and hassle, and they look great, really full and round!

  • 24 Jan, 2011

    Tiffanyjean83 it says you cover the luminaries with tissue paper and double sided tape. I never dreamed I could make these fablulous Dahlia decorations, but thanks to Martha and staff, I did and love them! I wil be using them again for a dinner party, only different colors and different dinner guests.

  • 22 Dec, 2010

    I love these!!! I made white ones and i hanged them in my room!!!

  • 13 Nov, 2010

    How are the lumiunaria centerpieces made? there are no instructions for them?

  • 12 Nov, 2010

    This worked great for a baby shower! Thanks!

    Here is how they turned out!

    http://harmonyhunting.com/2010/10/14/its-a-boy-baby-shower-decorations-b...

  • 12 Nov, 2010

    I made these for a baby shower

  • 2 Nov, 2010

    I love how the pom-poms and luminaria colors accentuate each other! Does anyone know how to create luminarias like this in custom colors (to match the poms) and custom sizing? Or is there somewhere they can be purchased (Im a little worried about fire safety issues). thanks!!

  • 2 Aug, 2010

    @NicholeBrandy and kmmygunter, maybe try using the battery operated lights, and using a paper punch to punch holes in a fold. alternate high and low as not to have too many at the bottom to overload and weight them down.

  • 10 Jul, 2010

    how can i make these lite up...kim

  • 6 Jul, 2010

    I would love to make these larger pom poms light up ! Anyone have any ideas ?? Thinking about maybe putting a battery operated light inside somehow...?
    We are having a winter wedding (February 19th, 2011), and would love to make these in white, as lighted "snowflakes" above the head table !

  • 22 Jun, 2010

    The 10x5" napkin ring IS correct. Just make sure to fold on the 5" side, otherwise the napkin ring will not turn out round.

  • 14 Jun, 2010

    Thanks Valh587 you were spot on. The measurements for the napkin ring are wrong. It should be 5' x5"... now they are perfect!

  • 5 Jun, 2010

    To make them round and fuller, use more sheets of tissue paper. 8 is just not enough for the large pom-poms. Try using 12-16 sheets. I like to use an even number of sheets so that I can pull half to one side, then half to the other side - this helps to make a more even circle.Also, to avoid tearing, pull sheets apart from the base, closer to the wire, not the edge of the sheet. Hope this helps!

  • 28 May, 2010

    I'm also having a hard time making them round...I've tried with several different grades of tissue paper and it's just not working for me.

  • 23 May, 2010

    I can't seem to make them round.. is there any "right" way to start? Should I be unfolding them from both sides at a time?? HELP!

  • 11 May, 2010

    id like to make the candles but cant find the link... anyone?

  • 21 Apr, 2010

    I made two of these for the first time just now. Thought I would share some ideas that helped me. I ordered tissue paper from papermart.com. The quality is really great. I used a 12" ruler to help form the acordion fold. A yard stick would work really well since it is longer. Instead of the wire I used twist ties from trash bags. That part doesn't show once the pom poms are fluffed so it doesn't matter what they look like. So easy to make!!! I was impressed.

  • 20 Feb, 2010

    These poms looked gorgeous in all white at this sweet wedding in Perth, Australia: http://www.realweddingideas.com.au/styles/garden-weddings/relaxed-freman...
    Steph

  • 11 Feb, 2010

    what the easy way to cut them plz help me

  • 1 Oct, 2009

    I really want to make these candle holders, but I need some ideas about achieving this look. I know you use orange vellum paper---then what?

  • 25 Jul, 2009

    These flowers are a tradition for Weddings in Mexico. I remember as a young child making these flowers for weddings. They are very easy to make.

  • 27 Apr, 2009

    I think the napkin ring measurements are off. I tried exactly how it was stated and got a weird looking mess. When I changed to six 5x5-inch sheets, it came out looking exactly like the picture. Hope this helps!

  • 2 Apr, 2009

    We are using ALL of these ideas at our wedding only instead of using glass vessels we are making them out of Vellum, and subbing real candles for battery operated candles. GREAT idea for a kid friendly wedding :) Believe it or not it's like having real candles...they flicker...giving you the class with out the cost or danger. you can find the battery operated candles at almost ANY dollar/thrift store 2/$1.00!!! GREAT money saver compared to all the craft stores!!!

