Today's feature: DIY Dryer Balls
Dryer balls? Yes, I know - boring. However, they last for years and you don't have to buy any fabric softener if you have enough of these bouncing around in your dryer. I find that five is the right number for my dryer. In retail stores, you can find PVC versions of these for pretty cheap, or hand felted versions that cost an arm and a leg. I don't like heated plastics, especially PVC, rubbing against the clothing that we wear everyday. And I don't know about you, but with two kids, I need all the arms and legs I can get. Soooo I made my own.
Now, I'm not one to reinvent the wheel, so I will direct you to a very easy-to-follow tutorial over at diynatural.com. I followed the tutorial as stated, except I added a step.
Here's what I did: After step 5 (before putting them in the pantyhose) I needle-felted them to get rid of the ridges and make sure that they would not unravel. I used my Clover Felting Needle Tool to repeatedly stab each ball with a twist of the wrist. I would not encourage you to go out and buy one of these unless you plan on making a bunch of balls as Christmas presents or for craft fairs, but I do all sorts of fiber arts as a hobby, so I had one of these on hand.
|The Clover Needle Tool|
If you do plan on taking up needle felting, this tool is great for felting large areas. It also doubles as a stress-reliever. Repeatedly stabbing an object is therapeutic!
But I digress...
Anyway, by needle felting before washing, you can ensure that your balls won't have any weird lumps or bumps (nice if you're giving them as a gift or selling them), and it also ensures that they won't unravel before they have a chance to felt completely. Usually you have to wash and dry these balls on high temperatures at least twice to get them to felt up firmly. By needle felting the balls before washing, I have found that I only had to wash them once.
So there you have it. Save yourself some drying time with each load and skip the fabric softener just by making these 100% wool dryer balls. They're worth the half-hour of work to make them!