In this free tutorial, you will learn how to make pom-pom ducklings. These ducklings are very easy to make and are irresistibly cute. Also, despite being tiny, they can stand on their own legs!
(Note: The Mallard daddy duck talking to the pom-pom ducklings in the photo above is a Little Felt Duck, made from one of my sewing patterns & tutorials.)
The finished ducklings are approximately 3 cm (1 1/4″) tall and 3 cm (1 1/4″) long from their bills to their tails. But of course, you can use larger or smaller pom-poms to make ducklings in different sizes (and different colors, too, of course!).
To make a pom-pom duckling, you will need:
1 yellow pom-pom approximately 2 cm (3/4″) in diameter, for the body,
1 yellow pom-pom approximately 1.25 cm (1/2″) in diameter, for the head,
1 yellow 4-mm diameter craft pipe cleaner, for the legs,
A small scrap piece of felt, in pale yellow, orange, etc., for the bill,
2 black seed beads, aught size 11/0 or 2 mm diameter, for the eyes,
Wire cutter, and
(Please click on the photos for a close-up view of their detail.)
1. Apply a bit of craft glue to the large pom-pom, as shown in the photo.
2. Glue the small pom-pom to the large pom-pom, pressing them together firmly with your fingers. Then, set them aside to let the glue dry.
3. While the glue from the previous steps is drying, prepare a 6 cm (2 1/2″) piece of craft pipe cleaner.
4a. Double over the pipe cleaner 1 cm (3/8″) from one end.
(The tip of the pipe cleaner is marked with a pink dot in this and in the following photos.)
4b. Tightly press together the doubled-over area and twist it once. Now, as you can see in the photo, the tip is securely wrapped onto the pipe cleaner.
5. Make a right angle at the pink dot.
You have just made one duckling foot! (The doubled-over part is the foot, and the pink dot is on its ankle.)
6a. The new blue dot marks 5 mm (3/16″) from the pink dot in the following photos.
6b. As shown in the photo, hold the pipe cleaner so that it is at the 6 o’clock position with the duckling foot at the bottom.
Orient the foot so that it faces up, away from the surface on which it is sitting.
6c. Now, bend the pipe cleaner 90 degrees to the right at the blue dot, so that the tip of the pipe cleaner points sideways while the foot remains facing up.
7. Continue to hold the pipe cleaner so that the foot is facing up. At 1 cm (3/8″) to the right of the blue dot, bend the pipe cleaner 90 degrees downward.
8a. The new bend is marked with a purple dot in the following photos.
8b. Bend the pipe cleaner 90 degrees, 5 mm (3/16″) below the purple dot. This time, the tip of the pipe cleaner should point in the same direction as the first foot.
8c. This photo is an image of the same piece, but viewed from above, with the foot resting on the surface.
9. Double over the last segment of the pipe cleaner to create a 1 cm (3/8″) long foot.
Cut off any excess pipe cleaner if necessary.
Tightly press together the doubled-over area and twist it once.
You now have finished the duckling’s leg structure (with two big feet and skinny short legs).
10. Make sure that the glue on the pom-poms is dry.
If the pom-poms are still a bit squished, shape them with your fingers so that they are round again, as shown in the photo.
11. Cut out a tiny rectangle from scrap felt, approximately 5 mm (3/16″) long and 3 mm (1/8″) wide.
Then, round one of the narrow ends of the felt. You just made the tip of the duckling’s bill (marked in orange in the photo).
12. Apply a bit of glue to the non-rounded end of the felt bill, and attach it to the duckling’s head (the small pom-pom).
13a. Next, apply a bit of glue to one of the black beads, and attach it to one side of the duckling’s head.
13b. Repeat with the second bead, attaching it onto the other side of the duckling’s head. Make sure that the two eyes are level, as shown in the photo.
Let the glue dry.
14a. Once the glue from the previous step is dry, press the duckling’s body (larger pom-pom) with your fingers to mold it into a longer and narrower shape like an egg.
14b. Then, using a pair of scissors, trim the rear half of the body to create a slightly pointy tail end, as indicated by the arrow in the photo.
15a. Lastly, apply glue to the top of the bridge segment (highlighted in orange in the photo) of the leg structure.
15b. Attach the leg structure to the bottom of the duckling’s body.
When gluing on the leg structure, make sure that the feet are facing the same direction as the duckling’s face. In the photo, I’m holding the feet, with the legs pointing toward the duckling’s body.
15c. Once attached, press the leg structure firmly onto the duckling’s body. To do so, I recommend that you insert something thin and flat like scissor blades (as shown in the photo) between the duckling’s legs and then use it to press the glued area onto the body.
16. Ta-da! You’ve made a tiny pom-pom duckling!
Perhaps one of the most endearing images of ducks is that of a mother duck with a long line of ducklings wobbling behind her. Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings from Robert McCloskey‘s classic picture book, Make Way for Ducklings, are one such an example. In fact, I’ve read that they are a popular attraction in Boston’s Public Garden!
So, as you can see above, my Little Felt Duck mommy also seems quite content with her five pom-pom ducklings!