Easy DIY Felted Dryer Balls

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com
What the heck are Felted Dryer Balls?

Dryer Balls are literally balls made of felted wool. Why do you need them?

Do you use dryer sheets? Did you know that commercial dryer sheets are nothing but chemicals, some of them toxic? That spring fresh scent…not so fresh. Dryer sheets permeate your laundry with chemicals which you then end up wearing! The alternative is all natural wool dryer balls. They help to fluff your laundry, cutting down on static and wrinkles. Plus, they last for years and cost next to nothing!



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Did you see my other Felting Tutorials?

Part 1 Basic Felting
Part 2 Cobweb Felting



Here’s what you need to make your own:


Wool Roving
– Any kind (sheep, alpaca, etc), appr. 1 1/2 oz per ball
Nylon Hose
Washer & Dryer

Optional: If you don’t want to use up all of your good roving, you can put something else in the center such as leftover felt scraps, yarn or pieces of an old wool sweater

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com


Wrap the Roving

If you’re using all roving, start wrapping it around itself roughly in a ball shape, until it’s about the size of a tennis ball.

If you’re using something else for the core, wad up that material, tucking in the ends and then begin wrapping the roving around it. In the first photo, I used scraps from an unsuccessful felting project, second photo has old yarn for the core.

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com
Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com
Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com


Pop em in the Hose

Once your balls (go ahead and laugh :) )are about the size of a tennis ball, put them in the leg of a panty hose, pull it tight and tie a knot between each one.

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com


Wash & Dry

Put your tied up wool balls in the washing machine and wash with detergent and hot water. You can add clothes if you want, just be aware that if your roving is dyed, it may bleed. Once the wash cycle is done, pop em in the dryer. As you’ll see in the next pic, two of mine were fairly well embedded in the hose so you may want to untie them and loosen the hose after the wash cycle and BEFORE putting them in the dryer. But, it’s really not a big deal if you don’t.



Finishing:

All that’s left now is to remove the hose. I had to cut off the hose from two of them but the middle one came out just fine. As I said before, it’s really not a problem. Just cut off the hose. The balls should be well felted by now so it won’t hurt anything.

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com


Ready for action:

I use about 3 or 4 dryer balls per load of laundry. They just live in the dryer and will last for years. I have heard that you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give your laundry a pretty scent. Have not tried that myself, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial - Fiberartsy.com

Do you use Dryer Balls? What do you think of them?


And if you don’t want to make your own……….


Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Premium Wool Dryer Balls (XL, Handmade, Eco-friendly, All-Natural Fabric Softener)


Wool Roving!









Comments

  1. My grandmother uses Dryer Balls. I had never thought to make my own! That’s a great idea. I’ll have to make her some for Christmas!

  2. Thank you! I love your tutorial and can’t wait to get started making dryer balls. I have some white roving that the mill didn’t get as much of vm out as I would like – so I will use that.

  3. Love this! I tried to make some from wool once, but it was mostly synthetic so they didn’t stay together, and tied all my clothes in knots! It had never occurred to me to just use roving! Dur! Will definitely give this a go as I find they help my clothes dry faster.
    Popped over from Ultimate Blog Challenge.

    • LOL, synthetic fiber won’t work. Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Wonderful step by step instructions. . . I’ll be sharing with my sisters.

  5. I have never actually seen anything like this before. Wow. I’m always look for homemade remedies like this. Fabulous!

    Love and luck,

    Laurali Star

    http://www.thesecretsurprisinista.com

  6. Good reminder to an old felter and even have a bit of roving around. Going to the dryer soon.

  7. Love this idea of having a natural alternative to dryer sheets!

  8. I have made these out of roving and wool yarn. My adult sons received them for birthday and Chanukah gifts plus of course, I have my own. I use 6 at a time. I’ve noticed that they keep shrinking so I plan add more yarn to them, soon. My favorite one sits on my desk.:-)

    • Annette says:

      Hi Patti,
      I usually uses 5 or 6 as well. Was just thinking I need to make some prettier ones :)

  9. would this be an issue if you have an alergy to wool? Great idea…will try.
    Thanks

    • Annette says:

      Shouldn’t be, Vickie. You can also use alpaca roving which is hypo-allergenic.

    • I wouldn’t use wool balls if I had a wool allergy. All this wool touching (contaminating?) my clothes…

      • Annette says:

        I’m not sure if that would be a problem or not, Patti. But you can always make them out of alpaca fiber which is hypoallergenic.

  10. I must really be dense, but what is ” roving?” I’m into saving money but need to know this. thanks

    • Annette says:

      Not at all, Edith! I didn’t know until I got into the alpaca fiber business. Roving is fiber or wool that’s been washed and carded (combed) so the fibers all go in the same direction. It’s like a long rope of fiber. This is used for spinning and felting.

    • I bought wool yarn (must be non-washable) with coupon or on sale at Joanns. It’s nice to use a variety of colors.

  11. Mary Dorn says:

    Where can you buy roving or do you have to make it?

    • Annette says:

      You can search on Amazon or look at the post and click the link in the Supply list for Wool Roving. Let me know if you have trouble finding it

  12. Mary Helen says:

    Why/how do they work? Does it just need to be a ball? Guess I am one of those “show me” people.

    • Annette says:

      Hi Mary Helen,
      Wool dryer balls help tumble your clothes which cuts down on dryer time. They also absorb moisture and static. Tennis balls will also tumble your clothes but they release chemicals when heated which natural wool balls do not.

  13. what a fantastic idea! definitely pinning this :) xo, jess @ dreamingofleaving.com

  14. Kelli @ The Sustainable Couple says:

    I would totally douse them in EO’s. Especially Young Living’s Purification!

  15. I didn’t know about these, but love the idea of them!

  16. I have these dryer balls that are little animals (porcupines to be exact) and they work okay. I’ve heard the felt ones are better. I need to make these

  17. HOW SIMPLE! Thanks for sharing. I am a sucker for smelly stuff and love dryer fresh clothes that smell great. Will be making some this weekend.

    • Annette says:

      Thank you Bernadette! You can soak them in essential oil to add some nice smelly stuff :)

  18. Nynke van der Werff says:

    Thanks for your instructions. I did already made some of old not used wool, but once the wool fell apart so I had my wash tangled in wool. Now I will felt new ones and try again.
    I also like using essential oil.

  19. Can you use non wool yarn as the base if you felt the roving over it? Just wondering and didn’t want to try it and waste the roving and time and effort.

    • Hi Linda,
      I’ve never tried felting over non-wool yarn so I honestly don’t know. I have some scrap yarn and roving, though, so I’ll give it a try and report back. Thanks for visiting!
      Annette