The good news is that this project was cheap (less than $10), easy (mostly hand-sewn), and quick (it only took one evening to make). The bad news is that it only took one evening to make because it HAD to only take one evening—I decided to make this for a going-away coworker the night before her last day in the office. Thank goodness for multi-tasking (two episodes of BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, two episodes of Doctor Who, and one long phone call later—basically 5 hours—and I have a whole new appreciation for Project Runway).
Inspiration: I found these felted wool pompon wristlets at Paper Source. I thought they would be fairly simple and satisfying to recreate.
I walked into the Blick on North Avenue, where there were lots of hipster artist types buying things like glass breakers and carving hammers and screen printing chemicals. I picked up 3 bags of 80ct SPARKLY pompons (ages 3 and up), paid, and walked out. I might have been judged a bit.
I strung 8 rows of 10 pompons each, using extra-strong, button craft thread.
I then strung the rows of pompons together, through the first pompon on each strand.
Next I strung thread through the last pompon of each strand.
I strung thread through the second pompon in each strand, then the third, the fourth, etc, creating an 8-pompon x 10-pompon panel. I repeated the process from start to finish to create a second panel. I connected the two panels by stitching together the pompons on three edges (carefully positioning the stitches to conceal them as much as possible), leaving the fourth side for the opening.
For the lining, I cut two panels of red felt approximately the same size as the pompon panels. Then I connected the two lining panels with a zipper.
I stitched the remaining three sides of the lining panels together, then trimmed the seam allowances.
I inserted the zippered lining into the pompon pouch. I stitched the top row of pompons to the top of the lining on both sides, again careful to conceal the stitches.
Last step: I strung approximately 20 pompons together and attached them to the bag for the strap.
Tacky? Yes. It does not photograph well—particularly with my crappy digital camera and less-than-stellar skills—but this sucker sparkles magnificently. At a glance, it looks beaded or metallic, and weirdly expensive. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out!