Felted dryer balls

Our neighborhood "creativity club" was winding down from an afternoon of crafting when someone asked what our next project was. "Felted dryer balls." Felted dryer balls? Yes. They're made by felting wool roving and yarn into a ball. You put about five in the dryer with your wet clothes, and they help fluff the clothes, which makes them dry faster (saving money); they cut down on static cling, so no need for dryer sheets (saving money & waste); plus you can add your choice of essential oil onto it to make everything smell nice (ahhhhh); and they are very pretty and fun to make (bonus) A perfect use for scraps from old felting projects, odd bits of wool yarn, and old thrift store woolen sweaters and jackets.

My friend forwarded me an excerpt from the Home and Family show explaining the process. It's a pretty good video and not too long, so I'm linking it here. After trying their method, I tweaked a few things, and this is what I learned.

I like using less than the 2 ounces recommended of wool roving. Unless you prefer grapefruit-sized dryer balls, about 1.5 ounces or so is good.

Instead of using only wool roving, I used some scraps of felted wool sweaters leftover from previous projects. This worked well. I just wadded the scraps into a small ball and wrapped them in roving, and then in some wool yarn to secure the ball.

        I also had some old wool jackets and sweaters that I had already felted. I cut a segment, like a sleeve, into a long "ribbon" about 3/4 to 1" wide. You can cut a continuous ribbon by starting on the outside edge and cutting around and around and around, coiling closer and closer together. I then wrapped the ribbon into a ball, winding it around and around itself. This I used as a core, that I then wrapped with roving and yarn, or in some cases just yarn.

       Note that the wool I used that was already felted did not felt together any more, and needed a complete   layer of roving and yarn or just yarn around it to keep it together. Yes, I tried making one with only a little  yarn holding it together, and bits of the “ribbon” waggled out all over the place.

5      I needed to wash and dry the balls at least twice for good felting.

6     Make sure your nylon stocking ends are tied securely, else your nice little ball might escape and completely unravel. If this happens, you can reuse the wool ribbon and just start over.

        I had some roving and yarn that was a wool and mohair mix. The mohair REALLY felted into the nylon stocking, making it very time consuming and fiddly work trying to get the nylon off of the dryer ball ~ UGH.

        All in all I made five sets of felted dryer balls, two for birthday gifts, one Mother’s Day gift, one for my Sweet Girl, and one for myself. I added a bottle of essential oil and wrapped each set in a stenciled hemp sack.


  1. What a great idea! I would just want to have them as decoration, maybe add a little embroidery to them. Hmmmm, so pretty.

  2. Adding embroidery, that would be really cool. Hmmmm, now you've got me thinking.....