Felt Ball Rug





Introduction: Felt Ball Rug

I first saw this type of rug in a design magazine, it was called Hay Pinocchio Rug. It was gorgeous the felt balls were made from brightly coloured wool that made them look like gum balls.  I had to have it, but the price tag was ~$1000 Cdn.  I've made a few felt balls before so I figured I can make this type of rug myself. Although the process of making this rug was fairly easy, it took a lot of time; first felting the balls then sewing them together.  When I check the date of the first process pictures I took, I had started in May 2011, so it took me almost a year to put this together.

I decided against using the bright colours that the Pinocchio Rug had because frankly it wouldn't really match the decor in my apartment.  I used mostly shades of brown and white.

Step 1: Stuff You Will Need

The rug that I made is 55cm  in diameter the felt balls are on average 2cm in diameter. For a rug this size I needed roughly 1lb of wool.  At first I started out buying wool roving on Ebay.  It wasn't too expensive but when you include shipping the costs did add up.  Then I found a local store  that sold wool from which I bought a pound of fleece for $10.  Fleece is a bit harder to felt than roving because you will need to comb it out first.  I also used some fur from my cat and my friend's golden retriever, Toby.  Pet fur felts just as nicely as wool (and cat fur is even softer) as I've shown in one of my previous instructables. Left over scraps of yarn can also be felted, but they must be natural fibers (wool, cotton, bamboo, alpaca etc).

  • Wool, etc
  • Dish soap and water
  • Plastic containers
  • Paper towels
  • Nylon thread and needle
  • Patience and time

Step 2: Making the Felt Balls

  • Squirt some dish soap into your container and fill with warm water, fill the other container with cold water.
  • Grab a tuft wool, bunch it together into a ballish shape and dip into the warm soapy water, remove and squeeze out the excess water.
  • Place the soggy tuft of wool in the centre of the palm of one hand, place your second hand over top and roll in a circular motion.
  • Once the tuft of hair is felted into a ball, dip it in the cold water to rinse (the longer you roll, the smaller and denser it gets).
I tried to make the balls even in size but I found that the different types of wool/pet hair felted differently.  Most of the felt balls ranged from 1.5-2cm in diameter. I kept them in a paper bag until I had enough.  Periodically I dumped them on the floor and spread them out to see if I had enough for a rug.

Step 3: Stringing the Felt Balls

It is easier to poke holes in the felt balls when they are still wet but at that point I hadn't decided how I was going to put the the rug together.  At first I thought that I would string all of the felt balls, wind it in a spiral then sew the rows together. However I didn't like the idea of having a long string of felt balls since my cat would surely try to play with and I would end up with a tangled mess. What I did instead was to add one ball at a time connecting it to the previous felt ball and the one in the row beside it (see image 3 above). 



  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018
  • Paper Contest 2018

    Paper Contest 2018
  • Epilog Challenge 9

    Epilog Challenge 9

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




Do you use 1 really long piece of thread? If so, how long was the piece? If not, when do you knot and start with a new piece?

No I didn't use one long piece, I just use regular lengths of thread (about half a metre) otherwise it would tangle too much, it doesn't really matter at which point to start a new piece as long as it is knotted well.

Is it washable? How do you keep it clean?

I haven't washed it, i just shake it out. You can probably spot clean.


This is from Nepal. Your rug picture is very good. The color combination is very nice. We have a collection of very beautiful and elegant felt ball rugs in various color combination. We also make custom rugs.  Please visit our store here : www.feltballrugs.com for more details.

You can make coasters this way, too. Just make smaller balls. I like to use unwaxed dental floss because it never breaks: just string the balls on the floss, then sew or felt the balls together once you have a long enough string of them.

Great idea, thanks for the tip.

You're welcome. Your rug is stunning, and I'm amazed at your patience! Your friends and relatives must be very lucky people indeed.

I wonder if this would work with raw, unwashed wool.
We're planning a trip through sheep country.
Some farmer could probably welcome a better price for the raw material.