If you like using wool dryer balls and don’t want to purchase them, you can learn to make your own. They are great for using up leftover wool yarn or you can repurpose those old wool sweaters and coats, instead of throwing them out. Just make sure that you are using 100% wool. You can also use other animal hair items, such as alpaca or cashmere. If you are recycling old wool sweaters, cut them into thin strips for this project. Making your own wool balls is cheaper than buying them and you can make extra ones to give away as gifts. These homemade wool dryer balls will quickly become your go to dryer sheet. So, stop spending money on those costly dryer sheets and make your own with these simple steps:
What You’ll Need
- Wool yarn (100% wool yarn or wool fabric strips)
- Cotton string
- Panty hose or a tube sock
- Large Pot
Bind the Wool
First, you need to bind your wool yarn or wool fabric into a ball. Take your yarn or fabric and wrap it around your fingers. Change directions frequently, so that your ball forms a nice round shape. Your ball should be at least two and a half inches in diameter. If you are eyeballing the size, it should be close to the same size as a tennis ball. Once your ball is the correct size, you need to anchor the end piece. You can do this by weaving it under a few strands of yarn. Just make sure it is in place before beginning the next step. Make as many of these balls as you wish and then proceed.
Boil the Wool Balls
Once you have made all of your wool balls, place them into your panty hose or tube sock. Take a small strand of string and tie, in between each ball, to separate them. Place the sock or panty hose into a large pot of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the burner and allow the water to cool completely. Let your wool balls soak during this time.
Dry and Repeat
When the water has cooled, remove the filled sock from the pot. Squeeze out as much water as you can and place in the dryer. Do not untie the strings yet. After they have completely dried, remove from the dryer and cut the strings. The wool balls will have shrunk and appear fuzzy. This is the felting process. These balls will be the core of your dryer balls. Using the core, repeat the process and the result will be your final product. When wrapping the cores the second time, make sure the ball is at least three and a half inches in diameter. It will shrink to the proper size when it felts. Now you have perfect reusable “dryer sheets” that hardly cost a thing! These dryer balls will last for years and when you need more you can easily make them yourself.