  • 2 Apr, 2009

    We are using ALL of these ideas at our wedding only instead of using glass vessels we are making them out of Vellum, and subbing real candles for battery operated candles. GREAT idea for a kid friendly wedding :) Believe it or not it's like having real candles...they flicker...giving you the class with out the cost or danger. you can find the battery operated candles at almost ANY dollar/thrift store 2/$1.00!!! GREAT money saver compared to all the craft stores!!!

  • 1 Apr, 2009

    Fonner2B congratulations on your engagement! I hope your wedding goes off without a hitch! About the pom poms. Are you using craft tissue paper/crepe paper. This paper is much thicker and sturdier than the tissue paper used for gift wrapping. I suggest you go to Michaels, JoAnns, or a local craft shop or paper store. This should make it easier to pull away. Also chek out http://www.deepfriedkudzu.com/2006/04/making-giant-paper-pom-poms.html hope it helps!

  • 24 Mar, 2009

    HELP...My wedding is in 17 days! I love these, they are beautiful! But..I am having some difficulty in making them. How do you pull the "petals" apart in the center without tearing the paper? Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

  • 18 Mar, 2009

    We made these today! They turned out fabulous! I can't wait until we hang and arrange them!

  • 18 Mar, 2009

    they turned out so great! I am so excited to hang them all. We made them for the churh and for the reception hall!

  • 9 Mar, 2009

    took the advice of one of the other comment-ers

  • 9 Mar, 2009

    I love these! Made some yesterday. I took the advice of one of the other comment-ers

  • 3 Mar, 2009

    I just love this idea, and noticed that they sell a kit for those who don't want to make them but it's kind of expensive, your better off making them yourself.

  • 28 Feb, 2009

    These are beautiful! I just returned from a lovely baby shower tea party which was beautifully decorated with these pom poms hanging overhead throughout the party rooms. They were absolutely gorgeous!

  • 20 Feb, 2009

    These are very easy to make I'd say it takes about 2-3minutes each. They beautiful. However, I would suggest using yarn or string intstead of the wire, wire is expensive ($4 compared to $1 string) and u end up having to use some type of yarn or string to tie to the wire to hang anyway. u can tack the yarn or string right to the ceiling. Ohh and another thing I didn't cut the tissue at all I just left it as is, it's beautiful, just like peonies or carnations, no cutting ends needed.

  • 20 Feb, 2009

    These are very easy to make I'd say it takes about 2-3minutes each. They beautiful. However, I would suggest using yarn or string intstead of the wire, wire is expensive ($4 compared to $1 string) and u end up having to use some type of yarn or string to tie to the wire to hang anyway. u can tack the yarn or string right to the ceiling. Ohh and another thing I didn't cut the tissue at all I just left it as is, it's beautiful, just like peonies or carnations, no cutting ends needed.

  • 31 Jan, 2009

    Help!! I share FrenchieGirl60's problem - my venue does not allow you to put nails, stapels, holes, etc. in the walls or ceiling. What is the best way to hang these? Has anyone treid the new 3M hooks that are supposed to not tear up the surface when you remove them?

  • 30 Jan, 2009

    I do this craft many times for parties in my garden and everyone love it!!. They are very easy and cheap to make, Just need a little patience making the accordion folds perfect and twisting the wire very hard.

  • 28 Jan, 2009

    I am having the hardest time making these! They sound so simple, but mine do not look rounded at all. How do you make it rounded all the way around? Could someone make a step-by-step YouTube video!! LOL.

  • 26 Jan, 2009

    Are they really that simple? I might have to do these for my ceremony decorations - it's outside.

  • 26 Jan, 2009

    I am going to attempt to do these for my ceremony decorations, may follow them through to the reception amoungst the lights depending on how easy they are to make! But reading your comments sounds like they could be a cinch!

  • 21 Jan, 2009

    I love these little flowers, I have been making them and it is fun to have your bridesmaids over to help you make them.. we're making 200 of them!!!

  • 13 Jan, 2009

    Oh these are beautiful! The theme for our wedding is country chic, and this will reflect that elegently (and inexspensively!)

  • 9 Dec, 2008

    For the Semi-Formal the college was putting on I decided to make a few of these out of white tissue paper. Nestled in between the lights in the ceiling they looked like giant snowballs/flakes. I got so many compliments on them and were so easy to make!

  • 24 Sep, 2008

    I made these with dollar bills for a brthday party present and for a prize for my bunko game but think they would work for shower or wedding present instead of giving money.Look great in a vase or jay containing change or marbles.

  • 17 Sep, 2008

    I used these pom poms for decorations for my wedding, they looked great!

