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 felting
The 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 Wool
Take 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 Solution
Now 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.
Now 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 Drying
After 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 Felting
The 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.
Preparing the Wool
Take a strip off the wool batts. Tie a knot on the middle of the strip. if you are comfortable without tying the knot then you don’t need to do it. Knot helps create a ball shape precisely. Cover the knot with the ends and form a ball.
Place the rough ball of wool on a felting surface. With the felting needle start stabbing. Stab the needles gently and uniformly all over the ball. This helps create an even and smoothly felt on the balls. Be sure to use the finger guard to prevent any stabbing on your finger.
The felting may take 10-15 minutes depending on the speed and size of the ball. If you see any bald spaces then take a thin layer of wool and stab them to cover those spaces and smooth the balls. After you get the desired shape and the ball is dense enough then stop felting. Now your felted balls are ready.
Making Felt Balls in Bulk
As you might have noticed by now that felting balls one at a time is time-consuming and can bore you as well. Don’t worry, it’s not necessary for you to felt balls one at a time. There is a way where you can make many felted balls at once. this saves a lot of time. You are also able to make it in large quantities. let’s look at the process. The materials required are the same as the wet felting. You may need a bigger felting surface and anything with a large area to do what your hand does.
Make a rough ball of wool by rolling different layers of wool. The number of balls depends on the project you are trying to do. So, after you have made enough rough balls, it is time to felt them together.
Preparing felting solution
Take a large bowl enough to fit all the rough balls of wool. Prepare the warm water and soapy water mixture enough to saturate the whole balls.
Now put the balls in the mixture and let the ball soak all the mixture. So, it’s really important to have mixture enough to saturate all the balls. Roll the bowl around to make sure that balls soak up the mixture in all areas.
You can either put a lid on the bowl and roll the bowl until the balls are felted or you can lay them on a large felting surface then place any flat object large enough to cover many balls at once. You can use your hand to press down and roll the balls to felt or place heavy objects like big stones or heavy materials and move the flat surface around to felt the balls. Roll continuously until the balls are felted to your desired size.
Making felt balls in bulk is quite easy and time-saving. Why not try these steps and make felt balls in bulk. You can make different projects. They can be great home décor for yourself and also great gifts for your family and friends. You can also use felted balls to make pet toys. Why not make some toys for your feline friend.
If you do not want to felt or are unable to felt then you can also buy them. At woolly felt, you can buy felt balls of different colors and sizes. You can buy them in a bulk and try different projects yourself. They are available at reasonable prices and won’t hurt your wallet. So place your order and enjoy your felted balls.