This idea is not new to me and I have no idea where it originates! I am also very new at actually explaining how to do something in written form so I hope this is somewhat helpful! And excuse the sometimes wonky format…can’t figure it out.
I had wanted to get a wool ball for the girls for a long time and then when I scored a big bag of wool batting for just a few dollars, I decided to try it myself. After looking up a few videos and instructions, I went for it. I decided to make one for Cecily’s birthday. The first wet felting attempt, well, it went okay but I wanted the ball to be really firm and to bounce. So I did a little more research and decided to try the washer and dryer method with a couple more. I ended up with what looked like dreadlocks. So I went back to the original one and tried to salvage it so that we had a gift for Cecily for her birthday. She started pulling it apart pretty quick so I knew it was back to the drawing board. Being able to find videos and tutorials is great but for me there is nothing like the real thing so when Makiko offered to show me how to needle felt, I was excited. Through a combination of needle and wet felting, I ended up with this. I loved making it and the girls love playing with it. It is firm and has a little bounce. It is soft so won’t break things as easily and babies love to hold it. Wool is non-toxic and anti-bacterial so safe for even chewing babies. I haven’t seen any of the fibers in Cecily’s mouth yet and she loves to gnaw on it!
I found a couple of videos that were pretty helpful in getting started and explain in ways that I couldn’t do with just pictures. Basically I will just add some tips and things that Ihave been figuring out as I go.
What you will need:
Wool Batting or Roving (100 % wool): I have undyed wool that I have been using for the inside and dyed for the outside. Felting Needle (a special barbed and very sharp! needle) Foam Block (one for felting specifically or just a thick one that is pretty soft.) Dish Soap, Hot Water and Rubber gloves (my own personal tip) and an old nylon
A few extra ideas:
If you want a little jingle, add a bell right to the center at the very beginning. If you have access to a less expensive undyed wool use that for the core and add the color later. I do them with a load of towels (conserve energy and adds some felting umfph to the balls) but make sure that your towels are darker than the ball otherwise you will dye your towels. Give the ball a quick shape before putting it in the dryer. Finally, if you live near me and are like me and learn better hands on, I will be happy to show you how.