  • 4 Sep, 2008

    I am Ukrainian and I speak English:) This idea is very interesting. I like it a lot!!!! You are the best!

  • 31 Aug, 2008

    In n n n m sorry, In n n n m a brazilian woman and I don't speak English very well but I loved this idea

  • 31 Aug, 2008

    n n n n uma excelente idn n n n ia. Amei

  • 30 Aug, 2008

    Made them with crepe paper sheets and pipe cleaners/chenille strips for the center wire. Then I hung them with fishing line. They look great and are super easy.

  • 27 Aug, 2008

    Yea I finally got it to work....After many failed attempts. I remember that I used to make these as a kid. The trick I used then was to cut a small notch on either side of the middle of the accordian. This makes a much smaller amount of tissue paper to tighten up with the wire. I hope this helps!!

  • 26 Aug, 2008

    Alli...I think they would look fine on the floor. The size can be played with. Different sizes would look nicer than all the same size. I would say put them in groups of three. Also, you could put a dowel in the center before fluffing the poms and then place the stick in a terra cotta pot (etc.) with styrofoam and moss and make pretty flowers for each isle.

  • 26 Aug, 2008

    I think putting them on the floor would look fine. Maybe arrange them in groupings of three, and you could always make them various sizes . I would also think you could use a dowel in the center before fluffing out the ball. Then you could stick the stick inside a cheap spray painted garden pot filled with styrofoam and coated in moss. That would make some pretty voluptuous flowers for each isle. :)

  • 25 Aug, 2008

    I am thinking of placing these (in various shades of pink) on the floor on either side of the aisle in my church! We don't have anywhere to hang flowers from the chairs, so I think it would add a lot of color! However, I don't want it to seem to "casual"...do they look pretty on the floor? I saw below that someone placed them in front of the head table at the reception. Also, do you need to have the 20-by-30 inch size exactly?

  • 25 Aug, 2008

    I am thinking of placing these (in various shades of pink) on the floor on either side of the aisle in my church! We don't have anywhere to hang flowers from the chairs, so I think it would add a lot of color! However, I don't want it to seem to "casual"...do they look pretty on the floor? I saw below that someone placed them in front of the head table at the reception. Also, do you need to have the 20-by-30 inch size exactly?

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    I put these in my daughter's room and it is like being Alice in Wonderland... Fun and super cheap!!!

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    I had 4 sheets of tissue paper in the next room. I grabbed them and tried it, just to see how simple or time effective it would be too make. Very simple, you could make alot of them in no time flat. And tissue paper is not too expensive if you buy it on sale, clearance, or from discount stores. I only had 4 sheets to practice with, but it would take 8, as it called for, for the "full" effect.

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    Kvansteenburg, I don't think those r glass jars. I think they are probably the bags u can get to put candles in to make lumanaries. Try Michaels:D)

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    We used this idea for the holiday's as well. Change the color to White and you have snowballs to hang in the entry...they are a huge hit with guests.

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    You can also use Facial Tissues to make smaller Pom-Poms or use them a flowers after you pull out all the folds you can take a make-up brush and your blush or eye-shadow lighty brush the ends of each pom-pom and it will give it a little high-light. very pretty

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    You can find glass jars in Walmart, Kmart, pier 1, and other similar stores. By the way, Kvansteenburg, I'm wondering if you are a relative of mine as our last name isn't that common, especially the spelling. I had an uncle in New Jersey who had two sons. Just wondering as I have lived in P.R. for more than 25 years. Please contact me at janenglish20002000@yahoo.com My uncle's name was Hank, if I'm remembering correctly. My uncle's mother lived in Stamford, and her name was Gertrude.

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    How dramatic I can't wait to use this for my next gathering.

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    I saw the glass jars at the craft supply stores.

  • 9 Aug, 2008

    Where do you get the glass jars though??

  • 19 Jun, 2008

    We also set them on the floor in front of the stage that held the head table with white lights behind them. Beautiful! I stashed the extras under the gift table and passed them out to children at the reception. I have adorable pictures of kids with them on their heads and throwing them around. No fits at my reception, they even took them home.

  • 19 Jun, 2008

    I used these pom poms for my own wedding this April. I used various shades of purple lavendar and white. I used a hall that had ugly walls so I wanted to draw people's eyes aay from them with something. My guests were amazed! We tied loops in the end of the fishing line and used a staple gun to attach them to the ceiling ( we had permission).

  • 18 Jun, 2008

    what if you strung some fishing line across the room from wall to wall (picture a clothes line) and hung the pom poms from the fishing line? Obviously the fishing line would have to be placed quite high - but still i've seen this done before and it works!

