How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls

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How to make felted wool dryer balls

Anything that saves money and eliminates some of the chemicals we use in our day to day life is good in my book. Plus, I have to admit I love the fun factor of being able to dress up these cute felted wool dryer balls!

In case you are new to the idea of wool dryer balls, let me give you a little background …

Why Use Felted Wool Dryer Balls

  • they are 100% natural natural replacement for traditional dryer sheets (no chemicals!)
  • they shorten drying time by wicking moisture away from your clothes (saves energy and money!)
  • they bounce around in the dryer reducing static and keeping clothes from clinging to each other
  • they last for years (saving you more money!)

Felted Dryer Balls

How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls

I have used a few different methods for making dryer balls and will share the how to for each with you below, as well as the pros and cons for each (at least in my opinion).


From Wool Yarn

For me, this is by far the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to make wool dryer balls. You can buy a skein of 100% wool yarn for fairly cheap, just make sure it is feltable wool and not superwash wool. I can get 2 dryer balls out of 50 g (110 yd) skein. The downside to this method is that if you don’t weave in a long tail really well, it can unravel over time. Here’s how to do it …

I like to use a light color so I don’t have to worry about any color bleed. Just start wrapping your yarn around itself making a ball about the size of tennis ball. Then, cut the yarn and thread the end through a tapestry needle. Weave the tail back and forth through the ball a bunch of times and in a bunch of different directions to really secure it in the ball. Then just throw them in the wash next time you do laundry. I usually throw them in with  a load of towels and wash in hot water. They will need a good couple loads to really felt nicely. Once felted, they are ready to go!

how to make wool dryer ballshow to make wool dryer balls

From An Old Sweater

You know that wool sweater with hole in it? Yep, don’t throw it away just yet … you can use it to make dryer balls. A good indication of whether a wool sweater will felt nicely is to look on the label. If it says dry clean only or hand wash and dry flat, that is probably a good indication that it will felt. The good thing about this method is that it costs you nothing. The downside is that it takes a little more prep time and it may take a few more cycles to felt tightly.

To turn that sweater into dryer balls, just start cutting it apart. I use each sleeve to make one and a few more from the body. Roll each part up in a ball and place them in the leg of a nylon stocking, making a knot between each one. As before, run them through a few wash cycles with your laundry.

how to make felted dryer ballshow to make felted wool dryer balls

From Wool Roving

A more recent method I’ve tried is needle felting. You will need some basic needle felting supplies for these, such as wool roving, a foam pad, and felting needles. Then just needle your wool into a nice sized ball. You can click here to read my Needle Felting 101 post where I give an intro to needle felting and needle felting techniques. This method takes a little time but from what I’ve heard, they last the longest.

Needle felted dryer balls


Scents and Whimsies

If you’re like me you like a pretty scent to your clothes. I like to add a little drop of lavender essential oils to the balls from time to time to freshen them up and keep our laundry smelling nice (my mom sells essential oils here if you are interested in trying some out). But you can use whichever scent of essential oil you like best. And while definitely not a necessary part of the process, I do think decorating the dryer balls is fun. I needle felted some designs on these …

Needle felted dryer balls

Needle felted dryer balls


If you are interested in purchasing needle felting supplies, you can also help support my blog by purchasing through these affiliate links …



38 Responses to How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls

  1. Marilyn February 5, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    I’ve wanted to make my own dryer balls but never sat down and tried…now I think I’ll be making some! Thanks so much for sharing these techniques, Kara!

  2. terry February 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    Ooooh, I’ve been trying the tin foil ball with only limited success (they disappear when a certain Libby helps me fold the laundry). I’m definitely trying this. Going to check my yarn to see if there is any wool in the midst. 🙂

  3. Linda Powell February 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Practical, money saving, useful and …… fun! What a great idea, thanks for sharing Kara x

  4. Cassandra February 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Going to do this right away! Just bought needle felting supplies, so this is perfect! Was wondering how many balls to put in for a large laundry load? And the wool I have for that are all darker colors, will it bleed? And should I send those through the laundry cycle first too? Sorry if you answered these in your post, in a hurry right now! Thank you!!

  5. Holly February 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    I’ve never made any of these, even though I have plenty of roving and yarn. But yours are cute enough to give away as gifts, so now I am tempted!

  6. Beverly February 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    So cute! I made some little felted ball sets as Christmas gifts for some of my baby nephews (one ball for each of the letters of their names), and I’d heard about the wool dryer balls – I didn’t realize they were simply the same thing! I love felting because it’s relaxing and you have such cute results! Awesome!

  7. Tere February 8, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    I’ve tried the tin foil one and my husband hated it. (Actually, since HE does the laundry, HE tried it and hated it.) I shall make him some of these and he’ll be happy again. I love these ideas, and he will be delighted. AND, since he never listens to me about sweaters (or anything needing a label read) he already has a sweater I can use. hehehehe I use it now as a teaching lesson. But as I am with economics, he is with reading labels. LOL THANKS!

