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DIY Wool Dryer Balls

DIY Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Dryer Balls seem to be the major craze right now in cloth diapering accessories. There are lots of WAHMs that make them and you can even find them for sale on Amazon. But our cloth diapering stash is on a budget, which is why I decided to make my own and these DIY Wool Dryer Balls are super easy for anyone to make!

DIY Wool Dryer Balls

[1] Supplies:  You will need: Wool Yarn (be sure it’s 100% wool), Regular Acrylic Yarn, Scissors, Crochet Needle, Old Pantyhose/Knee High, and a set of hands that won’t be writing for awhile.  Rolling these balls gave me some major hand cramps… You’ve been warned!

I bought two types of wool yarn.  The pinkish/red yarn was thicker and the brown yarn was thin, like a regular yarn.  They both made two balls, even though the brown was about twice the size.  I would definitely use the thicker yarn next time, as it’s easier to roll and doesn’t take as long.

[2] Start rolling your Core:  Start by rolling around your fingers.  Here’s where I made a deviation from the original…  I chose to use a REGULAR acrylic yarn for the core.  Why?  100% wool yarn is price-y!  I made 2 dryer balls with an acrylic core and 2 with a wool core.  They both have held up and perform the exact same!

[3] Roll your core into a ball.

[4]  Finish off your core.  I made my cores 6 1/2 in. in circumference.  If you are making your core out of acrylic, you will still need to wrap around the acrylic core, with the wool yarn in order for your core to felt, or it will unravel in the washer/dryer.  I put a few rounds of wool yarn (just enough to where you couldn’t see the red acrylic shining through).

[5] Tie your balls into the hose for core felting.  

  •  How to felt the balls: After tying them into the hose, put them in the washer with a regular load of laundry.  Wash in Hot Water and then dry with Heat.  This speeds up the felting process.  It did take them quite a long time to dry, as I suppose the wool holds the water.  The balls still measured 6 1/2 inches.
  • Once the core is felted, you need to wrap your balls again to desired size.  I wrapped to have about a 9 1/2 inch ball.  Once you are done, repeat the felting process.
  • I felted my balls twice, at this point, (repeated the wash & dry twice) just to be sure.  I saw no difference from 1 to 2 felts, but I worked so hard that I didn’t want these little guys to unravel!  After two feltings (word?), the balls shrank anywhere from 1/4 – 1/2 inch.

[6]  Scenting your Dryer Balls:  One of my favorite things about the dryer balls that I already had, was the smell, well, when I first got them.  The scent wears off quite fast, so I was very excited to try to re-scent them myself.  I purchased a bottle of Orange Essential Oil and a Marinade Injector.  I used 1/4 oz for the 4 balls that I made. I was a bit disappointed that the scent seems to fade over just about a week, but I’ve found that I can dot them with a bit more oil randomly and it works fine.

[7]  Let the balls dry overnight:  Once you inject them with the essential oils, it’s best to let them dry overnight so that they won’t leak any EO’s on your clothes or your cloth diapers (eek!).

[8]  My Dryer Ball Hangout:  Here is where it all happens… my 4 dryer balls that I made, hanging with my 4 Buddha Bunz and 1 Bouncing Woolies’ Funktastic!  I now have 9 dryer balls and to be honest, am a bit disappointed as I thought it would really take care of my static problems to add 4 more.  I do believe they cut down on drying time, but I would really like to find a way for them to keep their scent longer… and reduce static more!

[9]  DIY Success!  If I can make these myself, you can!  They were quite easy, once I got the hang of it, but I do understand that these take time to make and aren’t the cheapest.  I spent about $10.00 for the yarn for 4 balls, with coupons from Hobby Lobby.  If you add in the price of the oils and injector, that’s another $10.00, but those can be used a few more times!

 

Tip of the Day: Here’s a quick tip to extend the life of your velcro and keep the tabs from curling so much.  When you put them in the wash, attach one to it’s laundry tab, then bring the other over to attach on top.  This works with any diaper that has tabs similar to Bumgenius (Rumparooz, Thirsties, Bummis, etc.).

Cloth Diaper Tip Velcro Tabs

  1. To speed up the felting, I boiled my balls (LOL), let them cool in the water, then dried them alone on HOT. I did 8 at one time, and it worked very well.
    As mentioned earlier, roving “melts” and makes a solid surface; yarn felts but retains the individual lines.

  2. I made my own dryer balls using wool yarn for felting as the package stated. I’m on the 3rd wash and the wool doesn’t seem to have “melted” together like other people who have washed theirs.
    Does this mean the balls I made wont work?? How many times do I need to wash and dry them?

    1. Julie, I think they’ll work, they may just not last as long as the balls that “melt”. I could never get mine to totally felt like store bought wool dryer balls – wish I knew the secret too!

  3. I will try these. Do you think they will help with wrinkles. Does anyone have any wrinkle solution ideas? My husbands cotton tshirt work shirts always have wrinkles.

  4. Reduce your drying time and you will get much less static. I always dry my clothes until just shy of absolutely, completely dry, and I take out everything that’s dry and then the still slightly wet stuff gets put back in for a few extra minutes (usually jeans). I only occasionally get any static,.

  5. I’m getting ready to attempt making some of these myself and remembered you had posted this tutorial. Just curious…any other words of wisdom since it’s been a while since you did this? How are they holding up? Do you still think it’s ok to use acrylic for the core? Thanks!!

    1. Well… the ones with the thicker yarn did best… don’t try to skimp on cheaper Wool Yarn. The acrylic core didn’t seem to make a difference AT ALL. However, I feel like my felting process didn’t work so well. When I get dryer balls from Companies, they seem to be molded together… mine just stayed in their “lines”. Hope that makes sense. You may have just inspired a blog post for a little later this week! 🙂

      1. You are seeing the difference in using yarn and roving. Yarn leaves the lines, and where as roving does not. Those making them with wool from their own farms don’t use yarn but the roving. Roving seems to be the cheaper and quicker way to make these. I also struggled with felting the yarn as much as I’d like. Then learned about roving and wow… Much faster and cheaper and looks nicer in my opinion

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