  • 16 Jun, 2008

    Use the foam core double stick. It will be hard to get off the ceiling, but it should work. Good Luck.

  • 13 Jun, 2008

    Help!!!!!!! I have a huge problem. I can't get them my pom poms to stay on the ceiling!! I have scotch taped hem to the ceiling because I cannot put holes in the ceiling of my reception hall. The pom poms stay up for about 5 hours but then they fall on the tables. Oh the horror, can you just imagine this happening the night of the wedding and the pom poms catching on firing..

    PLEASE help me ..

  • 28 May, 2008

    please help!! i would love to do these but im stuck on step three...like another lady said, mine look like flat accordion paper with a wire in the middle and every time i try to pull them apart they dont fluff out, they dotn keep the folded shape, they flatten out...how do you pull them apart and keep the seperate layers????

  • 28 Apr, 2008

    I tried three times and could not get it right so this is what I did. I took ten sheets and seperated them into two groups of five. I accordian folded both groups and then criss-crossed them so they formed an x shape. I tied them in the middle and seperated the layers. Like someone said before it is very important not to tie the wire too tight. This was way more successful and easier to cut and pull apart! Good luck!

  • 21 Apr, 2008

    1rtcwomen -

    If DaniSuzanni does not want them after your play, I would LOVE them! I have a bridal shower coming up in November and the color is pink! Please email me at Sarahlynn789@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

  • 10 Apr, 2008

    It's step three you are stuck on. Besure not to tighten the wire too much, then seperate the layers. I also took a scissor to the ends and just snipped in towards the wire to make it look more flowery. Best wishes on your wedding! I am making 100 of these for our school play next week - shades of pink...Would you like me to ship them to you after the play in May?????

  • 9 Apr, 2008

    Someone please help me - I'm doing something wrong and I absolutely can't figure it out! My napkin version is coming out like, well, an accordion folded napkin pinched in the middle by a wire. It is neither ball nor flower looking. PLEASE email me danisuzanni at gmail dot com. I desperately want to make some of these for my wedding.

  • 2 Apr, 2008

    i used the martha stewart tissue paper from michaels to do the hanging poms over my daughter's crib in lieu of a mobile in pink and green (her room colors). she loves to lay on her back at naptime to look at them, and everyone who takes a tour of my home oohs and aahhs over the baby's room! i made half of them full-size, and cut the others in half so there are different size poms.

  • 1 Apr, 2008

    I found it works nicely if you add a few extra sheets of tissue paper than the recommended number. Also, the quality of the tissue paper matter -- it rips easily.

  • 30 Mar, 2008

    Yes, you could adhere with double sided tape or you could adhere the tissue paper in a paper mache style. Mix up reglar elmers glue and water and use a paint brush to stick the paper on, let dry. This is a good way to do it if you want them to be a little sturdier (for storage before the wedding). Don't get frustrated by air bubbles. Do your best...they all look good when lit.

  • 20 Feb, 2008

    I believe they are actually clear votives and vases wrapped with the coordinating tissue paper. Adhere with double-sided tape for a finished appearance :)

  • 14 Feb, 2008

    Does anyone know where to buy those colored votive holders or luminaries, like shown in the picture above? I am looking for orange, pink and white to decorate the reception tables.

  • 8 Feb, 2008

    I decorated my wedding car with these!

  • 1 Feb, 2008

    I made the big ones attachet them to head bands ,and my daughters had a ball playing flower fairys . They would be really fun party hats for a fairy themed birthday party too.

  • 24 Jan, 2008

    Our reception center had vaulted ceilings, so instead of hanging I just had various sizes and colors sitting on the tables among luminaries and gerbera daisies. It fit with the mod inspired theme of my reception too! Easy to make and they help fill in the space! The smaller sizes looked great mixed in with flowers as well!

  • 15 Nov, 2007

    I made these for a bridal shower in the office and everyone was so impressed. They are quick, easy, and inexpensive! I am using them for a birthday party that I am throwing in January too.

  • 12 Nov, 2007

    My daughter was so inspired by these pompoms as seen in your Wedding Magazine that she made them for her graduation party. They were Beautiful! She hung them from the ceiling of the tent with wire and they swayed in the wind. We found Martha Stewart tissue paper at Michael's. It is easier to work with than other brands and the colors are excellent. She chose her school colors and added orange for effect. Everyone loved these and college bound kids took one to decorate their dorm.