Introduction: Pocket Sized Felted Basketball
My cat loves felted balls as toys, so I thought I'd make him a basketball because he's an All-Star.
Materials & Tools
- felting needle
- felting mat (foam, or even a folded towel)
- felting wool (white core, orange, black)
Step 1: Making the Ball
Core wool is used for creating the basic shape to conserve our dyed wool, which is more expensive.
Start by taking a wad of core wool about the size of an egg. Roll it in your hands to make a loose ball.
With your felting needle, and on your felting mat, stab the end with the loose fibers first to keep it in place. Stab the rolled end, and constantly rotate your wad around as you do to secure the fibers to each other. Periodically roll the ball in your hands again to ensure the shape. Squish it between your fingers to feel for dense spots and soft spots to determine where to stab the needle. Dense areas are well felted, soft spots need more work.
Repeat this process back and forth until your ball is fluffy but firm.
Step 2: Adding the Color
Separate a section of your orange wool. Stab one end of the loose ends of the fibers to your ball to secure it in place. Wrap the rest around your ball.
Work slowly and deliberately to get full coverage. Examine for spots where the white shows through and add more dyed wool. Continuously rotate the ball while you stab it to make sure no areas are getting too flat. Just like before, you can also roll the ball in your hands as well to help the shape along.
Step 3: Making the Stripes
Separate a few very thin sections of your black wool. Roll the fibers between your fingers to help them adhere to each other.
Step 4: Attaching the Stripes
Keeping the fibers of the black stripe rolled as tightly as possible, hold it taut against the surface of the ball and carefully stab the fibers into the surface of the ball. This will be a slow and deliberate process to make sure the black fibers actually make connection. Continuously roll the black fibers between your fingers as you lay it down on the surface to make it easier for the needle to catch the stripe and keep a crisp line.
Your first line should be a circle around the perimeter of the ball, separating it into two halves. Think of this as Line A. After Line A is felted, add a second one perpendicular to it so the ball is sectioned into 4 quadrants. This is Line B.
The curved line in between your crossed lines is one continuous S shape. Locate an intersection and attach the black fibers so it crosses over Line A. Direct the curved line so it splits the center of a quadrant. As the line approaches the next intersection, direct the curve to cross over Line B. Again, direct the curve so it splits the center of this quadrant, and you should see it making its way towards your first intersection. Keep working the line around the ball until it connects back to itself.
NOTE: If you run out of fibers before you make it all the way around, just take another small section of black wool and work it into your established line.
TIP: You may notice as you stab your lines into place your ball starting to "pumpkin" as those areas get more felted. Simply stab in your orange areas to re-establish the round shape.
Step 5: Alley Oop!
You now have a pocket sized basketball your cat will love to play with!
Participated in the
Pocket-Sized Speed Challenge