1.26.2010

DI-Why Not #7: Fabric Pom Pom (Part 2, in which I injure myself!)

Ah, the glue gun. My experience had been so fleeting with the Pom Pom Wreath DI-Why Not...I was giddy with excitement.

Pom Pom Lantern

I plugged it in and put a Lucky Magazine underneath it, a bizarre Guess ad on the back facing up. Reading the details on what to do next from Once Wed, I was, thankfully, shown in both words and pictures.

Pom Pom Lantern

I folded a circle in half, and then again so that it was now in a little rounded cone shape, glue gunned the bottom of that sucker and stuck it on the lantern, and then repeated. After a few, I knew two things:

1. This was going to take forever, and
2. I did not have enough circles for my tiny lantern.

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern



Then the glue on the fabric started attaching itself to everything and getting really messy, and my painstakingly applied circlets were getting entangled in glue threads and falling off. Taking a deep breath, I reattached everything and went back to folding and gluing.  As I was pressing the bottom of the fabric to the Chinese lantern, I burned the eff out of my finger. The glue seeped through the fabric as I was gently pressing, scalding it, and a blister the size of a pencil eraser appeared in under 10 seconds. So gnarly.

So, for those of you that attempt this, I would like to suggest a modification.  Use the top of a pen to stick that sucker.

From then on, my pom pom lantern creation went something like this: fold, put glue on the bottom, press with the pen on to the lantern, ice my finger. So. Much. Fun.

Pom Pom Lantern

Actually, it kind of was...not the icing part, but the monotony of performing the same movements over and over and seeing the fabric and color choices I had made look nice together made me happy and satisfied.

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern
Pom Pom Lantern

Then I ran out of circles.  Finger throbbing, I cut a pile more, and went back to folding, gluing, pressing, and icing until the whole thing was covered. I used a total of 120 circles.

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern

Pom Pom Lantern

It took me an hour and 45 minutes to make the lantern, and about an hour and a half to get the supplies. I used over half of the fabric I bought for it.  I probably could have been more efficient and precise with how I cut them and saved more but, being a total DIY neophyte and without instructions, I had no idea how to fold the fabric and get the most out of each piece. 

In my mind, if you are going to post a DIY, information about how many and how big the circles need to be is pretty key.  I figured it out as anyone would, but a DIY essentially is a recipe, and Once Wed's was incomplete.

It might be a little unfair for me to say this, especially since I enjoyed this one and my pom pom turned out pretty cute, but I feel that DIY projects like this one set expectations too high and create a false standard of perfection.  Just looking at the images of the example images of this DIY, the fabric circles are all exactly the same size, and appling the fabric to the lantern looks...well, like it would not burn at all. The actual finished pom poms look much neater and uniform than mine do (although that could be due to all the different colors I used).

By not being clear about what really is involved in terms of effort and time, it could feel like failure when the project turns out to be more arduous and less idyllic than advertised.  Way unfair - especially when planning a wedding.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this DIY follow-up! I had saved the OnceWed article to use in my wedding that's coming up, and just realized it doesn't say how much fabric to use or how big the circles are and whatnot. You're right - it would be nice if the tutorial had some specifics.

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  2. I thought the exact same thing about the OnceWed article! Thank you sooo much for testing this out and giving us some specifics!

    Ps- your pom pom looks beautiful!

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  3. Great follow up to the once wed article! Your pom looks great btw! And I like your tip for using a pen to press down the hot fabric. So how much fabric would you say you ended up using? For example how many yards do you think I would need to buy for one pom to use on a lantern the same size? And what was the diameter of the circles you cut out? Thanks

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  4. Hi Lesley!

    Thank you! Glad you like my pom pom...it grew on me :)

    I can't remember how much fabric I ended up using. I think I ended up buying about a yard or so of each, and definitely had some left over. I was very unscientific about the diameter of my circles.. I did it all by eye!
    But if I remember correctly, they were about the size of a coffee mug (give or take).

    Hope this helps!!

    :)
    Jessica

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  5. Hi Anna!

    :) You're welcome! That stuff is NEVER as easy as it looks! Glad you like my pom pom...despite my whining I had fun!

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