So many of us spend hours on Pinterest, pinning every amazing thing out there and making loads of wonderful plans to make the things they pin. How many of those pins actually get implemented? My guess would be somewhere between 1-5%. So this girl decided to start doing some of the easier pins and see if they’re actually as wonderful as they seem! (If you want to see other pins that I’ve tried and rated, check out my pinboard: http://pinterest.com/rachelmelone/pinned-it-done-it/)

Today I’m going to try my hand at making some wool dryer balls. I like the idea of dryer balls more than the sheets because there are toxins in the sheets that don’t have to be labeled. Not mention that they’re made of polyester and are not biodegradable or recyclable, so I just don’t want it in our house. We’ve tried Nellie’s Dryer Balls but weren’t terribly impressed. After a few weeks the little nubs start to break off and end up in your clothes. Plus, it just seems funny to rub plastic/rubber (not sure what it’s made of) all over your clothes in a time when we’re trying to get rid of potential toxins. So the first time I heard of the wool dryer balls I was super excited! Not only is it an all natural material which means it’s compostable and non-toxic, I’m comfortable handling/felting wool because we use wool diaper covers with our son.

What you’re going to need:

  • Wool  yarn – you’ll need 100% wool, or else it might not felt correctly. Plus, we’re going for an all natural material here, right? No acrylic necessary
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Bands – other instructions call for pantyhose, but I don’t own any that I want to cut up, so I decided to use rubber bands
  • Crochet hook or bobby pin (optional)
Wool Dryer Balls, www.thesimplelane.com/2012/pinterest-experiment-wool-dryer-balls

Wool Dryer Balls

I have no idea if this is a good brand or not, but you can see that it is 100% pure virgin wool and it still contains its natural oils (lanolin). This 8 oz of yarn was PLENTY to make two dryer balls, and I could probably make about four more with this amount. So if you want to make stocking stuffers or gift fillers, this is a good size to buy. The idea is that you’re going to make a ball and then felt it. Felting wool is effectively just rubbing wet or damp wool against itself, and because it’s a natural fiber with lots of tiny texture, the wool grips to itself and starts to mat. This is what keeps the ball of wool from coming undone.

I do better with pictures than words, so I’m going to post the instructional pictures first. You can find the text at the end.

Wool Dryer Balls, Wool Dryer Balls, www.thesimplelane.com/2012/pinterest-experiment-wool-dryer-balls

Wool Dryer Balls, Step 1

Wool Dryer Balls, www.thesimplelane.com

Wool Dryer Balls, Step 3: Wet the ball

Wool Dryer Balls, www.thesimplelane.com

Wool Dryer Balls, Step 4: Felt the mini-ball

Wool Dryer Balls, www.thesimplelane.com

Wool Dryer Balls, Step 5: Wrap larger ball with rubberbands and throw in dryer

Wool Dryer Balls, http://www.thesimplelane.com/2013/pinterest-diy-wool-dryer-balls/ ‎

DIY Wool Dryer Balls

Instructions

  1. To start, you’re going to make a ball as best you can. The beginning is awkward because you’re pretty much just wadding it up until your wad is large enough for you to wrap the yarn around. Keep wrapping until it gets to be the size of a large strawberry (but hopefully more round!).
  2. Then you’re going to tuck the cut end into the ball of yarn as best as possible. You can use a crochet hook (if you have one), bobby pin, or just do what I did and weave it in amongst the threads already on the outside of the ball.
  3. Wet the ball (remember, wool needs both water and friction to felt).
  4. Rub the ball around in your hands and create as much friction on the ball as you can. It’s best to go in the direction of the strands of yarn so you don’t just unravel the ball.
  5. Wrap more yarn around your felted mini-ball until it reaches the size of peach or so. Then wrap with 2-3 rubber bands.
  6. Throw the balls wrapped in rubber bands in the dryer with your next few loads of clothes.
  7. Remove the rubber bands and call it a day!

The next Pinterest DIY will be how to waterproof fabric shoes!

What do you use in your dryer? Are you happy with what you use, would you be willing to try wool dryer balls?