Felted Dryer Balls

OK—no snickering at the title of this post.  It could have been worse.   I could have simply  titled it “wooly balls.”   🙂

I tried to be proactive all year and keep on the look out for cool homemade gift ideas.    During the months of November and December, I would like to share with you some homemade gift ideas that you can whip up during this gift giving season.

Today is the kick off.

The most recent issue of Mother Earth Living featured some great homemade gifts.  You can check out the great ideas here.  For the complete instructions for these balls, click here.  (If you have not picked up a copy of this new magazine, do so as soon as you are able.)

Instructions for Felted Dryer Balls
(wooly balls)

2 skeins of wool yarn
1 leg of a pair of old panty hose or tights
string or ribbon

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This is the brand I used. (40% off with a Hobby Lobby coupon.)

Make 4-5 balls of yarn from two skeins.   Tie off the ends.   (I didn’t clip the end short but left a long piece.)

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Place the balls in one leg of an old pair of tights.    Using string or ribbon, tie off each ball.   Don’t use yarn to do this or it will felt as well.    Also, don’t use jute or craft twine because it will come undone during the washing phase.

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Ready for the hot wash.

Wash in very hot water.   Dry with regular loads of clothes.   (I was afraid they would not get dry and mildew so I ran the balls that were still in the hose through multiple dyer loads of clothes.)

Remove from the hose and use in your next dryer load.

Note:  After making a second round, it is best to tie knots in the tights between each ball.   I used nylon string and it unraveled in the wash, too.


So easy.   Even if you aren’t crafty, you can make these.

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These are suppose to help dry your clothes faster and make them softer because of the friction of the wool against the other pieces of laundry.    They are also suppose to last for years.

I was skeptical but as I was felting them, I ran them through three dryer loads.   My dryer is on its last legs and it sometimes takes me 90 minutes to dry a load.   The wooly balls  really did make the clothes dry faster.

Use these as decorative items, too, especially when they are scented with holiday spices like orange essence and cinnamon oil.

I had so much fun making these that I want to felt everything.  Look out Goodwill, I am on my way to buy you out of woolen sweaters and scarves.     (For more information on felting sweaters, go here.)

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I am totally fascinated with this process.

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My second set made out of variegated yarn.

14 comments to Felted Dryer Balls

  • Now I’m going to be thinking of Alec Baldwin and his Schweaty balls all day. 🙂 I’m thinking these would make great cat toys. Have you tried them on yours? Do they like it?

  • tkwblog

    I love Mother Earth Living…I finally broke down and got a subscription (one for my mum too) just for this kind of stuff. They were selling these at our fair but I didn’t wan to pay the price…you know, when you look at something and you go “I could make that” but don’t…. Now that I have your instructions I’m totally making them, thanks!!!!! Oh and I love your braided rug, I have a similar one that my Great Grandma Made out of old nylons.

    PS the vendor at the fair sold smaller versions of the balls as cat toys!

  • How interesting and what a fun idea! Who comes up with stuff like this?

  • kitchenriffs

    I’m not at all crafty but you’re right: even I could do this! Really interesting and fun project. One tip: you might want to check your dryer hose and venting (the part that goes between your dryer and the exhaust, not the lint trap) to see if it’s accumulated a lot of lint. Buildup of lint can increase the time it takes to dry clothing.

  • Ok this is awesome! I’ve heard dryer balls also can be used instead of dryer sheets to reduce static cling – have you noticed that yet? I don’t like using dryer sheets b/c it coats your clothes and makes it so they don’t actually get washed as well, but I have to use it in winter or everything sticks to them. Would love to use these, even if they don’t help with that. Think of the electricity saved on not having to run your dryer as long, especially when you’re cloth diapering and washing diapers all the time!

  • These are so cute I might use them for decoration too.

  • No stinkin’ way!!! I am going to have to make these………….I have so many co-worker gifts I need to make so I’m doing this! Thank you so much, I’m pinning!