Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wet-Felted Jingle Balls




These are such sweet, natural toys for babies or toddlers. They are 100% natural and safe, made simply of wool and a little jingle bell inside which gives a gentle sound when rolled or shaken.

Supplies


Since this is a wet felting project, you will NOT need a felting needle or felting pad. In fact, all you need are these few things:

1. Wool roving (you can use just one color, or a bunch of colors)

2.  Small plastic or metal jingle ball

2.  Dish soap

3.  Hot water

4.  Optional: ziploc bag

5.  Optional: a textured surface such as bubble wrap



1. First you will lay out a little bit of your wool roving and wrap the bell in it. Once you've wrapped some of the wool in one direction, you'll want to wrap it the opposite direction. Alternating the direction of the wool like this will help the fibers stick together.



2. Continue rolling your wool into a ball, tightly, until it is about twice as large as you would like the finished ball to be. When you start felting, your ball will shrink quite a bit!



3. When you have your ball, it is time to add a little soapy water. Just a sprinkle! I like to fill a small bowl with hot water and a couple drops of dish detergent; for me, that's more convenient than running the faucet the whole time.



4. Pass the wet ball back and forth between your hands gently, until the wool fibers start to stick together and become more firm. Once they do, you can start rolling the ball in your hands more and more until it becomes pretty firm and then...keep rolling it more and more vigorously.

You can even pop your ball in a ziploc bag and start rolling it vigorously against a textured surface.


5. When your ball is nicely felted, rinse with cold water and either set aside to air dry or pop it into the dryer for a quick spin.

6. Finally, you can leave it au natural or needle-felt designs using a felting needle.  Here are a few examples. I made these for a craft swap last fall:




I sure hope that tutorial made sense! :) Please let me know if you have any questions!


19 comments:

  1. These are a great idea! Thanks for sharing

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  2. These are very cute. We'll have to try it (thanks to you)! I have a question about wetting the ball...should we drop the ball in the soapy water, or just sprinkle a little bit on? If it's sprinkling, just once or several times until it's wet?

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    1. Hey GInny, you just need to sprinkle it enough so that its wet but not sopping! Then you'll add more water as you go; the hotter the better! I'm hoping to do some YouTube videos in the near future and I think that will make it so much easier to show everyone. Enjoy! And don't forget to send me pics so I can post them here! :)

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    2. p.s. You'll notice that with even a little bit of water and soap, it all gets super bubbly and a little out of control! You might feel, at first, that you just have a big mess on your hands...but don't give up! It all starts to stick together pretty soon and resemble a ball, not a chunk of mush. ;)

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  3. These are SO adorable!! Hope you can link up at my trendy tuesday party!!! http://www.sweetlittlegals.com

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    1. Sure, would love to link up! Thanks for the comment, Sara!

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  4. Oooooo-this looks like something fun to do with my grand daughter as a gift to her new baby brother :} Thanks!

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    1. What a great idea! That would be such a special gift for her to make for her baby brother :)

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  5. Cute Angela! They looks so super soft too!
    Thanks for linking up this week :o)
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  6. How special - I'm loving the little toadstool one - so precious! I found your beautiful site via linky, joined your site, off to have a good look around and read some more posts - would love you to come over and visit me too: http://partycraftsecrets.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks! I'm following you as well. You have a lovely blog! :)

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  7. We had made so many of these when my daughter was young. Turns out cats love them too though and they don't stand up so well to that style of play! Every now and again we'll come across a loose bell rolling about and tufts of wool on surfaces all around the room. :) Yours are lovely.

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    1. LOL. Yes! I've heard that cats love them. I don't have any cats but I think that is so funny :)

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  8. These are AMAZING! I am in awe.

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    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Bridget! :)

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  9. perfect!!!your designs are amazingly cute!!!!

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