How to Make Homemade "Cheerleader" Pom-Poms

As co-director of our church's children's Christmas musical, I am responsible for finding six pairs of pom-poms for some "cheerleaders" in the play. Since we don't really have a budget for props, I looked for something really cheap, but that would still look good and "Christmas-y."

Do you know how hard it is to find a cheap set of red or green pom-poms?

After doing quite of bit of searching both locally and online, I came to the conclusion that it is actually next to impossible!

So I resorted to the homemade approach. I searched the internet and found one website that gave me some decent directions on how to make homemade pom-poms. I took the info, adapted it a bit (mainly in how to make the handle), and headed off to the party store to pick up the supplies.

I purchased two 1000 foot spools of curling ribbon (for a total of $5.98). I also purchased a pack of jelly bracelets ($.99). Armed with those supplies, some scrap cardboard, duct tape, pony-tail rubber bands, and a pair of scissors, I headed home and started to make the pom-poms. I was extremely pleased with the end product—I couldn't have been happier!

So, in case you need to make homemade "cheerleader" pom-poms in the future, here's how you can do it.




1. WRAP THE RIBBON: Take the ends of the curling ribbon and wrap them around your arm—like when you wrap an extension cord—many times (Every full wrap will give you two streamers in the pom-pom). The number of times will depend on how many streamers you want in the finished pom-pom. I've found that 100 streamers per pom-pom works well, so if you want 100 streamers, just wrap one ribbon 50 times (or 2 ribbons 25 times, etc.).

• To save time, you can wrap more than one strand of ribbon at a time. If you make two-color pom-pom, just wrap both colors at the same time.

• You can also wrap the ribbon around something smaller than your arm to make shorter streamers.

• Using two different types of ribbon can also give you a unique look. The pom-pom in the picture uses two different widths and styles of curling ribbon. Some of the ribbon naturally curled more than the other so it made a really full pom-pom.

2. CUT THE LOOPS: After you've wrapped the ribbon, cut the loops at one end giving you a stack of ribbon probably about 2 feet long or so (depending on how big you wrapped it).

3. ATTACH THE RIBBON TO THE BRACELET: Thread the ribbon into the jelly bracelet, pulling the ribbon so the jelly bracelet is in the middle of the length of ribbon. Then fold over the ribbon in the middle and secure it with a small rubber band.

4. MAKE THE HANDLE: Cut a piece of cardboard about three and a half inches long (or just longer than the length of the jelly bracelet) and about 2 inches wide. Then fold the cordboard in half lengthwise to give it a little more strength.

5. PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Stretch the jelly bracelet around the length of the cardboard like a handle, and then tape over the cardboard, jelly bracelet, and the rubber-banded portion of the pom-pom with duct tape or electrical tape (the picture shows a set I made for my daughter using electrical tape, which was much easier to work with than duct tape).

6. OPTIONAL CURLING: If you'd like to add a little curl to the pom-pom, you can curl each of the streamers with a pair of scissors. Just be aware that curling the ribbon will make each streamer much shorter than it started, so you might want to wrap it around something large when you cut the ribbon originally. I curled the pom-poms I made for the musical, and they turned out so cute (especially since they were meant to be used by 6 year-olds!)

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  1. schooldownthelane says

    Oh, what a great idea! My daughter would like to teach cheer to *minis* (under 8) and they really want poms but we couldn't afford them. We'll be using this idea!


  2. mariana says

    oo tkns!!!

    i'm from Brasil and i have NO IDEA how cheerleading pom poms it's made!

    that it is what i neeeded!


  3. sarah says

    I have googled your site and OMG!!!! Have just made my first pom pom using your instructions and WOW – I am really pleased with the result. I have a 7yr olds b/day party pending and she wants HSM party. I can't afford to buy all actual HSM party favours for 10 kids so this will work perfectly!!!! Red and White in most things with a couple of branded bits. Thank you.


