Well I love DIY and sometimes have time for it and sometimes I don’t. Every now and then I will be showing off DIY’s that I use in my home on a regular basis so I know they are tried and true. Slowly I will migrate over to trying things that I haven’t and let you know how that turned out. For now you can expect projects that I have done and loved at least once a month maybe more. As with most of my diy’s they are usually done to eliminate some product in my house that I deem unsafe, expensive or one of those “why would I buy that when I can make that” moment. This diy however was the first time doing it and unfortunately mine didn’t turn out as lovely as store bought or etsy bought ones but pretty darn close and hey they work. So today I will share with you my dryer ball diy!
I love the smell of fresh laundry but I don’t want to shell out money for a little square of something to scent and fluff my wearables to be only thrown away afterwards. Plus I have never been of fan of manufactured fragrances. Enter dryer balls. These lovely little balls literally beat up your laundry allowing the hot air to circulate throughout your load aiding in drying your clothes faster. While they are bouncing around in the dryer they also fluff, reduce wrinkles and eliminate static that can sometimes occur with commercial products. So a few things to think about when your are in the laundry isle is this:
– Are your laundry products eco-friendly? No. Dryer balls are! Not only that they don’t add to the mass amount of products accumulating in our landfills.
– Does your laundry product eliminate chemicals from your laundry? No. Dryer balls do. As well they are 100% hypo-allergenic so it’s very safe to use if people in your household have sensitive skin.
– 100% wool dryer balls add fluffiness and reduce static as loads tumble.
– Wool dryer balls are made from a renewable resource.
A few other nice things about dryer balls is you can add your own scents to your laundry. By simply adding a few drops of essential oils to each ball they will lightly scent your clothes with an aroma that is not only safe for you but for the environment. You can make a bunch of dryer balls for everyone in family with their own scents. They are pretty AND functional! Ok enough said about the joys of having dryer balls lets get to the diy.
Living where I do I don’t have an abundance of places to go and pick up wool. I also had no sweaters I wanted to repurpose but if you live in a city check your local Sally Ann’s for wool sweaters. You can also check our etsy and the rest of the web for wool, wool sweaters, roving wool, even go to your local craft store and get 100% wool yarn. I looked for some local Canadian wool on etsy and found a multitude of places most of which all wove and dyed their wool with natural fibres such as hemp leaves to give a beautiful green hue, onion skins for a lovely yellow and even beets for some pretty shades of pink. Wherever you purchase from make sure it is 100% wool. I got my wool when I attended a local farmers market and found a lovely lady named Helga from Fibre Artistry selling dryer balls and roving wool dyed in about 30 shades. Roving wool is a long narrow bundle of fibre produced from spinning wool. They are the bundles that are drawn out and spun to produce yarn. I asked her about making dryer balls with this wool and she said she preferred it better to yarn. So my boys and I all picked a color and headed home to make our balls. **this tutorial is a combination Helga’s and mine.**
Roving Wool Tutorial: **Sorry no step by step pics**
– Start by tying a knot in the end of your wool not tight. Slowly and tightly, being careful not to pull your wool apart you start wrapping it around and forming a tight ball. You also want to be careful not to twist your yarn in order for the wool to felt to itself. You need to keep your yarn taught and straight.
– Once formed into a ball Helga said she would fill a bowl of hot soapy water and submerged the ball while holding it in her hands (don’t let go or it will unravel) and worked the wool ball around to felt the wool together. I found this did not work for me so I did what most people do best I googled and read about placing the ball in old panty hose. You cut the feet off and put one ball into each sock and tied the end shut. The hosing keeps the ball in place while allowing water to flow through and felt the woolball.
– Once all my balls were in the hosing tied up I tossed them all into the washing machine on hot and washed them-no soap!
– After a hot bath toss into a hot dryer. Once they are dry you can untie or cut off your hosing and voila you balls should have felted together. If this didn’t work try the process over.
*My dryer balls were not a tight and as round as Helga’s were but they work none the less.*
100% Wool Yarn Tutorial:
If you are using yarn your steps would all be the same you just start off tying you yarn differently.
– Take your yarn and wrap it about ten times around 2 fingers take it off and tie a knot around it so it looks kind of like a bow and just keep winding till you get your ball shape to your desired size. Once done wrapping your ball you take a big eye needle and run your thread through the middle or side of the balls to keep it from unraveling. Then follow all the remaining instructions for the roving wool tutorial.
To check out more of Helga’s work or to purchase roving wool or even finished dryer balls you can find her here.
Regardless of looks these little balls work. I love mine and have made more just because. This was such a fun project to do with my boys and it’s nice everytime I do laundy I know that I eliminated something from my house that was expensive and wastefull. Plus they make great soft balls for your boys to toss around at eachother while your folding laundry.
I hope you enjoyed reading this diy and decide to give it a try. Let me know if you did and how your dryer balls turned out. If you do use dryer balls do you scent them? What’s your favourite scent?
Even though this is a DIY and I should be giving away the tools to make them Helga and I decided we will give away a set of dryer balls. All you have to do is head over to Helga’s etsy page Fibre Artistry and tell us your favorite colour in the comments below. Winner will be announced by the end of the week.
Yay to chemical free laundry and naturally scented clothes!