Making Felt Balls and Pincushions Part Two...

balls ready for felting

Wool balls ready for felting.

into the washing machine

Then carefully place the ball inside of the leg of a nylon stocking (cut off the top and the foot so as to have a long tube). Use "twisty ties" tightly in front of and behind the ball. You can get 5 or 6 balls in one stocking this way.

into the washing machine

Use your washing machine set on the smallest amount of water tub-fill and use a bit of dish washing liquid ... not much as it makes a lot of suds and froth. *Use the hottest water setting *

Agitation time depends on your washer ... start with 5 minutes, then stop and open one end and check the progress. Good felting is done when you sort of have to "peel" the stocking off of the ball. You will want to do at least one cold water rinse cycle too to remove the soap and a final spin cycle to remove the water. Undo the twisty ties and peel off the stocking.

If you want to do the felting by hand ... use a bowl or bucket of hot soapy water and dip the felt ball into the hot, soapy water. Hold it in the water until it is wet all the way through. Then begin to press the ball in your hands much like you would work a piece of clay ... pressing and shaping. When the surface colours no longer move and seem pressed into place, rub and press harder, squeezing and rewetting in the soapy water as necessary. Do some rinsing in cold water to remove the soap. Do some final rolling and shaping in your hands to make the wool into a ball shape.

While the ball is still wet, it can be shaped with firm hand pressure and some rolling into an egg shape or flattened on one side or rolled into a round shape. It will probably dry overnight.

finished felt balls

The finished felt balls or pincushions ... Ta-Da!

the pincushion

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