  4. says

    fantastic I run a childrens rainbow group and they are HSM mad so for our summer party thats the theme and we can make these the week before to dance with att he party many thanks!


  5. Nancy says

    OMG! Thx 4 the idea. I'm need to make pom poms for my daughter and nieces, we r going to suprise him @ his football game(with his own set of cheerleaders-age 18 mts to 5 yrs).


  6. Dora says

    Thanks for the great idea! BTW, jelly bracelets are those plastic bracelets all the little girls have. You can find them pretty much anywhere they sell toy jewlery. I bet you can even find them at the dollar store. HTH!


  7. Oneida Rodriguez says

    I was in a bind and could not find pom poms that went with a specific color theme that I need nor did I have the slightest idea on how to make them….THANKS SO MUCH!!! Your instructions were so easy to follow….took me a while but they look GREAT!!!


  8. mary says

    Thank you, Im pretty new at all this i have a pre- schooler and we waited till the last minuite to get the class ready for the pep rally . So thanks alot


  9. trisha says

    OK THANKS I am doing grease and have to have girls make pom poms this will work great!!!
    A shopping i go today!! Think will use yarn. THANKS again!


  10. Dianne (Australia) says

    Thankyou for this detailed account of making pompoms. My son's baseball team are having a 'make banner and pompom' activity this month with social club, and your are right, not much on how to make them. This is really helpful. I will be organzing about 30 kids to make them. I am expecting chaos, but having fun. Thanks


  11. Marilyn says

    Thanks for the great instructions. I plan to make them soon. Do you know approximately how many can be made from 1,000 feet of curling ribbon? I want to make at least 50 and I want to have enough ribbon.

    Thanks again,


  12. Nicole says

    Hey thanks for the help!!! Me and 7-10 girls are going to an activity, and we are doing a cheer and need pompoms for cheep. Aproximately how much ribbon would i need to make 2 pompoms for each girl (Inclooding me) and about how much will it cost?


    Joy Reply:

    @Nicole, I really couldn't tell you how much exactly each one would cost since I don't know the cost of the ribbon you'd be using. But if you know how many feet are in each spool of ribbon, and you know how long your loops are going to be and how many times you're going to loop it, you can easily figure out the cost mathematically. Each 'streamer' in the pom-pom will likely be about 1 foot, so if you have 100 streamers per pom-pom, that'd be 100 feet of ribbon per pom-pom. Figure out your cost per foot for the streamers and you're good to go.


  13. Amanda says

    I was looking for a way to make inexpensive pom poms for my 2 year old's halloween costume. This looks great and not complicated! Thanks


  14. Beth says

    About how many pompoms with 100 strands would two spools make? I only need the two for myself :)


    Joy Reply:

    @Beth, Totally depends on the spool. You'd have to do some math to figure it out. Figure the total length of each of the 100 strands and compare that with the length of the ribbon on the spool.


  15. Deena says

    This is a great idea!! My cheer squad was looking for a craft idea for their camp they are holding for the little cheerleaders!! Thanks so much for the great information!!


  16. says

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I used rubber band instead of jelly band and they still worked out great! I'm making my daughter a Halloween costume and it wouldn't have been complete without these. Actually, this has been the easiest part of the costume thus far!


  17. KokieChick says

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! We've been trying to figure out how to make pom-poms since they aren't cheap and it's hard to find an easy tutorial. We'll be picking up some supplies this week, Lord willing, so we can be ready for the men's local soccer league finals next month :)!


  18. Grammie says

    This past weekend I was JUST suggesting to my sister that I should just make pom poms for grand daughter's costume. Thanks!!


  19. Chan says

    Thanks for the idea. I used the bracelets as hand holders and used ythe rubber bands to secure the fouled streamers at the base of the bracelet. Really cute still and served here purpose.


  20. Annette says

    These turned out great! I am football Mom and we wanted more spirit for the games.They were simple and inexpensive that I decided to make more and sell them at the game to benefit the team's expenses- their banquet or gifts for them and the coaches at the end of the year. Thank you!!


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