How to Make a Suffolk Puff (Yoyo)


How to…Make a Suffolk Puff (Yoyo’s)


A Suffolk puff is simply a circle of material gathered in on itself to form a smaller, double thickness, puffier circle.  Puff’s can also be stuffed for extra puffiness. Originally, Suffolk puffs were made from scraps of fabric and sewn together to make quilts as a method of reusing old material.  They were also traditionally used to create toys, I remember snakes and clowns being rather popular in my house.  Nowadays they have been adapted and used for all sorts of things;  brooches, cushions, hair slides, christmas tree decorations to name but a few.

They are so easy squeasy to make they don’t really need a tutorial, but I am just doing this so it’s easy to find.  Also I want to see how many times I can say puff, puffy and puffiness in one post!!

You will need

Material, scissors and strong thread

How it’s done

1.  Cut out circles of material  (double the diameter you want your puff to be plus about 2cm).

2.  Take a long piece of thread with a knot on the end and run a running or gathering stitch around the edge of the circle, folding over the edge about 5mm as you go to form a basic hem. If the centre of the puff is going to be covered then you can skip the hemming.  Also if using a thin material then you can poke the raw edges inside of the puff as you gather it together, rather than bother with the hem.  But if you are a stickler for detail then hem, as it is so much neater.

3.  Make sure you end you stitching with your long thread finishing on the same side as the knot otherwise, it is hard to tie the ends off.

3.   Pull the thread from both ends to gather the puff together.

4.    Tie thread ends together, or sew them in if you can be bothered.  Pull the knot towards the centre before cutting the ends.

5.    Flatten your puff, easing the central hole so that everything is nice and neat.


That’s it – told you it was easy.

NB.   With thicker material, like the calico I have used in the photos, the gathers mean that you have a central hole in the puff and the smaller the running stitch used, the larger the central hole as there is more pleats created.  With thin material the hole is completely closed.

See here for suggested uses, or send me images of you creations!


3 Responses to How to Make a Suffolk Puff (Yoyo)

  1. PENNY says:

    I have one that my Grandma made 60 years ago as far as I know. She passed away in the early 60′s and it is missing a few circles on the one row of red. I would never be able to match it so I was thinking of taking out the stitches on that one row. It is kind of gaudy but pretty. Not sure if I want to keep it but don’t know what it would be worth if I did try and sell it

  2. Pingback: Sunday, Monday « In At The Deep End

  3. nia says:

    Thank you for this blog, I love(d) to learn. Love, nia

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