How To Make Wool Dryer Balls

We use felted wool for many things at our house.  It’s especially great to make mattress pads for our and the minion’s bed.  We get this wool for just a few dollars by buying 100% wool sweaters and blankets from thrift stores and felting them in our washer.  I’ll do a tutorial on that soon.  But my most recent project is these wool dryer balls.

To make the dryer balls you need to use felted wool.  Cut a piece of felt that’s twice as long as it is wide.  3 inches by 6 inches is a good general size, but it doesn’t have to be exact.  Sew the two short sides together wrong sides together.  Your seam will be on the outside.  If you want you can do this on the machine, but if you do it by hand it will look nicer.  I did mine on the machine, but if you’re making these as a gift or have too much time on your hands, feel free to hand sew the whole thing.

Next is the part that’s going to be hard to explain.  Sew each of the ends together in opposite ways.  One side fold the circle of fabric with the seam in the middle and one side with the seam on the end.

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Leave a little opening on one of your seams and stuff with random felt scraps.  Then just close up your seam and you’re done.

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A quick few minute project that will reduce static on your clothes and help them dry faster.  These are also safe to use with cloth diapers unlike most commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

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A Quick List of Things to Make from Scrap Fabric

  • stuffing for toys
  • patchwork dolls (post TO COME)
  • rice bags for applying heat to injuries
  • reusable baby wipes (we just use squares of old t-shirts and wash them with our cloth diapers)
  • reusable ‘paper’ towels
  • bookmarks
  • rainbow garland
  • fabric flowers (can be used as hair barrettes, pins, to decorate bags, ect)
  • covered buttons
  • reusable sandwich bags
  • plush baby blocks
  • quilted coasters
  • draft snake
  • aromatherapy sachets (sew a small bag and fill with herbs)
  • gift tags
  • braided rag rug
  • rag hair curlers (take strips of fabric and wrap hair around them towards your scalp.  When you have wrapped a length of hair, just tie the strip, spritz your hair with water and leave overnight)
  • reusable produce bags
  • of course, the original way to use scraps, a quilt

Any other ideas?

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Garland

The hero has officially given me permission to start planning the minion’s first birthday party.  I’ve been unofficially planning since before she was born.  Anyways, we decided on a rainbow theme.  Ok, I decided, but the hero approved and the minion doesn’t know what’s going on anyways.  I have been wanting some reusable party decorations so I don’t have to waste streamers and balloons for every party, so I decided to make some garland.  I figure rainbow colors can be used for pretty much anything festive.

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I made two, they are both about 10 feet long.  I need to look around our house at where I plan to put them most often and make sure that’s a good size.

My mom and I do a lot of crafts using felted sweaters and we have a lot of scraps.  On a side note the pavlovinator loves to curl up in our scraps.  Basically I just took various shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple and stitched them together using the sewing machine.  The shapes are rough rectangles just hand cut and they are overlapped a bit so the stitching holds better.  I did have to go back and redo a few of the overlaps that didn’t quite catch.  Then I did another line of stitching in a thin zigzag to make it a bit more sturdy.  That’s it.  It would be pretty easy to add more or cut off some if needed.  You could also do a similar thing with circles of fabric, stars, or other shapes.