Then one day I was walking through whole foods and I noticed a package of all natural wool dryer balls! I was very excited about these dryer balls right up to the point when I got up to the register and found out they were $20.00. Did I mention I'm cheap? Well I am, and paying $20.00 for some balls of wool seemed pretty stupid to me. I thought to myself, "I bet I can make these." So I came home, and ignoring me children, immediately started perusing the internet to see if I could find some information on how to make my own dryer balls, and low and behold... it was everywhere!
So for your entertainment and (hopefully) enlightenment, I have outlined the process I went through to make these dryer balls. Enjoy!
What you'll need:
- 100% wool
- A pencil
- A moment of peace
- Old panty hose, tights, or socks
- Essential oils (optional)
To continue, you will need your moment of peace. I say this because you can't stop rolling yarn to go wipe butts and get water for little people because it will unravel. Pick a time when you won't be pulled away too much and it will make things easier.
To start, wrap the yarn around your fingers like so.
Once you've gone around a number of times (4 or 5), remove the circle of yarn and wrap the yarn around the middle a few times so it looks like a bow.
Then, fold it over and start wrapping the yarn around the center to start the ball.
Continue wrapping it around and around so you make a ball-like shape about two inches wide. Warning: your hands will get tired and crampy.
I found it helpful to use the multicolored yarn because it made it easier to tell where I had just wrapped the yarn.
Using a pencil, push the remaining thread down into the ball as far as possible. Push the threads back over the hole to seal it. (Others will tell you to use a crochet needle. This sounds great in theory, if you knit. I don't knit, or sew very well for that matter, and so I didn't want to spend money on something I would never use again. A pencil worked fine.)
I made 4 balls, but you can make anywhere from 3 to 6.
Now cut off the leg of your pantyhose (Don't try to save them. Resistance is futile). Stuff one ball into the leg pushing it all the way to the toe. Tie a knot above the ball. Then repeat the process until your pantyhose looks like this.
Here's the important part, you need to machine wash the balls in HOT water and dry them on HIGH heat to make them felt. Basically, this means they will shrink a little and the threads will fuse a bit. I put them in with a load of sheets because I worried about towel lint getting all over the pantyhose and causing problems.
Once you take the balls out, they should feel a little tighter and the threads should stick together.
You're not done yet....
Now you have to repeat the whole process again. This time you will need to wrap your finished ball in more wool until they are about three inches across, push the thread through with a pencil, place them in the panty hose and wash on HOT, dry on HIGH.
Remove the balls from your pantyhose and enjoy. At this point you can add a drop of essential oil to each ball before throwing them in a load to give your clothes a nice cent. Don't add a lot of essential oil. Remember a few drops go a long way.
They felted nicely and stayed together in the dryer fine. I anticipate they will firm up even more with continued use. I also think they are a little small. I may add another layer of wool in the future, but I'll see how these work first.
The essential oils (I used lavender) did make my load smell very nice though. :)
Linked to: Shabby Creek Cottage