Tutorial Try Out 1 – Felt Balls by Martha Stewart

I was very excited about my first tutorial try out this was definately one on the top of my list. So last Sunday I took of to my favourite wool shop and bought 40 grams of red soon to be felted wool at the amazing price of NZ$1.80 which probably works out to around US$1 and some detergent without any added scents or dyes. All the other bits and pieces needed for this project were in my cupboard.

According to the tutorial written by Marta Stewart I needed the following materials;

  • felting wool
  • pitcher of hot soapy water (4tblspoons of detergent to 6 cups of hot water)
  • baking tray
  • sponge
  • bamboo skewers
  • kitchen scale (I did not have those so just hoped for the best size wise)

So look here it all is ready to have some fun;

set up

After geting the hot soapy water ready I was on my way to make 11 balls. I wanted 11 for a necklace that I want to make after the balls/beads have dried. I have seen this somewhere on another website but unfortunately have been unable to find it back, if anyone has seen it please let me know.

Ok back to making beads; I started out with a small wad of wool and then adding smaller lengths of wool around and around very tightly. When I thought the ball was big enough I dunked the ball in the hot soapy water let the bubbles come out and then started rolling between my hands without squeezing. The wool feels a litle mushy in the beginning but after 15-30 seconds of rolling you feel the ball begins to harden. Martha Stewart says you need to keep rolling for another 10 mins. but mine were done after 2-3 minutes. Remember to keep dunking the ball in the water the hot water causes the fibres to stick together and become felt. I then rinsed it out under cold running water (still rolling) and put it away to dry.

It took me about 1 and a half hours to do all 11 balls. After that I left to dry overnight in my studio. They already looked so good here: felt balls

On Monday morning I checked on their progress again and they were already dry and soft and lovely! Unfortunately I did not have time on Monday, tried to think of a nice way to connect them all up on Tuesday. And finally on Wednesday thought I could make it more elegant by using a lighter wire and bought some plastic coated fishing line and put the necklace together.

As you can see in this photo below I also used a loss less of the felt beads cause the 11 beads worked out to be too bulky. Anyway here is the result, I am pretty happy with it. I loved the tutorial sooo simple to do, have a go and please let me know what your experiences are!

finished felt bead necklace

Just thought that I would let everyone know that Craft Tutorials has moved to crafttutorials.net



Filed under Felting, Jewelry, Tutorial we've tried

5 responses to “Tutorial Try Out 1 – Felt Balls by Martha Stewart

  1. Very neat-I bookmarked this tutorial for myself. Thanks

  2. There are many good felt making tutorials and felt-a-longs on the felting boards on Craftster the oldest tute there is on making felt beads. http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=21330.0

    There is also an index topic with a list of both needle felting and wet felting tutorials on Craftster.

    Craftster is in your links, so perhaps you saw the tutorial there. There are also several other sites that have tutorials/guides for making felt beads and balls.

    Have fun, making felt beads is addicting.

  3. Kay

    this looks fun.. but what is “felting wool”?

  4. Lynn in Tucson

    They look great! I’ve been dying to try this myself and have finally bought the roving (sample packs in different colors from an ebay vendor). Now, for some free time….

  5. eve

    Thank you all for your lovely comments!

    Kay; felting wool is the wool that has been washed and in my case deyed when you buy it. I live in New Zealand so it’s pretty easy to get I think any good craftshop should be able to help you.

    Glorioushats; I know Crafster has almost too many good tutorials that’s why I had put a link up under Crafty Websites. I will however keep looking for great tutorials there as well.


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