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On Sunday, I shared that wool dryer balls are one of my favorite things to use as a fabric softener alternative. When I first learned that they existed, I didn’t have the money to purchase any. So, I decided I would make them myself as I had some wool skeins already. I didn’t have high hopes as I am not very crafty. But, they turned out pretty well. Read on to learn how you can make your own.
1 Skein of wool yarn, or more if you want. You will need about 1 skein per ball.
Old pantyhose. This is only going to be used to wash the balls.
Patience. This is not a DIY for someone without patience.
You can start your ball by either wrapping your yard around a piece of wool or by “balling up” some of the yarn. I used the “balling up” method. Either way, you’ll want to have about a finger length of starter material for the beginning of the ball.
Then, start to wrap your yard around the starter until a ball shape begins to form.
Once you have the shape, begin to criss-cross the yard lines over one another. This helps the ball from unraveling when you use it.
Make sure you are wrapping the yard VERY tightly.
Here’s the hard part, keep wrapping the yarn around and around until the desired size is reached. Can you tell I don’t have much patience?
To finish the ball, use your crochet needle to push the yard under a few layers and back out into a knot. Wrap the yarn around a few times and repeat until it’s secure. There’s really no right or wrong way to do this as long as the yarn is tightly secured into itself.
After you are done with your ball, put it into a panty hose leg, knot the leg and throw it into your next load of laundry. If you are doing more than one at a time, make sure there is a knot between each ball. Do not take the ball out of the pantyhose when you dry it.
You are going to repeat the wash/dry step a couple of time. Keep the pantyhose ball in your laundry for the next few loads. I believe I washed mine five times or so before I started using them. The washing and drying helps the ball really conform to itself so it doesn’t unravel in the dryer later on.
To find out if your ball is ready to use, untie (or cut) the pantyhose and remove the ball. It should look smoother than before. As if the yarn is molded together almost. Run your fingernail lightly over the top. Do the strings easily separate? If not, the balls are ready to be used!
Simply throw the balls into your dryer with a load of wet clothes. You can add a few drops of essential oils to the balls if you want your laundry to be scented.
They did hold up pretty well, one of them had an unfortunate end when it met a hook on a sweater. The whole ball unraveled! But, other than that one ball, I am impressed with how well they held up. That being said, I found making my own to be tedious. I think I will stick to purchasing them in the future.
Have you ever used wool dryer balls? What is your opinion of them?
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