An easy foolproof way to make a felt ball 

International Fet Association

I have a number of times over the years tried to make a felt ball.   I found it boring, hard work and not worth the effort.

A few weeks ago it was suggested to me that if you put a small amount of wool fibre in a small in glass jar with some water and shook it you quickly made a felt ball.  In fact you could make one in less than 5 minutes.

Really !!

How can that work ?

This week I have been at the knitting and stitching show , helping at the IFA stand .

International Fet Association

My fellow IFA members and I undertook undertook a few trials of this technique and I can report that it’s very easy and it really does work.  If you look carefully you can just see our trial jar on the table.

Here is how to make a felt ball the easy way.

Take an old glass jar with a lid . Add approx 3 grams of fibre.   Not very much .  We tested Shetland and merino.  Make it into a birds nest.



And place it in the jar.



Fill with water to the top.


Wait 10 minutes if you can !

Then start shaking

Here is what it looks like after shaking for about 30 secs.


Not very promising I agree but have patience, remove the lid and pour out excess water.  Then shake again for 30 seconds.


Look now it even looks ball shaped after only 1 minute!  Remove the excess water and shake again.



After 90 seconds its shrinking it look like a felt ball but has some craters and cracks on the surface.  Remove the excess water and shake again for 30 seconds.


Look now after two minutes you could call it a felt ball, although I am not happy its felted enough yet.

Continue in this way for about 5 minutes and this is the wonderful result.



Felted ball

A totally perfect felted ball.

Its a great activity to do in front the TV and that is what I will be doing tonight and using the felt balls I make on a Christmas wreath.

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Make the best use of your felting scraps

Felting scraps are overwhelming me.  What can I do with them?

I have all kinds of felting scraps

  • Partially felted scraps,
  • Scraps of full felt ,
  • Scraps of prefelts

I am sure all felters are the same.

As I move into my new felting studio I tell myself  –  you must take action on all these boxes of felting scraps.  You can only keep the best ones , the most useful ones , the ones were you have very happy memories of the piece or the time that you made them.

If those are my criteria I will have to keep all of my felting scraps which is not an acceptable solution.

A scan of the Internet shows that felting scraps are a common problem but most of the solutions are sticking and gluing not really what I was looking for. Here is a good example.

All a bit twee for me.

Maybe the only solution is composting.  This appeals to the recycler in me, but doesn’t satisfy the artist in me at all.

I sat and looked at a partially favourite box of scraps  and I was saddened at the thought of composting them .

These special felting scraps were generated at the first felting workshop I ever went too. It was in Friesland in the Netherlands at the atelier of Truus Huijbregts
My tutor was Miriam van Beek , and she had a special method of combining fibres and fabric to make jewellery . The resulting fibre fabric sandwich, could be cut into shape and she used this to make extravagant and beautiful jewellery. See her website here

So I could not just throw them away !

But, I told myself strictly, this box had sat untouched for more than three years.  You need a solution. Suddenly it came to me , combine them all into one piece. The colours were complementary and I was confident I could felt them together.  Use these 60 tiny felting scraps to make one felt piece and get rid of the need for a storage box.

What a wonderful exciting solution.   Strangely I was also at the time contemplating what obsessive activity I could do as part of my Creative Strength Training  Course .  This required me to use a large number of items in an obsessive way.


I was very pleased with my solution to the two problems. I started straight away to lay out my scraps , none bigger than about 2-3 cm, to make a rectangular piece

When I do this on a larger scale I pin the pieces together using large headed dressmaking pins.  You can just see a few in the photograph above.   Here I decided quickly, I did not have enough pins and that the piece of pinned felt scraps would be rather too spiky to felt.


Then I remembered a technique from Jude Hill of  Spirit cloth.  Jude is truly wonderful stitcher and a very generous sharer of all her techniques.  The stitch I thought of is called the invisible baste.  It is an ideal method  to stitch my special felting scraps together because it has a very small stitch, almost invisible stitch, on the top surface.
So I spent a happy few hours obsessively  basting away and with a bit of rearrangement on the way made a piece for felting.

A short time later my felting scraps , which had narrowly escaped the compost heap , were made into this interesting piece.

Now its time to let it dry and then stitch it lots more.
So I have to admit I have been right to keep all these felting scraps , and probably every other scrap I possess as it will have a use one day.

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