Decorated twigs and Christmas pom poms

Ros Badger / 26 November 2015

Put some foraged twigs and leftover fabric to good use with this crafty project for homemade Christmas ribbon pom poms and decorated twigs.



I never tire of decorating the house at Christmas, a tradition passed down to me by my inspiring mother and her sister.

For the past ten years I have stretched fishing wire above the length of my dining table and hung an ever increasing collection of silver and crystal baubles, but last year I came up with something new to complement the old.

Inspired by workshops I ran at the Port Eliot Festival in last year, I created a selection of ribbon pom-poms using a range of cream and white silky fabrics that I then hung onto painted twigs. 

I wrapped the branches with very delicate fairy lights that reflect the glittery baubles, reminding me of snowballs, while the painted branches glisten like frost. You can, of course, use any colour scheme you like.

For more Christmas ideas, read our Christmas guides and tips.

You will need

  • Silk, chiffon or other fine fabric recycled from old scarves, blouses etc. 25cm of fabric will make 3-4 pom-poms. 1 scarf will make two good-sized pom-poms. Look for colours that appeal to you rather than pattern, as the latter will produce a mottled pom-pom
  • Stiff card (cereal packets are fine)
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon (use the same fabric as the pom-pom unless you deliberately want a contrast)
  • PVA or fabric glue
  • Silver or other coloured glitter
  • Chalk paint, 100ml (such as an Annie Sloan tester pot £5.95)
  • Some twigs – cut from the garden or pick them up while out on a walk in the country. Look for prettily arching branches. Hazel and willow both work well.
  • Needle and silver thread, from John Lewis haberdashery or Guterman’s range available online
  • Battery-operated LED micro fairy lights on wire, mine came from Wilko but there are others out there. Look for micro lights on silver wire.

How to make

To make the pom poms

Shred pieces of silk, chiffon or other fine fabric by snipping into the fabric 1cm by 1cm apart, then rip to create ribbons.

You can use a pom pom maker or, as I do, cut two circles of card. The diameter depends on how big you want the baubles to be, mine varied between 5cm and 10 cm.

Make a hole in the centre, like a doughnut, then wrap the ribboned fabric around the card. The more you wrap the fuller your pom-pom will be. You can mix your fabric with silver thread too, for added sparkle.

When the circle is completely covered, cut between the two pieces of card, all around the outside circumference. 

Wrap another piece of ribbon around the centre, tie a tight knot to secure then remove the card and fluff up the silk. 

To add sparkle, dab the edges of the pom-pom with PVA or fabric glue, dip into glitter, hang to dry.

Use the tie to hang the pom-pom from a branch.

To decorate the branches

I painted twigs from the garden using chalk paint in ‘original’. There are many colours available, but I particularly like the various shades of off white and, very handily, they can be bought in 100ml tester pots. 

While still wet, sprinkle with glitter or, when dry, dab areas of the branches with PVA & sprinkle with glitter.

Add some lights

Wind the branches with fairy lights, arrange in a jar or vase and decorate with the snowball pom-poms. I also added bells but other natural decorations such as natural or painted fir cones, or teasels, would also work well.

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