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As universal as tassels, pom-poms have adaptable little personalities: They can go serious (atop the hats of clergymen), jubilant (in the hands of cheerleaders), or sweet (as homemade chicks or bunnies). Here, we show off the fuzzy tufts' sophisticated side, using pom-poms to bring bursts of color and texture to bedspreads, lampshades, pillows, and more. Making them is a great way to use up remnants of yarn from other projects, and with the help of one magic little tool, the process is easy, bordering on addictive.
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Pom-poms can replace the buttons on tufted pillows, or tassels at the corners of basic square cushions. This works for either store-bought pillows or homemade ones.
Yarns for pom-poms, from left: Trio, by Brown Paper Packages, in Tomato Soup (T179) and Giraffe (T203), $5.50 for 14.4 yds., annieandco.com. Alpaca-blend yarn, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Pea Coat Blue, $10 for 100 g, joann.com. Blossoms, by Gumnut Yarns, in Terra-Cotta, $8 for 27.3 yds., purlsoho.com. Field bench with back, 6' long, in Gray Belgian linen, johnderian.com.
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Dress up a lampshade with a border of pompoms in muted colors. Make enough to be spaced every five or so inches around the shade's circumference. Apply double-sided tape to the lower interior rim, press the pompom tails on, and finish with a layer of twill tape. (Trim any excess from tails.)
Silk Purse 100 percent silk yarn, in Bronze, Clementine, Silver, and Wysteria, $32 for 50 g, alchemyyarns.com. Short buff-linen drum shade, in Beige, $86, justshadesny.com. Rise stoneware vasesBasso teapot, in Bone, $175; and linden wooden tray, $150; calvinklein.com. Fat jug, by Piet Hein Eek, in Cream, $47, thefutureperfect.com. Antique table with leaves, abchome.com.
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Depending on the yarn's thickness and the size of the pom-pom-making tool, you can create pom-poms of many different sizes. Use very fine yarn to make gumball-size ones, and tie them to key chains or the handles of buckets and boxes for a hit of color and whimsy.
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All the Trimmings
In Morocco, blankets lined with oversize pom-poms are a bedroom luxury. To make your own, create a four-inch pom-pom, leaving a tail of about eight inches. Thread both ends of the tail through an upholstery needle, stitch through the blanket and then back through the center of the pom-pom, and tie.
Roving wool yarn, by Martha Stewart Crafts, in Snowdrift, $5.50 for 50 g, joann.com. Bridgewater and Vence standard pillow shams, from $81 each; flat sheet, $351 for king size; libecohomestores.com. Stonewashed Belgian-linen diamond-stitch quilt, in Ivory, $279 for king size, restorationhardware.com. Excel desk lamp, by Rich Brilliant Willing for Roll & Hill, in White, $390, thefutureperfect.com.
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