How to Make Wet Felted Dryer Balls the Easy Way
Why Felt Dryer Balls?
Dryer balls can help reduce energy bills, allergens, and landfill waste. Together we can eliminate dryer sheets entirely from the planet, and replace them with felt dryer balls.
Fabulous Juggling Balls or Felt 'Geodie' slices can also be created using this unique method. The resulting felt balls will be uniform in size and firm to the touch. Their size will depend entirely on the size of the chosen plastic balls and how tightly they are packed.
Colorful large felt balls can also be created using a delicious mix of fibers. I chose Botany Lap Waste from World of Wool to create the weighted the Globe Pin Cushion using the same method.
Things You Will Need:
- White Merino Wool (for the Dryer Balls)
- Botany Lap Waste. This is such good value for your money and the lucky dip of colored fibers supplied by World of Wool can be used to create large felt balls at little cost.
- Henbrandt Ball Smelly Smile 25cm Assorted. These balls are great as they can be used over and over again.
A short recycled Zip
- Duct Tape, Black or Silver
- which can be purchased in bulk from Amazon and used many times over. Plastic Water Play Balls
- A large-eyed Sewing Needle and strong Thread. I use waxed thread
- Dish-washing Liquid diluted with warm water
- A Tumble Dryer
- A Wooden Tealight Holder (for the weighted globe pin-cushion)
- An electric Carving Knife
- Hot Glue (To glue the pin-cushion to the wooden candle holder)
- Colorful Pins with heads to use with the weighted pincushion
1. How to Make Large Dryer Balls
- Locate the halfway join mark on the ball and sew on the zip along the line as shown below.
2. Sewing on the Zip
- Use strong thread and a sharp needle to sew all the way around the zip.
- I used waxed thread.
3. Open the Zip!
- Open the zip to reveal the join line on the plastic ball.
4. Cut the Ball Open
- Cut between the teeth of the zip along the halfway mark join line on the ball.
5. Remove the Air Vent Valve
- Reveal the air vent valve as shown below and cut it off using a sharp pair of scissors.
6. Prepare the Fibers
- Begin by tying a knot in the wool roving and wind sufficient wool around it to form a tight wad of Merino wool.
- Make the wad bigger than the plastic ball it will be going into.
- Wet in soapy water and roll into a neat ball which will fit neatly into the prepared play ball.
7. Wet the Fiber!
- Dip the prepared fibers into a bowl of warm soapy water.
- Do this gently from all sides then roll the wet wool into a nice round ball.
- Rolling it on a folded towel will remove any excess water and create a nice smooth round ball.
- The felt ball should fit snugly into the prepared plastic ball.
- Add more fibers if necessary, bearing in mind that the wool will shrink in the tumble dryer.
8. How to Make Medium Size Dryer Balls
- To make medium size dryer balls cut open the water play balls, leaving a quarter of the ball still intact along the join line.
9. Preparing the Fibers!
- Wet the fibers using warm soapy water and then roll on a folded towel.
- Put the ball inside the play ball.
- It should fit snugly.
- Add more fiber if necessary.
- Seal the plastic ball using duct tape as shown below.
10. Place the Balls Inside a Tumble Dryer
- Tumble inside a tumble dryer for about ten minutes.
- Remove the felt balls from the plastic balls and tumble for about five minutes.
- Rinse the finished balls under hot and then cold water until the water runs clear.
- Roll on a dry towel to remove any excess water and then leave to dry on a wire rack or a radiator.
12. To Make 'Geodie' Balls for Craft Projects
- Make the balls using lots of different layers to create layers when the ball is sliced through the middle.
13. Making a World Globe Pincushion
- Use Botany Waste to create a large colored felted dryer ball.
- Glue the completed ball to a wooden candle base as is shown here and cover the surface with pins with colored heads.
- Weighted pincushions like this one are great for holding paper patterns in place before pinning the paper pattern to the fabric.
Making Small Felt Balls
© 2019 Sally Gulbrandsen