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How to Make Felt Balls



Ever wondered how to make felt balls?  There are several different ways you can do it with the kids, but this is one of those activities where you will need to supervise!





Below I have three different methods that you could us with your kids.  Some are more 'risky' than others (one used hot water and another uses very sharp needles) and when you are working out how to make felt balls you will have to decide with method is the most appropriate for you and your kids given their ages and their level of development (i.e. motor skills and coordination etc.)  

Personally I prefer the results of the dry felting method, but as I have said before perfection is not the goal, learning from the experience is, so if one of the other methods produces a less 'polished' result but suits you and your kids better, then that is definitely the one to choose.

How to Make Felt Balls: What you need...

  • clean soured or combed raw wool (look online for wool roving or tops)

For wet felting:

  • hot soapy water and a
  • old pair of pantyhose

For dry felting (not recommended for young children):

  • a foam block
  • a felting needle

Directions for Wet Felting Method 1:

Warning:  this method requires the use of fairly hot water, the hotter the better actually, so you need to be carefully with the kids when you are dunking the wool into the soapy water and when they are handling the wet wool.

Fill up a sink or a bucket with hot soapy water and divide your raw wool into small clumps of roughly the same size.  Your clump of wool will shrink quite a bit during the felting process (by about 1/3) so make them bigger than you think you need.

Immerse a clump of wool into the soapy water making sure that all of the wool is wet.  Now roll the wet wool into a ball in your hands.  

Keep squeezing and rolling your ball until it is shaped like a ball and feels firm.  When well felted your ball will stay in the ball shape.

Set aside your ball of wool to dry thoroughly.  somewhere in the sun would be good and away from any pets you have that might think your balls are great new chew toys!

Directions for Wet Felting Method 2:

Divide your raw wool into small clumps of roughly the same size.  Your clump of wool will shrink quite a bit during the felting process (by about 1/3) so make them bigger than you think you need.

Cut the legs off the body of your pantyhose.

Put your clumps of wool into one of the pantyhose legs one at a time with a knot between each clump.  Make sure to squeeze the clump firmly into a ball shape before tying the knot in the pantyhose.

When you have formed all of your wool balls and they are tied securely, put your pantyhose into your washing machine and run a hot water wash cycle with a cold water rinse.

Again, once your wash cycle is complete set aside your ball of wool to dry thoroughly.  somewhere in the sun would be good and away from any pets you have that might think your balls are great new chew toys!

Directions for Dry Felting:

Warning: this method requires the use of a felting needle and involves piercing your wool with a stabbing motion.  If you cannot trust your kids to stab the wool - and only the wool - (i.e. no stabbing of fingers or siblings) it is probably not the best method to use.  These needles are very sharp and being stabbed by one of them really hurts!

Set up your work area with your foam block sitting flat on a stable surface.

Divide your raw wool into small clumps of roughly the same size.  Your clump of wool will shrink quite a bit during the felting process (by about 1/3) so make them bigger than you think you need.

Working with one clump at a time, roll the wool into a ball shape and being very carefully to avoid your fingers begin stabbing the wool with your felting needle.

Keep stabbing around the ball until you have a ball shape.  Stab any areas that stick out until your ball is a rounded smooth ball.

In this context, stabbing means making short sharp jabs into the ball of wool with the needle going in a straight down and up motion.  

Now that you have a collection of felt balls, check out the crafts page to find some things you and the kids can make using your felt balls.










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Want to Show Off Your Kids Creations?

If your children would like to share their fantastic creatures with the world, then we'd love to help them do so!

Just take a photo, then visit our main Crafts for Kids page and scroll down - you'll find a form to upload your photo and the name of their creation.

We look forward to receiving it!


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