Felted Ball How-To - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-29-2008, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so inspired by you crafty mamas everyday, I know you can help me out here. I'm looking to make some wet felted balls for ds. He's going to be 1, so they need to be a substantial size. How do I do it? Really, I need step-by-step, here. I've NEVER felted before, or knit or crochet, so I don't know any of the terminology. What supplies do I need and how do I do it?

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#2 of 16 Old 10-29-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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#3 of 16 Old 10-29-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Wet felting is pretty simple.
1) Get roving - many yarn shops carry it now, try a local waldorf school, look online or contact your local spinning/weaving guild for local sources.
To make a baseball sized ball you will need the equivalent of about 1 standard large ziploc freezer bag worth. I think it is about 1 pound. Here that costs about $6 - 7. You can use undyed roving for the centre which is usually cheaper and just use the dyed roving for the top layer and the decoration.

2) you also need some old nylons/pantyhose, some dish detergent and some warm water. You can get a bell to put in the middle if you would like.

3) Wool felts with warm water and friction. So basically you want to roll the ball around in your hands until the fibres "knit" together.

4) If you want a bell start wrapping the roving in small amounts around the bell. Use pieces that are about as long as your hand and fairly thin. You want to build layers. once you have a ball about the size of a golf ball, get the ball damp (not sopping) and add a drop or two of regular dish soap. Start to roll the ball in your hands like you would if you were making a ball of playdough. You will feel the ball start to tighten. Add more layers and continue to roll in your hands and add a bit of water and soap to keep it moist/slightly wet and soapy. You'll be making suds as you do this. Rinse those off so it doesn't get too soapy.

5) You can do this by hand, or once you get the golf ball sized ball done you can add more layers and put it into the toe of the nylons, tie a knot and either do it in your hands or toss it into the washing machine with your regular laundry (hot or warm water will work better). You can also use a washboard to rub the ball against to create the friction.

Once you get the main ball done, you can add a coloured layer and wet felt it, or you can needle felt the colour and designs on. Needle felting is very simple to do and you can make beautiful things with it. You can see some samples here.

You can dye the wool with koolaid like you would for playsilks, or use dye.

Good luck!
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

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#4 of 16 Old 10-30-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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I use my leftover wool yarn (you know, just scraps that are not big enough for anything!) and roll them into a yarn ball and toss it in the washer with a load of clothing, it felts perfectly and is super easy. Some yarns will felt up the first go round (knitpicks Wool of the Andes and Patton's) but others take a few times through the wasy (Peace Fleece). I have a front loader, if that makes any difference.
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#5 of 16 Old 10-30-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by medaroge View Post
I use my leftover wool yarn (you know, just scraps that are not big enough for anything!) and roll them into a yarn ball and toss it in the washer with a load of clothing, it felts perfectly and is super easy. Some yarns will felt up the first go round (knitpicks Wool of the Andes and Patton's) but others take a few times through the wasy (Peace Fleece). I have a front loader, if that makes any difference.
Yeah I've done that with Paton's. It's a bit cheaper/quicker with yarn since you don't have to order it. Just make sure it's not superwash because that won't felt.

Stick the yarn ball in the wash and then after it's felted you can wet felt some wool on top of that, using the instructions above.

It is so easy. Even kids can do it.
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#6 of 16 Old 10-30-2008, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I was wondering if I could just do it with yarn, instead of roving. So, just roll the yarn into a ball, you say? Can you roll it around a bell, like you can with roving?
And about the yarn, like I mentioned, I know nothing about this stuff. Do I use Paton's Classic Wool This one?

Danielle, bf'ing, cd'ing, bw'ing, ap'ing, SAHM to DD Avery (12-1-04) blahblah.gif DS Linus (10-31-07)bouncy.gif and DD Nilah (9-17-11) babygirl.gif

always and forever remembering angel1.gif (6-9-10)

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#7 of 16 Old 10-31-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dfunk98 View Post
Yeah, I was wondering if I could just do it with yarn, instead of roving. So, just roll the yarn into a ball, you say? Can you roll it around a bell, like you can with roving?
And about the yarn, like I mentioned, I know nothing about this stuff. Do I use Paton's Classic Wool This one?
Yes to the bell and yes to the yarn.

