12 November 2015

felt ball garland

I have a lot of wool leftover wool from felting a few years ago and determined to use up my craft supplies before buying more I thought a felt ball garland would be a good idea. There are various methods for making the balls for the garland, needlefelting, wet felting by hand or wet felting in the washing machine. The last method appeals, leaving all the hard work to the machine. Here's how I made the garland....its easy!

What you need

old tights
thread or cotton
large sharp needle
washing machine
colour catcher sheet


Take a small amount of roving and using fingers form a small ball.

Tear long lengths of the roving and then split to form long thin strips.
Wind the long strips round the small ball to form a larger one that fits into the palm of your hand. Balls will shrink about a third in size during the felting process.

Give the ball a final roll between the palms of your hand.
Insert the ball inside the leg of tights, compact the wool ball and tie both ends with string.

Once all the balls are tied into the tights its time to felt.

Place the balls inside the washing machine with a pair of jeans or old towels, a little detergent and a colour catcher sheet The colour catcher sheet is very important if using a mixture of light and dark coloured wool.
Use the hottest wash cycle with the least water.
Once "washed" if the balls do not feel firm they may need to go through another cycle.
They will have probably felted through the tights and these will need to be peeled off the balls.
The balls will be still wet so at this stage can be molded and rolled in your hand to form a spherical smooth shape

Once the balls are dry take a long sharp needle and thread some embroidery floss through each ball. You can tie a knot at either side of the ball if required. I perferred not to knot as it gives a more random effect.

My garlands are going to be used for Christmas decs, but are the sort that can be left up long after Christmas has been and gone.
Bye for now, Ali.