This is a beginner's felting project that uses up oddments of yarn to produce spherical beads that can then be made into a necklace or bracelet.  The beauty of using yarn is that it is easy to get beads of the same size by measuring the same length of yarn for each one.   And it's a lot easier to come by than wool tops, the traditional material used for felt-making.

It is vital that the yarn you choose is 100% wool and that it is not a machine washable yarn.  It is possible to get yarn with a small proportion of man-made fibre to felt, but leave that for when you know what you are doing - if you have never felted before, you need 100% wool.  If it has been treated to make it machine washable then it will not felt, so read the label and only use yarn that says hand wash.  A loosely spun yarn is best, and ideally a chunky one as you won't spend so much time unravelling the individual strands. 

To make enough felt balls for a necklace similar to the one in the photo you will need:

about 18m of chunky, 100% wool yarn (or the equivalent weight of a finer yarn)
a small bowl
a kettle
washing up liquid or other liquid detergent
old newspapers
kitchen paper

Step 1: Preparing the Yarn

Measure and cut a length of yarn for your first felt ball.  If you are using a chunky yarn, a 2m length will produce a ball of approximately 18mm diameter.  (See the final step for the lengths required for different diameters.)  Cut the 2m piece into shorter lengths of about 75-100mm.

Separate the strands in each length.  The yarn in the photos has 3 strands.  Lay them randomly on top of each other, not all aligned. 
<p>I tried... and failed miserably :(</p>
<p>Oh dear. Maybe this wasn't pure wool, or else it was machine wash treated?</p>
<p>I completely forgot to come back here. Yes I bought Bernat &quot;roving yarn&quot; at the craft store and it was 80% acrylic. I had thought it was the same as the Patons I had previously bought for a knitting project. After I used actual wool, you're instructions were great!</p>
<p>Glad to hear you finally had success!</p>
<p>Though I prefer needle felting, I've done wet felting before from a kit (it made two little frogs- quite cute) but I have to say, your instructions on how to wet felt (particularly explaining to use your fingers, and not your palms) quite simply made more sense than the somewhat vague instructions in my kit. I couple tips for you from the kit (you can see how this works for you), there was roving wool in my kit (which is more or less what you get when you pull yarn completely apart- I find that easiest to do with a thin wire cat brush), and they had you start with a little rolled bundle, and layer strips in different directions over and around it (like paper mache). I saw you just were laying them flat in the more condensed yarn strips, and I thought you might enjoy seeing which style was easier, or even more effective? (fluffy roving vs yarn strips, flat criss cross vs paper mache) <br>Have fun!</p>
It certainly sounds more sensible to start with a little bundle, seeing as the aim is to achieve a ball. I'll give that a go the next time. I'm glad you found my instructions helpful, I struggled with the instructions I found in books which is why I thought I'd do an Instructable once I found a method that worked after much trial and error.
Hi :0) Your neclace is grooovy :0) !!! Maybe I missed this info (sorry) Just wondering,what size needle did you use to get holes through the balls to be able to insert the wire?
Hi, thanks for your comment.<br><br>I used a beading needle, which I just happened to have. It has a small eye and is long, which helped. You certainly need quite a long needle. I don't know what size it is, but it is quite fine, meant for tiny beads.
Got inspired! totaly gonna do this :)
I did it :D a little different :I
Your yarn looks quite hairy, but I like the effect!
It is, and quite itchy too :( <br>I tink ill need to use some other kind next time, but this what i had at hand.
Very pretty. A good first felting project for anyone! :D

About This Instructable




Bio: I like making things - anything and everything - and figuring out how to do things by myself. I blog about it as YorkshireCrafter on Wordpress.com. More »
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