Just jump in and try it! That's the quickest, easiest way to find out if it'll work.
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#8 of 16 Old 10-31-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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Here's a little gem of a tutorial that I found online - www.crunchyparent.com - the video really helped me and she provides resources for where to get the supplies she uses...
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#9 of 16 Old 10-31-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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One more thing - I am also very new at crafty endeavors I've made 2 felted balls - one with roving from the craft store, and one following the directions in the link above - the crunchy parent site - and using the batting that she recommended.

The ball I made with roving was okay - didn't felt very well, though. then I made one with the batting and it felted SOOO well and i'm so happy with it now! I started another post about wool terms and everything as I was having such a hard time navigating through all the terms - you may want to check that thread out, too.

Have fun and good luck!!!
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#10 of 16 Old 11-01-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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one love

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#11 of 16 Old 11-01-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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subbing because this looks like a fun project.

Take care,
El
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#12 of 16 Old 03-13-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm going to try to revive this thread momentarily to get some help...
so i've felted a few balls and i'm really happy with the result, but they seem a little pilly to me. i would like them smoother, and/or firmer, like these. i've tried needle felting them, too, but do you think it could be the wool? i ordered wool roving but now i think i should have ordered batting. thoughts?

Danielle, bf'ing, cd'ing, bw'ing, ap'ing, SAHM to DD Avery (12-1-04) blahblah.gif DS Linus (10-31-07)bouncy.gif and DD Nilah (9-17-11) babygirl.gif

always and forever remembering angel1.gif (6-9-10)

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#13 of 16 Old 03-13-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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IF the balls you felted are pretty sturdy, and don't need to be felted more, and they just have scraggly hairs poking out here and there, just take some sharp, I prefer smaller scissors for this, and trim them up, close to the ball and they should look much better.

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#14 of 16 Old 03-16-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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I'm terrible with all the roving vs. batting vs. stuffing terms, but I made some that came out like the ones in your picture by ordering the batting (I think this is just stuffing?), I think. I tried some with 'roving', which I got from the fabric store, and it didn't work at all - they were really squishy and I felt like I could just pull it apart.

I ordered from the same place (for both colored and the 'base' stuff) that the video suggested (I posted a link to a video earlier in this thread), and it's worked out great. I do needle felt the designs on a bit before I start the wet felting, just to make sure it all sticks together.

Good luck!
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#15 of 16 Old 03-17-2009, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nurturebaby View Post
I'm terrible with all the roving vs. batting vs. stuffing terms, but I made some that came out like the ones in your picture by ordering the batting (I think this is just stuffing?), I think. I tried some with 'roving', which I got from the fabric store, and it didn't work at all - they were really squishy and I felt like I could just pull it apart.

I ordered from the same place (for both colored and the 'base' stuff) that the video suggested (I posted a link to a video earlier in this thread), and it's worked out great. I do needle felt the designs on a bit before I start the wet felting, just to make sure it all sticks together.

Good luck!
yes, i bought the roving from west earl woolen mill, or whatever, that was suggested by the crunchyparent blog. i think i need the batting though. thanks!!

Danielle, bf'ing, cd'ing, bw'ing, ap'ing, SAHM to DD Avery (12-1-04) blahblah.gif DS Linus (10-31-07)bouncy.gif and DD Nilah (9-17-11) babygirl.gif

always and forever remembering angel1.gif (6-9-10)

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#16 of 16 Old 04-14-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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I just made my first wet felted ball today.

I've been felting 100% wool sweaters for various projects - play food, wreaths, etc.

I save the wool lint that gets stuck in the dryer trap and put it in a bag. Today I had enough to make a tennis ball sized wool ball.

It turned out soooo cute! I used the grey/white/black lint I had saved as the inner core. I then used blues and purples and reds on the outside. My son loves it!

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