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Crafts + DIY » Adult Crafts » How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls

How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls

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Learn how to make the best DIY felted wool dryer balls, how to use and care for them, how to scent your laundry with essential oil and easy storage tips. 

Yarn ball being trimmed off above three fully felted wool dryer balls

Are you using wool dryer balls yet? They are absolutely one of my favorite discoveries since switching to a more natural lifestyle.

Not familiar with wool dryer balls? You need to be!

All you have to do is put at least 3 (more is better – I have about a dozen of them!) of these wooly wonders in your dryer to reap all the benefits they have to offer your clothing and household linens.

Benefits of Using Wool Dryer Balls

If you’re trying to move to a move natural laundry routine, this is one of the easiest changes you can make. Wool dryer balls take the static out of your clothes, taking the place of dryer sheets.

They also decrease the time it takes for your laundry to dry, which can save on electricity costs. And what mom couldn’t use a few extra minutes back each day?

How to Scent Your Laundry with Wool Dryer Balls

If you’re worried that you’ll miss the scent of dryer sheets, simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil right onto the wool dryer balls and toss them in with your drying clothes for the last 10 minutes of the drying cycle.

A lot of people do this at the start of a load. It works best if you add the oils only during the last 10 minutes or so of drying. Otherwise the heat will destroy the scent. You don’t want that if you’re trying to save money with your choices.

How Much do DIY Wool Dryer Balls Cost to Buy or Make?

If you purchase wool dryer balls, they can cost you up to $10 each (although the price is becoming more affordable as more companies are making and selling them).

If that’s more than you’re willing or able to spend, or you just like being crafty around the home, you can easily make your own for around $2.50 each using these simple instructions for how to make wool dryer balls. If you have an affordable source for wool yarn, your cost may be lower.

While a lot of people don’t felt their DIY wool dryer balls, I find it’s an important step you won’t want to miss. Felted wool dryer balls last longer than unfelted wool dryer balls, and they are a lot less likely to fall apart once the wool is felted.

Tips on How to Store Wool Dryer Balls

As far as storage goes, we keep ours in the dryer. Some end up in laundry baskets in the house for a bit, but since we have a dozen of them, there are pretty much always a few wool dryer balls stored in the dryer ready to use.

3 wool dryer balls on a patterned tablecloth

How to Make Wool Dryer Balls

Learn how to make the best DIY felted wool dryer balls to reduce static and laundry drying time.
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Felting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Supplies

Tools

  • Washing Machine & Dryer

Instructions

  • Start by loosely winding the yarn into large balls. It is very important that you wind the balls loosely because that allows the fibers to felt more easily in the step 4. The exact size of your ball isn’t important, but it’s better to go with a larger size since small wool dryer balls get lost in the laundry a lot more easily than larger ones.
    Gray wool yarn being woven into a dryer ball
  • Once your yarn ball has reached your desired size, cut the yarn, leaving a tail that is a few inches long. Thread that tail onto your yarn needle and weave the tail back through the ball several times to lock the end in place. Cut any remaining tail yarn flush with the ball.
    Cutting the yarn tail once the wool yarn balls have been formed
  • Slide the yarn ball all the way to the toe of the nylon stocking. Knot the stocking so that the first yarn ball is completely surrounded by stocking. Slide the next yarn ball in as far as it will go and tie another knot. Continue in this fashion until all yarn balls are in stocking cocoons.
    One wool dryer ball tied into the end of nylons
  • Wash the worm of wool balls in very hot water with your regular laundry soap. You can wash the balls with your regular laundry so you’re not wasting water or electricity. Send the balls through several wash and dry cycles with your regular laundry for best results. The hot water and the soap will cause the wool to felt onto itself, meaning that the yarn ball will not unravel.
    Four wool dryer balls tied up into nylons before being felted
  • Cut the wool dryer balls out of the stocking. If the wool doesn’t look completely felted, go ahead and tie the balls into another stocking and repeat steps 3 and 4. Once the wool balls are completely felted, you can begin using them in your dryer.
    Dryer ball cut out of the nylon - it's fully felted now

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