Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Felted Wool Ball Tutorial

My first attempts at making felt balls I well, I just couldn't get it.
The felt balls turned out lumpy, lopsided, and had cracks.
I would sit there with a felting needle for hours, poking at them until they were perfect. 
I wondered how people sell them for cheap when they're so hard to make!
(You can find some for sale here.)
I tried many times before I mastered it. 

Here is how it's done...

All you need is a small piece of wool roving (I get mine here),
dish soap, hot water, and cold water.

Pull a piece of roving off, a few times larger than
size you'd like your ball to be.
  Roll the roving into a ball...
First starting with small folds,
 And then wrap the last bit of fluff around the outside.
 At the sink, run hot water (as hot as you can stand to touch),
and put a drop of dish soap into your hand.
I have used many different types of dish soap,
and they all worked well!
 Then put a little hot water in your hand and gently 
roll the roving in the soapy water.
 Help the ball to stay round by gently rolling it in your fingers.

Here is where I was messing up... 
The wool needs to be rolled extremely gently at first. 
Really, hardly press on it at all, just tumble it 
around and coax it into a ball! 

Then, holding it in your palm again, splash 
cold water onto it and gently roll it again.
 Continue rolling and soaking the ball, alternating: 
hot water, roll, cold water, roll, hot water, roll...
Once your ball is more firm and has shrunk, 
press harder as you roll.
 If you want your ball slightly smaller, 
continue the process a little longer. 
And you are finished!

Lay your wool ball on a towel overnight to dry.

You can use felt balls in jars as decor, as the center of handmade flowers (like I did here),  string them into a garland, and many
other fun things! Good luck and have fun! :)


P.S. Many tutorials suggest using a bowl of hot water
and a bowl of cold water. I found that I get better results using
tap water, because the hot water is always hot, and the cold
is always cold (rather than sitting there cooling/ warming).

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