I found the solution to my pom-pom problems!
After using the Clover Pom-Pom Maker, I realized I had been making a mistake with the fork, cardboard and loom methods.
I now realize that in order to cut down on the yarn waste, I obviously have to first find the correct width to wrap my yarn and then trim the excess. Duh… I had been making all my pom-poms by wrapping them the same width and then trimming it down to super small sizes. Idiot.
I knew that the width made a difference but I guess my lazy brain didn’t feel like experimenting. So instead of doing some trials, I just went on Amazon and bought a set of Clover Pom-Pom Makers.
They arrived this afternoon and when Belle went down for her nap, Bean and I broke out the new yarn and went to town with the pom-pom maker.
For this project, I used:
The Clover Pom-Pom Maker comes with two parts that click together. Each part has a two semicircle arms that extend out for the yarn.
First,  open up the pom-pom maker and start wrapping yarn around the first set of arms. You want the semicircle to be  full but not so full that it inhibits the closing mechanism. Once your first sets of arms are loaded,  you fold those arms into the white body of the the pom-pom maker and lead the yarn to the other set of arms. When the second set of arms are full, close them and  snip the yarn off the skein.
Then, using sharp scissors,  clip the yarn around the outside of the pom-pom maker on both sides. Then  take a length of yarn and wrap it around the outside of the pompon maker and  make a tight square knot.
Once your pom-pom is secure,  release it by opening the two sets of arms and pulling the white centers apart.
You don’t have to fluff or trim your pom-pom and you’ll have almost no yarn waste at all.
Ahh! I love it. I will be spending the week mindlessly making pom-poms until I have enough to assemble them into a bunting for the dead space upstairs I’m working on putting together.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links to the Clover Pom-Pom Maker is listed above. This is probably my favorite “unitasker” in my collection although I feel like this may have more applications than just pom-poms.