  8. Charlotte February 8, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Thanks very much for these instructions. Sounds less expensive than buying them like I’ve been doing. I have a question about the ones made from sweaters. After you’ve run them through a few washes, then do you cut them out of the hose? And they will be stuck all together so are a ball?

  9. Adele February 8, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    I made wool felted balls about 8 months ago. They worked great at first but no don’t do anything. I tried soaking them in fabric softener which helped for a couple of weeks. Any suggestions or do I just need to make some new ones.

  10. Julia @ FaveCrafts March 12, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Hi Kara,

    What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of spring cleaning crafts! Check it out here:

    Have a great day!

    • Kara March 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Yay! Thanks so much Julia 🙂

  11. Jennifer April 17, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Could you crochet around the balls to help keep them from unraveling. It would also give them nice patterns.

    • Kara April 19, 2014 at 4:43 pm #


  12. Summer Love May 26, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    I love the idea of making my own wool dryer balls, and I’ve read a few tutorials on it. Yours is a great because you right about all the different ways to do it. But I’m really not crafty and so I ended up buying these cheap Smart Sheep ones instead. They don’t nearly look as cute as yours, but they do the job well for those of us who are strapped for time. Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Premium Wool Dryer Balls (XL, Handmade, Eco-friendly, All-Natural Fabric Softener)

  13. Jill Greenlaw June 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    What a fun idea. I have never even heard of this idea before. Clever.

    • Kara June 20, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      So glad you like it!

  14. darcie July 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    When I try this the pantyhose felt to the dryer balls , so I hand felted them. I still have those on some of mine I just couldn’t get it off. What do you do to get the house off? Thank you, Darcie

  15. Tracy July 14, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    I made wool yarn balls recently and love them but was wondering if adding metal buttons to the balls would further reduce static. I’ve used safety pins on a small cloth before and was surprised at how well it worked. The balls eliminate 90% of static but some of our synthetic blends still cling. Any thoughts?

  16. Alle October 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    I am in the process of felting some dryer balls, and have broken a needle in the ball and can’t find it. Will this be ok or will it cause problems later? If so, do I restart or what is a good way to get it out?

    • Jody January 6, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      I’ve done quite a bit of felting and think you should be able to get the piece out with a magnet. Might have to be a little stronger tho then a thin fridge magnet. Hope this helps.

  17. Marilyn October 21, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    I LOVE these dryer balls….I think I’ll make some too! 🙂

  18. Angela November 12, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    I made some of these, but I think I “felted” them a bit too much. I could hardly get the panty hose off the balls!

  19. Tara November 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    how do you do the decorative part? Is it before or after the felting? Is it more yarn or something different?

  20. Cheryl December 14, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    What a great tutorial! I am going to make the yarn dryer balls TODAY! I’ve been wanting some for a while AND I’m going to give a few sets for holiday gifts:) Thank you for sharing.

  21. Kathy December 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Can you wet felt the roving wool, or does it need to be done with a needle?

  22. Catherine February 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

    I too made them. They didn’t reduce static. We’re back to dryer sheets : (

  23. Nancy Brice March 18, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    I am very allergic to wool but I bought the wool balls because I was told they wouldn’t cause allergic reactions. Boy were they wrong. Is there any other kind of yarn that you can use that will do the same thing?

    • Cecily Bailey October 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

      you should request alpaca fiber…it does not cause allergic reactions.

  24. October 19, 2016 at 2:51 am #

    These are very adorable

  25. Catherine November 8, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

    Hi Kara! Thanks so much for your ideas and techniques, I definitely will try them. I have a question, can a dryer ball made with wool yarn (roving kind) be decorated or just the ones made from wool roving?

    • Kara November 9, 2016 at 9:47 am #

      Hi Catherine 🙂 Yes, absolutely!

  26. Rebecca December 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi, I’m so looking forward to doing these. I have a lot of super wash wool from an unfinished project – Do you think it would work to use super wash wool on the inside of the ball and then switch to a feltable wool for the outer layers? Thanks!

    • Kara December 12, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Hi Rebecca 🙂 I am not sure how that would work. The super wash wool won’t felt on the inside, but it may be work okay since the outside will be felted around it. There’s only one way to find out 😉

      • Jo January 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

        Can I use wool blankets to make dryer balls?

  27. Vivian H. August 1, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    I have been wanting to try these. Also I have an ole wool blanket that I plan to cut into strips & then roll into a ball & use wool yarn to weave through it in hopes of it working.

  28. lynnie Duff August 13, 2017 at 9:12 am #

    Thank you for your information about making dryer balls, Just what I was looking for.❤️

  29. wildcatknitter October 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    For felting, I have a couple of pairs of large jeans that I throw in the washer, and I always use hot water (the only time I do). I’ve found that both speed up felting.

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