a party studio

Printable party supplies, ideas and creativity

Tutorial: Large Tissue Pom-Poms July 9, 2011

About a year ago I saw tissue pom-poms for the first time on the Martha Stewart website. Sometimes people call them paper flowers and you can totally see why. Don’t they look like enormous dahlias?  I thought they looked beautiful and are a great alternative to paper lanterns for party decorations. Isn’t this beautiful:

Martha Stewart

I have decided to make a more detailed tutorial because there are a couple tricks to getting perfect, full pom-pons. The two most important would be to use good quality tissue paper. I once helped a neighbor make large pom-pons and she’d brought her tissue paper at T J Maxx. It was very thin paper and the final pom-pons drooped. For these pom-poms, I used tissue paper from American Greetings and it worked great. Each pack contains 9 sheets. If you want even fuller pom-poms you will need to use 12 to 16 sheets all together.

You will need:

packets of tissue paper

alligator clips

monofilament (fishing line)

floral wire


supplies for the pom-poms


1. Carefully open the packet of tissue paper and unfold it. Keep the tissue paper stacked neatly. Use an alligator clip to keep the tissue paper stacked. This really helps to  keep the paper neat and in place. I like to put two alligator clips at the front of the paper (where I will be folding) and one on each side.

Attach alligator clip

2. Start folding the tissue paper. Use an accordion fold about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. The important part here is keeping the fold consistent.

Fold the tissue paper

Accordion fold


3. Keep folding until you reach the end of the paper. Now, you’ll have a rectangular accordion. The last fold may be a lot shorter than the rest of the folds and that is ok.

Final fold

4. Cut your floral wire so that it measures 18 inches. Fold it in half. The wire may not be completely straight and neat. Again, don’t worry about that, because no-one will see it when the pom-poms are finished. Now, you need to loop the floral wire around the middle of your tissue paper. I like to loop the wire twice and then twist it at the top.

Fold the floral wire in half


Twist the wire around the paper

5. The next step is to cut the ends of the tissue paper. You can either cut the ends into triangles (for a Dahlia look) or scalloped (for a softer look). It is very hard to cut through all the layers of tissue paper at once. What I do is cut in stages- I cut half of them and then do the other half, doing my best to get a clean cut. Use good quality, heavy, sharp scissors!

Cut half the tissue paper

Cut ends into triangle

6. Start carefully separating each layer by gently pulling it upwards and out. Pull away from the center. Do this very slowly and gently because you do not want to rip the delicate tissue paper.

Separate the layers

Be very careful to not tear the paper


Pull layers away from the center


Continue separating layers


7. Once you’ve separated all the layers on one side, continue to do the other side.

Do the other side

completed pom-pom

8. Once the layers have all been separated, you have a completed pom-pom and you are ready to hang it. Cut your fishing line to whatever length you want and knot it on the floral wire that is in the center of your pom-pom. To hang these, you can tie the monofilament around a dress maker’s pin (sewing pins that have a flat top) and push these into the ceiling. This method leaves the tinniest hole that no-one is going to notice once the pin is removed. The great thing about using fishing wire to hang your pom-poms is that they look like they are floating. No-one will see the wire.

Tissue pom-poms

Of course, if you don’t have the time or the energy to make these yourself then you can order the pom-poms online from various Etsy sellers. They will ship the pom-pons to you, ready for you to separate the layers! This is a great option, especially if you are having a hard time finding tissue paper in the color you want or if you want a rainbow effect, such as the one below from PomLove.

Rainbow pom-pom




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