If you just starting to felt and looking for an easy project to try as a beginner then, why not try making felt balls. These soft bouncy balls are great for different crafts. You can make garland, coaster, rugs any many more, you name it. You can spice up your home in a fun way. This is also a great way to engage your kid in extracurricular activities. Even a kid can felt balls easily. This way you can keep your children occupied and also have something unique to decorate your home. Felt balls are easy to make. With a few materials and the right step, you can make yourself felt balls. Steps! you might say, they sure may sound intimidating but these steps are so easy even your kid can learn easily. You can make them in different sizes and colors of your preferred choice. You can make felted balls by using both wet felting and needle felting methods. We will learn to make felted balls in both ways and also a way to make them in bulk.
Felt Balls – Wet feltingThe wet felting method is easier compared to the needle felting method and also safer. We recommend you to use the wet felting technique when felting the felt balls if you are also engaging your children. There are a few materials you need for the project and they can be easily found in your home.
- Felting wool of your choice. You can choose a variety of your color.
- Warm water and mild soap mixture in a bowl.
- Coldwater for rinsing.
- Two towels for drying the felted balls.
Preparing the WoolTake pieces of wool and form them into balls of your desired shape. The wool shrinks at the final stage, so we suggest you make a ball double the size compared to your desired size of the ball. When forming wool take thin layers and wrap around more layers to increase the size. Don’t take a big chunk of wool to form a ball. This helps ensure the felted balls do not break apart after it is dried. Prepare the desired number of wool for felting at the beginning, this will ease the process and you can continuously feel the balls.
Preparing Felting SolutionNow mix mild cleansing soap with warm water to form a soapy mixture. The water should neither be cold nor hot enough to burn yourself. Warm water help shrink the wool nicely and the soap help contract the fiber of wool together. The water should be soapy enough to form foam.
Felting ProcessNow dip the ball of wool that you have prepared in the soapy mixture. The ball should be saturated nicely. Start rolling the balls using the pressure from your palm. Do not use excessive pressure when felting and do not squeeze the water out during the felting process. Dip the balls in warm water every 2-3 minutes or if it gets cold. If the mixture gets cold then either add hot water to the old mixture and add more soap or discard the old moisture and make a new one. As you feel the balls are starting to get dense then you can add your designs. You can use a different color of wool and place them in your desired way. Each ball takes about ten minutes to feel. So, make sure you felt them enough and doesn’t fall apart even after it is dried. After the ball has taken the desired shape and design, it’s time to rinse and dry them.
Rinsing and DryingAfter you are finished with the felting job rinse the balls in cold water. It stops further felting. Rinse until the warm water and soap are completely removed. Soak and squeeze out the water and repeat until the water runs clear. Place the cleaned wool on dry towels and squeeze out the water. Again place the felted balls on another towel and let them air dry. Do not dry them using external heat or by keeping them in direct sunlight. Dry them keeping them on the flat surface and a shady area.
Felt Balls- Needle FeltingThe needle felting method is a bit harder compared to the wet felting method. You will be using a sharp needle so you should be extra careful. We recommend you to not let your children felt using this method without the guidance of an adult. You need special materials designed for the sole purpose of needle felting.
- Felting wool of your choice and color.
- Special felting needles with barbed ends for poking the wool.
- Felting cushion to prevent poking yourself and damage on other surfaces.
- Finger protector to protect your finger.