Super Simple Felt Balls

Today I’m bringing back one of my favorite how-to posts: making felt balls.  For those with young children, this is a perfect craft.  You can do it outdoors, the mess involves only soap and water, and kids are mesmerized by the tactile sensation of rolling fuzzy wool in soapy water. I hope you enjoy it!

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Felt balls are awesome!  They are great for throwing practice (soft – nothing gets broken!) or for open ended play. (They’re round bales of hay! No wait, they’re freshly baked rolls!)  And they are the kind of craft that is great to make outdoors on a warm sunny day.

So here’s how to do it:

1. Get yourself a nice wad of carded, clean wool.

2. Loosely form the wool into a ball.  It will shrink down, so make a bigger ball than you’d like of your finished product.

3.  Fill a bowl with the hottest soapy water that you can stand to put your hand into and roll that wool into a soapy round messy ball!

See that ball forming!  Keep rolling!

4. Now, get another bowl of very cold water.  Squeeze out the hot water and soap and immerse your ball into the cold.  Keep forming it into a ball as you go.  Alternating between the hot and cold will make your wool ball shrink and tighten.

Look!  Easy enough for an 18 month to try!

5.  Keep alternating back and forth between your hot and cold until your ball is tightly bound together.  Let dry in the sun or inside for a few days until it is completely dry.  Sometimes I like to affix loose parts of the ball with a felting needle.

Voila!

Now go throw that ball around!

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

In case you’re like me and tend to wait for the last minute to do things, I thought I’d share the process and results of yesterday’s Easter egg dyeing experiments. Using natural dyes to create beautiful Easter eggs is simple, quick, and can be done with ingredients already on hand! That’s right – don’t rush off to the store.  Just open your fridge, your compost bucket, or your pantry and pull out a few ingredients.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Red wine (a cup for the dye, a cup for you!) – LAVENDER-BLUE
  • Red onion skins – BROWNISH
  • Yellow onion skins – TAN
  • Red cabbage – BLUE
  • Beets – PINK (although mine tend to turn more brown-purple after exposure to air)
  • Turmeric – YELLOW

You will also need white vinegar, boiling water, and a few mason jars.

Let’s begin:Natural Egg Dyes

Easter Egg2 Easter Egg3

1.  Place dye ingredients into a mason jar.  You will need 1-2 large handfuls of onion skins or red cabbage, approximately 2 tbsp of turmeric, or 1 cup of beets. Cover with boiling water.

2. Add 2 tbsp of white vinegar and gently place your hard boiled egg in the jar.  I used white eggs, but you can use brown eggs. The colors will just be slightly different (for instant, the yellow onion skins will create a more reddish tone).

* Many people suggest straining the plant materials before adding the egg.  This is certainly a fine thing to do. I just like the mottled effect that results when the egg comes into contact with the plant matter.

Easter Egg4Easter Eggs1

3.  Occasionally check on the egg, and pull it out when it is the color you desire!
You can create neat effects by wrapping the eggs in a rubber band prior to dyeing, as seen in the photo above.

Check out Pinterest for more inspiration, and have fun!