Thursday, November 15, 2012

DIY~Wool Dryer Balls

A few months ago, the Mister and I attended our 2nd Mother Earth News Fair. While we enjoy listening to our favorite farming "peeps", we also enjoy perusing the different vendor booths, dreaming about all the things that could make our lives easier if only we were millionaires. One vendor that we especially liked was selling all kinds of green laundry supplies, most of which I already did. Except one.

Wool dryer balls were created to take the place of toxic dryer sheets. Made with 100% wool yarn, they help to eliminate static cling, decrease drying time, and keep your towels and unmentionables properly fluffed. But, at $21.00 for a set of 4, buying them just didn't make economical sense. So, I googled it.

You should know that there are literally hundreds of posts dedicated to the making of dryer balls. Either people have entirely too much time on their hands, or they balked at the high prices as I did. For me, it is a little of both. I have a really difficult time watching television and not doing something else at the same time. Maybe I'm just too ADHD to sit still for an entire 2 hour flick. Or maybe it's because I know that my restless hands drive my family nuts.

That's probably it.☺

Making wool dryer balls is easy, and for $10 (or less), you too can have your own 4 fancy balls to toss in the dryer.

And if you're as fortunate as I, your family will burst into fits of giggles when you ask, "Where are my balls?"

I really need to get a life.

Here's what you'll need:

1 skein of 100% wool yarn (Make sure it is NOT machine washable or the yarn will not felt.)
1 nylon stocking (I use cheap knee highs.)
1 tapestry needle
acrylic yarn (for tying)

Start by wrapping yarn around two fingers several times.

Remove the yarn from your fingers, turn the loops sideways and wrap a few more times.

Now fold this in half and continue wrapping, turning often to make a ball.

Continue to roll until the ball is 5-6 inches in circumference. Cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.

Thread the end of the yarn through a tapestry needle and draw the end through the ball.

Tie into a knot by looping around 1 strand of yarn. Cut off the tail or tuck back into the ball. Place the ball into a nylon stocking and push to the bottom. Tie off the stocking just above the ball with a piece of acrylic yarn. (Don't use wool yarn for this, you don't want it to felt.)

Make 3 more balls, adding each one to the stocking and tying off.

Place the balls in the washing machine and wash on hot with no soap. When finished, toss in the dryer and dry on high heat.

After the balls are dried, untie the yarn and remove the balls from the stocking. Increase the size of the balls by adding more yarn until the balls are approximately 9-inches around. Tie off as before and return to the stocking. Again, wash on hot with no soap, and dry on high heat. If you want, you can repeat the wash/dry cycle for a third time. You don't have to; the balls will continue to felt as they are used.

The dryer ball on the right is new; the one on the left has been in use for a few months.
To use, place a minimum of 4 balls in the dryer per load. (I use 8 for large loads.)

Just one word of caution when making these~don't, I repeat don't ever watch a movie with high adrenaline action, such as "The Amazing Spiderman." You may find your balls rolling half way across the living room...

 ...while the family comes up with more reasons to giggle.☺

This post is linked to Farm Girl Blog Fest at Fresh Eggs Daily.


Patty said...

This is AWESOME! I love it. Can't wait to get started on it. :)

Simply Scaife Family said...

So easy. I had seen the price on some and glad you shared:)

Candy C. said...

I made some last year but went with crocheted wool balls stuffed with more wool yarn. Glad your family gets a kick out of your "balls!"

Crystelle said...

What a great idea! It had never occurred to me that you could make these in this fashion.... Brilliant....!
Thanks so much for sharing. I will be trying this out!

hugs x

Debbie Fisher said...

I love this idea but I like a light lavender scent from my clothes (I know- not natural). I have been making my own dryer sheets with face cloths soaked in diluted fabric softener and then dried outside but it is so diluted I still have some static cling. Maybe I could soak these? Great idea either way!

Kim said...

Debbie~Let me know how it turns out for you! If soaking them doesn't work, I would try adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. :)

Lisa {DoleValleyGirl} said...

Great tutorial, Kim! Will be making some of my own soon. :)

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving,

Lisa :)

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

Oh, wow! What a great tutorial! I'll have to give this a try. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Amy said...

What a wonderful post. I have wanted to get these but thought the price was too much! I was also searching for a Christmas present for my aunt. So making these this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

Marie said...


Thanks for tutorial, these wool dryer balls are really great gift for Christmas :)