The Birth of our Pom-pom Props

by Carmen - Director of The Prop Factory

Tuesday 3rd March 2020 08:48:28


Oh my goodness, I have become obsessed with pom-poms! It's a trait of mine to become infatuated with an idea to the point at which either I or my family have to launch an intervention of some kind. In this case, I have to limit the amount of balls of wool I take home from work every night to 4 - or 5 maximum - which equates to 100 pom-poms. This way, once I have run out that’s it, I can resume normal life. Although I have to admit that I am not very good at sticking to the five-ball rule as I still sneak extra balls of wool into my laptop case and handbag.

At the peak of my pom-pom obsession I was making 400 pom-poms a day. My three-month old baby's moses basket became an excellent home for my wool (not whilst he was in it, of course!).I was literally devouring wool at a colossal rate, popping out to the shops to buy 30 more balls at a time then running out again. My PPPH (pom-poms per hour) rate was around about 60. I made pom-poms with no real consideration as to their end destination other than we were going to make pom-pom props.

My pom-pom love began a few years ago, when Prop Factory stylist, Carys and I were planning a styled photo shoot. The theme was 'bright festival'. At that time we were undertaking a lot of photo shoots and, more often than not, we’d find we didn’t quite have enough props for the look we were trying to create.

We needed a pom-pom backdrop to put the cake and model in front of. In normal circumstances we’d ask our prop makers to whip up a few new props but, this time round, there was no-one available, so Carys and I made the backdrop ourselves.To start with, we used the age-old method of wrapping wool round circular cardboard disks. This was fine for a while but we soon realised the enormity of the project when our pom-poms covered just a teeny tiny area of the backdrop. Undeterred, we began our journey to becoming connoisseurs of pom-pom making. We eventually settled on our favourite technique that has stood the test of time. But we'll save that technique for another blog later this year.We had only given ourselves a week to make the backdrop, which turned out not to be nearly long enough. By the time the photo shoot came round we had a half-baked backdrop. As you can see, it didn’t make a very pretty photo at all, but with a little Photoshop magic we rescued the image!Once the backdrop returned to the warehouse we finished it and even made another version in pastel colours with the help of work experience students from Exeter Deaf Academy. By this time we were all pom-pommed out and our pom-pom dreams took a back seat for a while.The odd pom-pom appeared here and there on our new creations such as our festival sign, traditional fabric Christmas trees and cymbal monkeys but nothing like what was to come.

The pom-pom prop seed was planted when a customer asked for some hanging clouds and I thought back to the pom-poms we’d made. I suggested making them from pom-poms and, although the job fell through, the idea was still there. 

The first pure pom-pom prop idea was a hanging peace sign.

Followed by a solution to make a giant popcorn arch. The concept of the arch was to have two giant popcorn boxes as the arch feet and a string of yellow balloons cascading between them to walk underneath. The trouble with that concept was a) we don’t do balloons; and b) balloons are not very sustainable. So after thinking for a while I wondered if we could emulate popcorn with pom-poms.This particular project is ongoing and, at this point in time, we haven’t made this prop but rest assured we will! After my two initial ideas, the flood gates were open and a torrent of ideas came into my head. Within short succession we created 2 giant pom pom heart frames, one in red and one in a rainbow of colour.

Over the years I have learnt to only pick the most commercially viable props when my mind runs away with an idea. At one time, I would have just started with my personal favourites! This is how our pink poodles, sheep, giant candy floss and hello sign have been brought to life. I am currently debating whether I can slip in a pom-pom rainbow arch, some giant bees and a few clouds. Oh, and also maybe some stools and pom-pom dreamcatchers... also a few Christmas trees and pom-pom wreaths... hopefully! I just have such big ambitions for pom-pom props, the possibilities are endless. I have even made a pom-pom colour library just like our paint library in anticipation that this concept will take off and our customers will love the props we create. But I know to test the water first with such an new idea to the world of events. So for now we are just at the beginning... the birth of pom-pom making!

See our growing collection of pom-pom props here

Carmen x

Tags: Pom Pom Decor Creative Pom Pom Props Pom Pom Signs Pom Pom Furniture Pom Pom Prop Hire Prop Hire Event Hire Events Event Decor Party Hire Party Decor The Prop Factory Festival Pom Pom Sign Pom Pom Christmas Tree Pom Pom Circus Props Bright Festival Theme Festival Theme Themed Events Pom Pom Theme Creative Events Creative Props Pom Pom Props