CatNap Crafts

DIY Wool Dryer Balls

img_4001I’d like you to meet Sparky.

He’s a 12yr old Domestic Shorthair Gray Tabby my husband adopted early on in our relationship.

Sparky likes to snuggle on warm blankets.  He loves catnip and laser lights.  He has a tendency to nibble quite hard when you scratch on his itchy spot.

He is also, like most cats, super helpful.  Hence today’s installment of …

 

 

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I love a good DIY project.  I love saving money even more.  And to top it off, I love finding natural ways to keep my family healthy.

Cue, Wool Dryer Balls.

What are they?  It’s a woolen ball you keep in your dryer.

What do they promise?  They eliminate the need for store bought fabric softener by creating air pockets between your clothing while drying, cutting your drying time considerably, yet still maintaining the softness of your clothes.

Let’s give it a try and see how it goes …

I headed to my local craft store and picked up 3 skeins of Roving Wool (each skein created 2 dryer balls).  Sparky approves of the Natural color.

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Wrap it around your fingers 10 or so times.  I researched DIY Wool Dryer Balls quite a bit before I jumped in, and realized I only generally follow the guidelines, and chose to make it up as I went.  Which is totally unlike me in real life.  I’m such a rule follower.
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Take the bundle off your fingers, turn sideways and start wrapping again.  Sparky is no longer interested.
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Start wrapping into a ball.img_3983
Continue wrapping until your fingers cramp, and you’re annoyed at yourself for dropping this ball a half dozen times.  img_3984
I stopped wrapping once mine were the size of my palm.  I grabbed one of my mom’s cheapo crocheting needles, poked it through to weave the final strand through the ball once or twice.img_3994
And then I stuffed them in an old pair of knee high pantyhose.  I’m pretty sure these were part of a lingerie type outfit I never once wore.  img_3995
Six balls, stuff and tied into pantyhose.  Tie it with string, not with wool.  Trust me.  img_3997
Wash this bundle of balls on a hot cycle and bounce around in your dryer at the hottest setting about 2 or 3 times to achieve optimal “felting”.  You’ll notice the balls will hold their shape once removed from the pantyhose and wont look like a stringy ball of yarn.

After three weeks of using ONLY wool dryer balls … I’m pleased with the results!  Of course, my very first dryer load consisted of my daughter’s giant sleeping bag animal – a Turquoise Owl – that had been vomited on the day prior.  My Wool Dryer 0040638921729_aBalls now have mini turquoise stuffed animal poofs felted into the balls.  No biggie, but no longer the prettiest balls of wool.

What do you say?  Have you used Wool Dryer Balls?  Are you up to the challenge of making some yourself?

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