Easy DIY Project for a Great Holiday Gift: Homemade Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Balls- easy holiday gift

The beginning of Fall means that the Holiday Season is just around the corner. For the last 5 years or so I have made homemade gifts for the entire family. If you are anything like me, you like to give a meaningful gift that will not break the bank! I am going to breakdown last year’s gift. It is super easy to make!

I really like making gifts that are useful. Adults tend to appreciate that much more. So I made my Aunts/Uncles, Mom/Dad, and Friends a set of Wool Dryer Balls. I cannot tell you how much everyone loved this gift! It is the gift that keeps on giving. It saves electricity, time, and removes the need for fabric softener. I say it is a win all around.

I purchased one skein of yarn a week at Michael’s for September, October, and November. Some weeks I was able to buy more due to good sales or extra coupons. Overall I purchased about 25 – 30 skeins. Each skein cost $5.99 at Michael’s, but with a 50% off coupon I paid $2.99 each! That is only $1.50 per ball.

Make sure that you purchase 100% WOOL. NO BLENDS, otherwise it will not felt. Each skein made 2 medium-sized balls. I gifted 6 balls to each family. Here is what I purchased Patons Classic Wool Worsted Yarn 3.5oz

Now, to the directions, which are super easy.

 

Supplies:
  • 1 skein of 100% wool yarn
  • 1 yarn needle (splurge and buy the metal one, it works better. Here is what I use.)
  • Old panty hose
  • Acrylic yarn (or floss or embroidery floss) to tie the ball in place in the panty hose.

 

Directions:

To start your ball I wrapped year around my three fingers about 15 – 20 times and then slipped it off and wrapped again around the middle of that another 15 – 20 times. I found that made a more solid middle for me and the ball lasted longer.

Step 1: Finger Wrap

Now keep wrapping all around in a clockwise circle until it starts to become a flat rounded disk and then eventually a smaller ball. I found it was best to wrap the same place a few times, say 3 -4 and then move on to the right.

Step 2: Flat Disk

Make sure it is tightly wrapped. Again, this helps with density. Which made my ball last longer. The first set I made I did not do this and they did not last as long.

After about 5 – 10 minutes you will have a large ball that looks like this. Take a yarn needle and put it with the end of the string though the center of the ball a few times until there is nothing left and it is very secure.

Step 3: Making a Ball

Keep repeating this step until you have 6 balls.

Getting There

Step 4: Yarn Needle Time

The balls will be about the size of a tennis ball. I actually kept a tennis ball to make sure each ball was similar size. The more I did the better I got at estimating the size by only eyeballing it.

This is a great thing to do while you are watching TV. That way you are using your time doubly.

Now it is time to give them the felting treatment. You need a leg of an old pantyhose that you no longer can (or pick up some from the dollar store). Put the balls into the leg and between each ball tie it with floss, or acrylic yarn. Just make sure NOT TO use wool year, or it will felt as well. And that will cause all sorts of problems.

Step 6: Into the Wash

Put the leg of wool balls into the washer into the hottest water you can get. Then put them into the dryer as hot as you can. The hotter the temperature the better, because it speeds up the felting process.

Final Product

The ball will look smoother and tighter after it felts. I recommend doing this process again a second time at a minimum. I tried to cut the second time out and i found those balls were not as nice. (i.e felted)

If you like you can add a few drops (5 – 10) of Lavender or Lemon Essential Oil. Much of my family has sensitivity to scent so I opted to keep them unscented.

Now they are ready to go, you have an easy, cost-effective and most of all USEFUL gift to give your family or friends.

 

Don’t have time to make these awesome dryer balls? Try this easy to make gift: Homemade Vanilla Extract

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