How To Make T-shirt Pom Poms - UNICEF

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kate, known in the blogging community as katiecrackernuts also happens to work for one of the world's largest global children's charity UNICEF, in the Australian Sydney office.

Kate contacted a handful of bloggers a few months ago, in relation to an upcycle project idea for the large global children's charity.

The charity had in its possession a number of unwanted UNICEF branded cotton t-shirts, worn and faded, but still otherwise useable.  Unfortunately, being that the t-shirts were charity branded, they could not be donated to charity stores, as it has been known that people buy and wear them on the streets falsely soliciting donations for the charity.  It is a shame, but unfortunately,  a sad reality.

:: UNICEF ::

Kate put a call out to 10 craft and DIY fashion bloggers to take an old, clean UNICEF t-shirt and design either a craft activity for children, or an refashion idea that would be suitable for a child to wear. 

The rules were simple:
  • Take a UNICEF T-shirt and refashion it into something for a child, or something a child could make.
  • Create a craft tutorial or ‘how-to’ on your craft project. This can be pictorial, or a video. 
  • Post your craft tutorial before the UNICEF Day for Children, held in Australia on October 23
UNICEF Day for Children is on October 23.  All craft projects are to be collated, and the items may be made available for possible auction at our annual corporate lunch.  (Details of which will follow)

Without further ado, I give you my own project /s:

I wanted to make something that would be suitable for children to make.  This would be geared toward older children, so I would say age 6yrs + maybe with a little help on the trickier parts. 

How to Make T-shirt Pom Poms

(using all recycled materials)

What you will need:
  • Scissors
  • Pen / pencil
  • Cardboard (empty cereal box will do)
  • Clean old / faded / damaged t-shirt.  Thrifty tip - ask your local charity store if they have any donated t-shirts in their sorting room they'd otherwise be throwing out
  • Two circular objects to trace around, a DVD or similar, and perhaps an SLR camera lens cap.
Step 1
Take your clean t-shirt, and cut into strips with your scissors approximately 3-5cm in width:

Cut each strip open at one end, so you have one long strip rather than a hoop:

Step 2

Draw around your larger circular object x 2 onto your cardboard (I used the back of a cereal box, and a jar lid to trace around for my circle):

Step 3

Cut out your circles.  Use your smaller circular object (I used a camera lens cap) to trace around for the middle of your circles, and cut out too.  Cut a gap of a few cm in your circles:

Step 4

Take one long cut strip of t-shirt, place around the inside of one cardboard circle, and place the other circle on the top.  Tip - the bottom t-shirt strip is good for this part because it is double width and more study for final tie/knot at the end of the project:

Step 5

With the remaining t-shirt strips, wind each one around your card circles, no need to knot each piece as you go, when you get to the end, tuck the end of your strip under the last wrap around if you need to, otherwise hold with your fingers.  Add the next strip and wrap over the last.  Tip - wind fairly tightly, this will help your pom pom 'spring' into place on completion:

Until you've wrapped as much as you can, and cannot see much of your middle circle gap.  Then take your two loose ends as seen in Step 4 and tie together in a knot to secure what will be your pom pom:

Step 6

Take your scissors, place one blade on the inside of your two cardboard circles where you have left your gap, and start cutting.  This part can be a bit tricky, sometimes you'll need to cut through just a few of your strips at the time.  

Cut all the way around your circle, you'll have something that looks like this:

Tighten the strip around your circle, knot at least three times to secure your pom pom, and take out your cardboard:

At this point, I would trim off excess pieces on the pom pom to tidy it up.

Done and ready to hang / display

I've used a contrasting colour t-shirt here, which also shows the effect that stripey t-shirts have on finished pom poms (seen above).  This striped t-shirt I found for 50c in an Op Shop bargain bin:

I made much smaller pom poms out of the sleeve of each t-shirt, which make cute hair tie decorations.  I tied each pom pom to a hair band:

Finally, with one remaining t-shirt (we were sent three to work with) I made a blue pair of teeny tiny harem pants seen here.

:: Repurposed UNICEF T-shirt ::

:: Teeny Tiny Harem Pants ::

Thank you to Kate for selecting me to be one of the bloggers to take part in the UNICEF Australia project.  If you’d like to know more about sharing the work of UNICEF, visit the Child Rights animation for children here

Please let me know if you choose to follow this t-shirt pom pom tutorial, if you have any questions or suggestions.


Also shared with Suburbs Mama and The Dedicated House and featured on Recycled Craft Gossip.


Patti said...

nicely done! And the teeny harem pants always make me smile : >


Cool story. Love the idea of the charity tees being given another life.

Iliska Dreams said...

I agree with Mezzy, I love seeing things that where once old, given a new life.

Anonymous said...

visiting from the weekend rewind, what a fab tutorial!! I will definitely be trying this out over the next few days!

Maxabella said...

These are awesome and so much quicker than wrapping tiny wool around for hours and hours and hours. My girls will love it. Thanks for linking up, Erica. x

Patty V said...

love this idea. Think of all the tshirts that we have just waiting to be tossed out but now we can make pom poms out of them. Pinned. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

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