Making Felt Balls

- Aug 18, 2017-

  1. Pull apart some raw wool into tufts. Do not cut the tufts. If you cut them, you will get sharp edges that will be harder to felt. You can use natural, uncolored wool, or wool that has been dyed bright colors. The size of the tufts doesn't really matter, but a 4 to 5-inch long (10 to 12 centimeters) tuft will give you a bead about the size of a cherry

  2. Fill a small tub with hot water and add some liquid dish soap into it. You will need 2 tablespoons of dish soap for every 3 cups (700 milliliters) of water.Gently swish the water to mix, but not so much to create suds.

    * The hotter the water, the faster the wool will felt. The water shouldn't be so hot that you can't handle it, however.

  3. Gather a few tufts into a ball, then roll them between your palms. Don't worry about forming a firm ball just yet. You can use all one color of wool, or several different colors for a more interesting felt ball.

  4. Soak the ball in the hot, soapy water. Hold the ball between your fingers, then dip it into the hot, soapy water. Don't worry if the ball starts to lose its shape and sag. You will reshape it in the next step.

  5. Roll the ball between your palms until it becomes firm. The ball will be loose at first, but then it will start to become more firm. This will take about 10 minutes.Be careful not to squeeze it too much. If you are making multiple beads, the water may cool down while you work. When that happens, replace the tub with more hot, soapy water.

  6. When the wool is firm, rinse it off with cold water. This will get rid of the soap and help set the fibers. If you'd like, you can then soak it in some water with a splash of white vinegar in it. This will help remove the rest of the soap and brighten the wool's color.

  7. Gently press the ball in a towel to remove excess water. Be careful not to squeeze too hard, of you may distort the ball.

  8. Allow the felt ball to air dry. This will take about 24 hours. Remember, just because the ball is dry on the outside does not necessarily mean that it is dry on the inside

  9. Consider threading the balls onto some twine to make a garland.Poke a hole through each ball using a darning needle, and pull some heavy thread through it. You may need to use needle nose pliers to help pull the needle through, especially of the felt balls are firm. Hang the garland wherever you like when you are done.