Several people have asked me where we got our wedding pomanders. My fabulous friends and I made them! I even roped my husband-to-be into helping. This project probably required the most labor out of all my diy wedding projects. We finished 24 pomanders over the span of about 2 weeks — there’s only so much tissue paper and glue-gunning a human being can take.
A google search for “how to make tissue paper pomanders” will garner you plenty of hits, so I’ll just give some guidelines and suggested links. Also note that I made two-tier pomanders, so some of the notes (e.g., supply quantities) are specific to my version.
Materials I used:
- purple crepe streamer (1.75″ wide, about 400 feet; choose a shade that is your base color and will be the dominant theme of your pomanders)
- tissue paper in four shades of purple (about 5 packs of 6- to 8-count 20″x20″ sheets)
- purple grosgrain ribbon (7/8″ width, about 12 yards)
- styrofoam balls (i used 12 2″-diameter and 12 3″-diameter balls)
- floral pins (at least 3 pins per two-pomander unit, for a total of at least 36)
- glue gun and glue sticks
The basic idea for making a pomander: Take a small styrofoam ball and attach flowers all around it. The final size of the pomander depends on the size of the styrofoam ball as well as the height of the flowers:
pomander diameter = ball diameter + 2 x (flower height)
- Keep the flowers of consistent height, or else your pomander will look “bumpy” and irregular instead of round.
- The flowers can really be anything — you could also buy silk flowers (like these, for example) or punch them out of paper, etc.
- Hot glue will melt the styrofoam, so use it sparingly. Also, be patient with holding things in position until the glue cools and your arrangement is set.
- An alternative to the glue gun approach is to pin on the flowers using floral pins, as in the photo above — but I would still secure the pins with glue. The pins are easier to work with, since the flowers will stay where you pin them. (I happen to be fast with the glue gun, so I opted not to bother with pins.)
- Whatever you’re attaching, it’s probably a good idea to secure it with hot glue.
Before attaching flowers:
- Wrap the balls with crepe, securing with hot glue. This will help camouflage any gaps between flowers, so that you don’t have white or green styrofoam peeking through.
- Attach the ribbon loop (from which the pomander will hang). I used about 18-24″ of ribbon and pinned both ends to a small (2″) ball. Since I was making two-tier pomanders, I also cut about 10″ of ribbon and pinned one end to the small ball opposite the loop, the other end to a large (3″) ball.
Making the flowers: I made two styles of flowers, tissue paper “carnations” and crepe paper “roses.” Here are links to instructions, along with notes on my methods:
- Carnations: http://foldingtrees.com/2008/08/flower-week-tissue-paper-carnations/
For the most part, aside from tracing a spool of ribbon to make my tissue paper circles, I did not use their methods. After tracing circles out of all my tissue paper colors, we crinkled the circles into “flowers:”
- Gently gather the edges together to form a cone.
- Pinch/twist the pointy part to form the base of the flower, leaving the edges fluffy like “petals.” The flower should look something like this:
- Layer 3 “flowers” of different colors together to form 1 flower.
- Glue the layers together at the nested pointy base.
- Roses: http://www.thebridescafe.com/?postID=805&diy-crepe-paper-flowers
They advise using crepe paper, but I used crepe streamer. I also avoided floral wire altogether.
- Cut a 10″ length of streamer and fold over multiple times along the width.
- On one edge, round one corner to make broad petals, or round both corners to make narrow petals.
- Unfold the strip; one side should be scalloped into “petals.”
- Starting at one end of the strip, roll the strip and arrange the petals to form the rose.
- Pinch the base as you roll to hold the petals in place. Staple the base to secure the flower.
- As you can see, I very much simplified both tutorials to make small, quick flowers for my pomanders. I tried using floral wire at first, but it was time-consuming so I adapted with a stapler and glue gun instead. That said, I love the additional embellishments the tutorials suggest (coloring the edges for the carnations, adding seed beads to the center of the roses).
Attaching the flowers: We hot-glued the flowers to the styrofoam balls about 1″ apart. We spaced them apart uniformly at first, totaling about 20-25 flowers. Then we went back and filled in gaps to make the pomanders look fuller and nicer. Altogether, the 2″ pomander probably had about 35-40 flowers while the 3″ size required 40-50.
More pomander tutorials
These are also lovely and would be fun to try!
- Tissue paper pom-pom pomanders (no styrofoam balls involved! Alternatively, you could make small ones and stick them onto styrofoam balls à la ruffledblog.com)
- Paper Posy Pomander Balls (lots of other vintage inspiration on Alice W.’s blog)
- Peony Pomander Balls