Tissue paper pom poms (originally designed by who else but Martha Stewart) have to be the easiest, cheapest and most effective decoration for a party, wedding or bridal shower and I thought, after seeing them used so often that I would try my hand at making them myself and devise a tutorial for you, based on the Polka Dot Principle of keeping it easy but fun!

What you’ll need:

  • Tissue Paper – I used one pack per pom pom (each pack contained five sheets at 500x750mm)
  • 18 inch lengths of floral wire (or if you’re cheating and time poor, a stapler will do!)
  • String to hang


Step One:

Martha’s tutorial recommends eight sheets of tissue paper for this, but I could only find tissue paper in packs of five sheets (maybe it’s an Australian thing?) so instead, I opened out the sheets and cut them in half and then stacked them. I love the extra fluff of a ten sheet pom pom, and I found this size really good to work with. They ended up making pom poms about the size of a dinner plate.

Step Two:

Accordian fold the tissue paper (I did this on the shorter side of my paper knowing that I didn’t want huge pom poms). Each fold should be around one and a half inches and it helps if you get your folds really tight and nicely creased.

Keep folding until it looks like this. One fold width.

Step Three:

Bring your floral wire around the centre of your paper and twist off. If you’re lazy or run out of wire, I found stapling the centre worked really well. If you’re using long lengths of string you can still easily tie around the middle. (Plus I managed to avoid poking my eye out this way too!)

Step Four:

Cut the ends of your strip into a rounded or triangle shape. It’s recommended to do sharp points for a dahlia ball, but I loved the softness of rounded edges. Accuracy doesn’t matter a great deal here (because cutting that many pieces of tissue perfectly is really hard!)

Step Five:

Start to separate out your folds by pulling gently so it opens out like a butterfly. Do one side at a time and be as careful as possible.

Step Six:

Here’s where it gets tricky! Start separating each piece of tissue. Pull the pieces towards you (as shown in the photo). When you’re feeling comfortable, it’s easier to hold the pompom with two fingers in the middle (pinching it) while you pull half the sheets out towards the top and half the sheets out towards the bottom. To get lots of fluff, make sure the centre of your sheets towards the wire is completely separated too.

Don’t worry too much about your shape, just keep carefully separating the layers.

Step Seven:

Voila! Behold your beautiful tissue paper pom pom! Now is the time to tie on your string and do the final fluffing to get your pom pom shape. The tissue paper is so easy to manipulate to get the shape and fluffiness that you desire. The more sheets you separate and arrange, the better, fluffier result you will have!

Photography by Polka Dot Bride