Easy DIY Felted Dryer Balls




A FiberArtsy.com Tutorial

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!

Did you see my other Felting Tutorials?
Part 1 Basic Felting

Part 2 Cobweb Felting


Step 1: Supplies Needed:

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

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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.

Step 4: ​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.

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.

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.

Now go and get rid of those toxic dryer sheets!





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    17 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 1

    Just wondering.......... so the center doesn't need to be 100% wool?


    2 years ago

    I had a ball of 100% wool yarn that I mitred into 6 dryer balls with acrylic centres. I have tried for weeks now to get them felted and nothing I'm doing is working. Even though they're knitted, will putting them in a stocking and washing and drying them turn them into felt as easily as yours have turned to felt?

    I have a customer who has ordered some, so I need a solution fast to get these felted... can anyone help me?

    4 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    You probably found your answer already, but this might help someone else. A lot of 100% wool yarn available in stores is "superwash" type...which means treated somehow to prevent it from felting. If the yarn says machine wash & dry on the care instructions it will not felt.


    Reply 2 years ago

    sorry, that's supposed to say I had a ball of 100% yarn that I knitted into 6 dryer balks


    Reply 2 years ago

    If the outer yarn is 100% wool, it should felt. Did you use very hot water? I do know that my Mother tried to felt some slippers and found out her tap water did not get hot enough. She ended up heating water on the stove and felting them that way.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Originally, I knitted the wool around the acrylic, as the pattern instructed. Then it said to scrub them with a course scrubby like that on a sponge. I didn't have one like that but I do have a recycled plastic one that is just as course, so I used that until it was, as she instructed, "fuzzy". Then she said to boil them for 10 minutes before putting them in the dryer for a few cycles. I tried that, and it didn't work at all. So I tried it a second time, boiled them for nearly 30 minutes, then tried drying them. Still didn't turn to felt. I tried putting them in the stockings, but they still didn't turn to felt. So I bought some roving wool, wrapped it around the balls I'd knitted, put them in the stockings with cotton ties in between each ball, and washed them in my front loader on hot/cold. The only part of the cycle that didn't work was the spin cycle at the end, so I've had 14 wet felted dryer balls sitting on my washer while 4 are in my dryer. It's taking quite a long time to dry them, so I think next time I'm going to try cutting the stockings so the balls are individually stocking'd, and put a bunch of towels in the washer with them in hopes the spin cycle is successful.

    Doing this lady's pattern by making a core out of scarp yarn and wrapping roving wool around it has been 100% successful. I'm very happy with how they've turned out. I do still need to actually test the balls on clothes to make sure the balks take the static away, but so far, the towels I have in with the first 4 aren't staticky at all, so i take that as a great sign.


    3 years ago

    I love this idea :-) I have some hard plastic dryer balls been using for years now but I hate the sound of them knocking around the dryer :-/ I will defiantly make some of these when I next do my load of Woolies wash :-)

    not all the cloths go in the dryer only the undergarments don't like them out there on view so the woollen balls will be a lot gentler on all the undergarments compared to the plastic dryer balls :-)

    Thanks for the great idea :-)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I'm allergic to wool, makes me itch if I wear it next to my skin. I wonder if what makes me itch would be transferred to my clothes?

    Aside from that, they are so pretty, I think they would look good in an antique wooden bowl as decorations.

    4 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I wouldn't think it would transfer but you never know. And yes, alpaca is hypoallergenic and it felts really well!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Just a warning, even bought alpaca yarn will often smell like wet dog when wet.

    aallen boatmanmnmama

    Reply 5 years ago

    mnmama, try alpaca wool. less itching, or even a wool/soy blend will felt and is super soft.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I make mine two ounces in weight, and needlefelt to make a more solid ball. Yes, it is more time-consuming, but they do last. I use six in my dryer, but that's probably a little overkill. :) Yours are pretty!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Literally everything that's made of atoms is a chemical, like wool or the infamous dihydrogen monoxide.