Felted Ball Ornaments Tutorial – Felting with a Sweater

Felt seems like the perfect material for Christmas ornaments to me – It’s warm, cozy, and imperfections just add to the handmade quality. Last year I made felt ball garlands, so this year I was looking for something new to try. 

Materials: 

  • styrofoam balls (Mine were $2 for 10 at the second hand store. They were wrapped in ugly fabric, which I either peeled off for needle-felting, or just left on when felting with sweaters)
  • a pure wool sweater ready to be given new life! 
  • hot water and liquid dish detergent

Here’s How: 

  1. Cut the sleeve: The sleeves of a sweater are perfect for this. Cut a tube of sleeve that just a bit longer than the diameter of your styrofoam ball. 
  2. Sew one end closed and insert the ball: Use a running stitch to cinch one end of the tube tightly shut. Insert the ball into the tube, and push it tightly down to the end you just sewed up. 
  3. Sew the other end closed around the ball:  Pull the tube snugly up around the felt ball, and sew the other end closed.Sew the other end shut.
  1. Wet felt: I like to wear rubber gloves for this part, but it’s up to you. Run your tap water as hot as you can. Get the ball wet, and add a tiny drop of dish soap. Roll the ball around in your palms, adding more pressure as the wool tightens up. Every 30 seconds or so, run the ball quickly under the hot water to help the felting process. I find it usually takes just a minute or two to felt. The ends where you gathered the tube shut are a bit bulkier, so really add pressure to those sections. When the whole ball is tight and smooth, you are done!
  2. Embellish: Once the ball is is dry, I like to use embroidery floss to add detail. It’s surprisingly easy to sew on the round ball! If you want to use your ball as a tree ornament, then don’t forget to add a loop to hang it with.    
  3. felted ball and finished ball.

The ornaments are really cheap, quick and easy to make! I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do!


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