Pom-Pom Soot Sprite Tutorial

I watch a bit of anime here and there, but my wife has only started watching anime in the last year or so. Watching her discover her tastes in anime got me thinking about my introduction to the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, Spirited Away.

Of all the amazing characters in that movie, not just No Face but background characters like the Radish Spirit, I have an enduring fondness for the soot sprites that labor away in the bowels of the bath house. And why wouldn’t they work hard? I’d shovel coal all day if you fed me candy stars the size of my head!

Alright, Sen, or was it Chihiro? Whatever your name is, let’s get to making soot sprites!


We’ll need a few things to make our soot sprites, but before you do your best impersonation of a chimney sweep, remember that the number one supply we won’t need is soot!

I’ve included Amazon links to everything on the supply list below. I encourage you to use what you have around the house, and even to shop your local craft store to get to know the amazing people who work there, but if you buy an item now and again through my links, it’ll go a long way to helping me keep the lights on here at GeekyDad Crafts.




  1. Find a nice clean place to work and get your supplies together. (If you’re a parent, clean is relative. I think as long as you’re not actually working on top of the kids or the dog, you’re good.)
  2. Cut a 12 inch pipe cleaner in half. Or close to half. Remember, pobody’s nerfect.
  3. Twist the two halves together in the middle.
  4. Flatten the pipe cleaners out.
  5. Cut a 12 to 18 inch piece of yarn and fold it in half.
  6. Place the middle of your doubled over yarn between the center tines of your fork.
  7. Start wrapping yarn around your fork. Only wrap about halfway up the tines, wrapping 4 or 5 layers of yarn.
  8. Place the center of your pipe cleaner bundle over your tines and wrap the yarn around it a few times to secure it.
  9. Wrap the rest of the length of the fork, 4 or 5 layers again. Be careful of wrapping too close to the end though, or your yarn might squirt off and just turn into spaghetti in mourning.
  10. Trim the end of your yarn, and pull the loose ends of the piece you cut in Step 5 around the bundle and loosely secure it, but don’t tie your knot yet.

  11. Carefully slide the yarn bundle off the fork… Carefully, now… Slow and easy does it…
  12. Pull the piece of yarn wrapping the bundle nice and tight and secure it with a knot. Maybe two knots. I won’t judge.
  13. Using the end of a sharp scissors, cut the loops in the yarn.
  14. Look at your pom-pom. Why is it like this? It’s so wonky. It’s an abomination. Actually, it’s fine. It’s an arts and crafts ugly ducking.
  15. Haircut! Trim your pom-pom over a trash can. Make it all round and… round.
  16. Pose your adorable pipe cleaner arms and legs.
  17. Put a dot of hot glue on the back of a googly eye.
  18. Stick it on.
  19. Do that one more time.
  20. Squirt a little bit of hot glue into a star bead.

    Make sure to carefully hold the bead. I don’t have quite enough arms to hold everything and take pictures…
  21. Stick the bead on the end of your soot sprite’s arm noodle.
  22. Even if your magnet is self-adhesive, don’t trust it! Squirt some hot glue on the back of that bad boy!
  23. Stick it on the back of your soot sprite.
  24. With the magnet against a flat surface, push down on your soot sprite while the glue cools.
  25. Stick your tiny friend on a magnetic surface, like your fridge.
  26. Make him an army of friends!

I’m excited to see your soot sprites, so post those pictures on Facebook and Twitter and tag me with @geekydadcrafts and #ImAGeek !