How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101)

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I don’t know why felt balls are so appealing…..but they are. They are soft and bouncy. There are so many projects you can use them for: garland, hair accessories, wreaths etc…..I’m just getting started. I set out today to make some of my own using a wet felting process. Wet felting is the process of taking layers of wool roving or wool yarn and combining them into one piece of felt.  Making a felt ball is the easiest form of wet felting there is….taking layers of wool roving (combed wool) and creating a dense, uniform, and seamless ball. You can purchase pre-dyed packages of 100% wool roving in a variety of colors:

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Or you can dye your own natural wool roving with Jacquard acid dye.…or even Kool-aid (I’ll have a separate tutorial for dyeing tomorrow):

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

To start the felting process, I filled a tub full of hot water and added about a tablespoon of dish soap to create a sudsy mixture. I cut pieces of wool roving into pre-measured sections so that my felt balls would end up uniform in size:

(Note: it’s not recommended to cut felt with scissors because you want to retain the long fibers….but for felt balls I’m lazy and don’t feel like weighing out a gazillion different piles of wool)

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

For each ball, I pulled apart the roving to create a large puff ball that I shaped into a roundish shape:

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Next, I dipped the wool into the hot, soapy water and began to shape it carefully into a round shape using the palms of my hands:

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Round and round I rolled the wool, careful not to press too hard, until it began to felt…..you will feel it becoming denser, and denser as you roll:

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I rolled each felt ball until it was a perfectly round, dense piece of felt. Then I rinsed each ball out carefully and set it to dry. Change the hot water as it cools…..hot, soapy water is the key.

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Each felt ball needs to dry for about 24 hours so it can completely dry out:

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

So easy even a 5-year-old can do it!

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

I used this batch as felt beads…..threading them onto some elastic string:

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

A bright and fun piece of jewelry! Stay tuned for more felting tutorials!

 

How to Make Felt Balls (Wet Felting 101) tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Click here to see other felt and fiber art tutorials I’ve done!

I purchased all of my felting materials and tools at Dharma Trading….click here to see their selection!

 


 

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Comments

  1. 1

    Looks like fun! Hope you are feeling better! BTW, what does your hot pink bracelet say?

  2. 2

    Cannot wait to make my own felt balls for a garland… now that I see how easy it is. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!
    ~Nicole

  3. 3

    Super cute! And so easy, I had no idea! Thanks Ashley. :)

  4. 4

    You certainly explain it well. Felting has always fascinated me but it seemed to require some magic to complete. Thank you ! Feel better.

  5. 5

    Love it. Next on my list of ‘to do’ crafts :)

    Vanessa

  6. 6
    Beth Morrow says:

    This is adorable…but, I’ll have to be honest w ya…I’ve never even heard of felt balls…let alone WET felt balls, who knew??? Well, obviously not me.
    Got to try ths.
    I’ve been trying to tag you on FB w a pic of my granddaughters in their little tye dyed heart tshirts with the skirts attached…I don’t think I’m having much luck, but will ck with my IT techie son tonight. They looked so cute in them.
    Glad you have had such a productive day.
    Love ya,
    Beth

  7. 7

    Oh I love these. My clever sister made a beautiful felt ball necklace for my toddler as a Christmas gift and she adores it. I had no idea of the process though. TFS.

  8. 8

    Oh my gosh I have been needle felting balls and this looks so much easier and the results are nicer! Thanks!

  9. 9

    Now I know what to do with left over wool knitting yarn! Thank you for this tutorial, Ashley! xo

  10. 10

    that looks like so much fun – I will have to try it

  11. 11

    Super-cute for jewelry, I’d never thought of that! Looks like fun to try

  12. 12

    Fun!! So cute!

  13. 13

    Thank you for this! I’ve always wondered how they are made!!

  14. 14

    I bet Boo would love to make felted geodes. You just layer the colors of felt and once its dry you cut them in half or even in to quarters and you have cool felt geodes that can be used for jewelry or as embellishment on to felted boxes etc. They make awesome dangly earrings. When I did this project with my students they loved seeing the surprise inside. We even felted around cat toys with jingle bells inside and made rattles. I am a felt-a-holic!

  15. 15

    Oh I love those happy colors! I made a necklace with felted balls out of my cat’s fur and gave it to our catsitter (who’s REALLY crazy about our cat). Sounds gross, but it looked cute :)

    • 16
      kittenmummy says:

      This is EXACTLY what i was looking for, I just brushed both of my kittens and now have a big ball of white fur and a big ball of orange fur to felt with. I am also going to make a necklace :D

  16. 17

    I love BALLS! ;)

  17. 18

    Lol@Lil Miss Red T-Shirt!!!

    Ashley (or anyone else reading this), do you know if there is another fiber I can use instead of wool? I LOVE the look and naturalness of real wool but sadly, I’m allergic to it. That’s right…my life is devoid of beautiful wool sweaters, warm winter socks and even…gulp…cashmere!

    Thanks for any suggestions on alternative fibers!

  18. 20

    I never realized it was this easy! Thanks for sharing! :)

  19. 21

    Hi Ashley

    This is Denamrk following your inspiring blog.

    I’m sad to read about your illness, I really x my fingers for you ;)

    A little friendly tip about felting:

    Never use at scissor cutting the wool, tear it apart by holding the wool with approx. 15-20 cm between your hands and then tear.

    If you cut the wool you’ll cut of the nice fibres in the wool, the whole point with the felt is that the long fibres gribs into each other while felting together.

  20. 23

    Shut the Front Door! This looks easy enough for even me to do! Yahoo!
    You rock!!!

  21. 24

    I just love your ball felting tutorial. Thank you for sharing yourself and your talents. Oh I signed your petition as did my husband.

  22. 25

    Thanks for the lesson. I’m gonna try my hand at it!

  23. 26

    I might be totally late on asking this, but how many felt balls were you able to make from the .7 oz bags the link takes you to? I’m trying to figure out how many bags I need for a mantle garland project :)

    P.S. Love you!! No hate comments here lol

  24. 28
    Dawn Lawson says:

    Tried various tutorials to make the felt balls and this was the best one! They’re all perfect, thank you.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] started out with a base of 2 different sized felted balls (see tutorial here)….but you can roll felt and use a needle to create a form from scratch [...]

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