I decided to use my lovely store brought felt balls to make a mat for my nieces birthday. After separating all the colours I decided I wanted it to be mostly pinks, blues and purples to match her room rather than a true freckle inspired mat. Looking at the colours that I had I thought it would be pretty if I had more pale pink balls in the mix. Luckily I had some pale pink roving already which I thought would be perfect to make some felt balls.
Supplies for your own hand made felt balls
1. Wool roving in colour/s of your choice
2. Soap (I use grated olive oil soap but you can use any unscented soap)
3. Bowl of warm water and extra water to rinse balls in
Instructions for making your own felt balls
1. Mix small amount of soap into your water. You have enough soap, when water becomes cloudy and when you rub your hands together a light lather should form.
2. Pull off a wisp of felt from your roving approximately 10-15cm long. Repeat this several times as it is much easier to handle felt with dry hands. Do not cut your felt as it is better to have ragged ends as these felt much easier than hard
3. Wrap 1 of your strips of felt around your finger and gently roll between your hands into a loose ball. Make sure that your fibres are spread fairly evenly around the ball.
3. Dip your ball into the water so it is wet through and then gently roll between your hands. Check the size of your ball and if needed add a little bit more felt till you have a good size ball. Your ball will shrink as you complete the felting process. You need to continue dipping your ball in the water and rolling, adding felt as needed. As you feel your ball slowly getting firming you can increase the pressure of the rolling.
4. If your ball has a split or divide, do not panic, this usually occurs if you have applied to much pressure too early in the rolling process, but it is easy to fix. Just wrap a few more strands of felt over divide and continue rolling.
5. After 3-5mins your ball should be nicely felted and firm. you know your ball is felted well when it has a little bounce when dropped and not just splats on the table.
6. Rinse the soap out of your ball, squeeze and give a finally roll
before setting aside to dry. It is that easy to make felt balls and you can make them any colour or size you wish.
If you want to use your balls as jewellery or as a garland it is best to thread them, while damp, onto a knitting needle or skewer so they have a nice hole when dry and are easier to use.