Introduction: DIY Wool Dryer Balls With Needle Felted Designs
Learn how to make Cute and Fun Needle Felt Designs on Wool Dryer Balls.
Making your own wool dryer balls is super easy but if you don’t want to fool with it, you can buy 100% Wool Dryer Balls on Amazon. As long as they are made with 100% Wool, they’ll work great for this needle felting project.
To make your own Wool Dryer Balls, head on over to my free tutorial which will show you the instructions step by step. Once you have made your dryer balls, come back here for the tutorial on how to dress them up with needle felted wool shapes.
WHAT ARE DRYER BALLS?
First off, for those of you not familiar with dryer balls …. they are balls that you put in the clothes dryer to help fluff your laundry and reduce static. Did your Mom ever put tennis balls in the dryer? Mine did. (Side note: don’t use tennis balls … they release toxins). No, specifically, for this tutorial I am talking about balls that you can make with raw wool, roving or wool yarn.
Step 1: Supplies:
100% Wool Dryer Balls
Felting Needles and Tool
Needle Felting Pad or Sponge
Finger Protectors or Gloves (optional)
CAUTION!!! Felting Needles are wicked sharp!!! Needle felting is NOT appropriate for children.
Step 2: Needle Felting a Shape
Set your felting pad on a flat surface. Next, prepare your wool. Since thick wool is more difficult to needle felt than thin wool, you’ll need to open up your fibers. Simply, take a section of the wool and gently pull it apart.
Place the wool roving inside the cookie cutter, making sure to evenly space it out. You don’t need to fill the entire cookie cutter. Several thin layers are better than one thick layer. Also, don’t forget the edges. You want the wool to be felted right up against the side of the cookie cutter.
Using a single felting needle or a needle felting tool, begin poking the needles thru the wool into the felting pad and back out. To help keep the needles from breaking, pull the needles back out at the same angle that they went in. Do this all along the surface of your wool, paying special attention to the edges.
After a few minutes of felting, remove the cookie cutter. Working your fingers along the edges, gently peel away the wool from the felting pad. At this point, your piece is not completely felted. If you pull on it, the fibers will still come apart.
Step 3: Needle Felt the Other Side
Now, you want to flip the felt over, place it back in the cookie cutter and continue to poke the felting needles through the wool. You will continue to felt until your wool holds together and no longer pulls apart easily.
Add more wool if it's too thin.
Step 4: Needle Felting Wool Dryer Balls
Now, to transfer the needle felted shape you just made to the dryer ball, you’re going to basically do the same thing as before.
Set a dryer ball onto a flat surface and hold it firmly in place. Place the needle felted piece on the ball and very slowly and carefully begin poking the felting needles through to the dryer ball. You will repeat this until the piece is attached to the dryer ball and doesn’t come off easily.
Safety Note: Don’t hold the dryer ball in your hand while you’re needle felting on it. (like I did in the first photo). Hold it firmly on a table and GO SLOW! Remember these needles are super sharp! You may want to wear gloves.
There you go, that’s all there’s to making some cute and fun needle Felted Dryer Balls. And you’re not limited to just the cookie cutter shapes.
If you can’t find a cookie cutter in the shape you want to needle felt, all you have to do is needle felt some wool and cut out the shape you want using fabric scissors. (That’s what I did with the Moon shapes.)
Full step by step instructions can be found at FiberArtsy.com
Related Wool Felting Articles:
What is Felting? A Complete Beginner’s Guide
How to Needle Felt (for Beginners)