Hello there! Beth has asked me to write a tutorial on one of my “green” projects. Today, I am going to talk about homemade Dryer Balls.
I remember a few years back, they had these infomercials for plastic dryer balls. They were these cheap, flimsy things that supposedly did the work of 100’s of dryer sheets. Well… they may have, but this is a way you can make them at home with scraps of yarn you already have lying around, or for about $5 you can buy a whole new ball at your craft store.
What you need:
- Yarn. It MUST be real wool. You cannot use acrylic as it will not felt together! I bought new and got some fun colors!
- Knitting Needle. I don’t think this is a must, honestly. I bought them, but I have skewers, click-able ink pens and other things that would work just as well!
- An old nylon stocking. Don’t use a new one. Use that one you kept because it only has one small run in it.
- Washer, dryer, and scissors.
Step 1: Make a ball. Yep, you need to wind the yarn tightly around in various directions, making a ball about 2”. To start the ball, I wrapped it around my first two fingers about 6-8 times. Then, I pulled it off my fingers, twisted it in a figure 8, and folded in half. I proceeded to wrap more yarn around until a ball formed. I use the palm of my hand to mark the size. To secure the end, use the knitting needle to press the end deep inside the ball, putting the end under some of the wound strands – almost like you’re starting tying your shoes. Note, if you’re using partial pieces, I would start by using them here. Tie the ends together and no one will ever know! You want to go as tight as you can around, the closer to the outside of the ball you are. Remember – you’re not aiming for perfection! Personally, I think they look great all messed up, going in different directions.
(sorry about the bad picture!)
Step 2: You need to “felt” the ball. Felting is the process of compressing the fibers. To do this, you need to put the ball in a nylon stocking and tie it tightly around the end.
Wash and dry with a load of laundry. Keep in mind, you don’t want to wash this with your whites as the colors may bleed!!!
After you’ve washed and dried the ball, cut it out of the nylon and you’ll have a nice, felted ball!
Step 3: Start winding again to make the ball bigger. You’ll want the ball to have doubled in size. Secure the ends again. Felt the ball one more time, the same as before.
After you’ve dried the ball in the dryer inside the nylon, cut it out and discard the nylon (or save it for the next one you make!!). Keep the ball in your dryer and use instead of dryer sheets.
Since I’ve been using my dryer ball, I’ve noticed several things. First, my laundry is just as fresh and soft as if I used a dryer sheet if not better! In some cases, dryer sheets may still come in handy. For instance, dress shirts made of lycra or other similar material sometimes come out full of static. I don’t wear them often, so I just deal with the static. Lastly, I’ve noticed that my drying time is cut down MAJORLY! This is HUGE for me!!! My dryer is about 10 years old, and well…I have no foreseeable plans to get a new one. The fact that my dryer is working better now than it has in years past absolutely amazes me! I hope you try this out, and love it as much as I do!
If you have any questions about making this, please feel free to comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be happy to forward any questions to me.