I've always loved crafting with felt, but I've only recently started doing my own felting using needle felting techniques. A ball is the easiest thing you can make to get started needle felting--and they're so trendy and versatile for all sorts of craft projects.
Needle Felting Supplies for DIY Felt Balls
How to Make Felt Balls
Felting balls starts with a simple material: wool roving. That's wool that has been processed (cleaned and combed), but has not yet been spun into yarn. You can purchase wool roving in many different colors, or dye your own.
Pull off a section of the wool roving. Wool roving isn't twisted together like yarn, and it will come apart when pulled. Do not cut the wool roving--you want those tapered ends you get from pulling, not blunt ends from cutting the wool.
Roll the wool into a ball shape, rolling it fairly tightly.
Carefully start to use a felting needle to poke the bundle of wool roving. Just keep stabbing the felt, and the needle pushing its way through the felt will start to connect the fibers of the wool and start to form a ball.
All this stabbing is done on top of a felting mat, so that you don't damage whatever is beneath the wool you're working on.
Just keep stabbing and turning, stabbing and turning, and like some form of textile alchemy, the wool solidifies and forms into a felt ball. It's really satisfying! Making felt balls feels almost medatative. Especially if you have some aggression to work out.
To speed up the process, you can use a needle felting tool like this that has several needles. I like to use this to get my felt balls started and get the wool holding together, but it tends to flatten out the wool. So I start with this tool, and then switch to the single needle to create the finished felt ball shape.
You can also make felt balls using a wet felting technique, and that doesn't require you to buy any tools at all. You use your hands and some warm, soapy water. Here's a tutorial for making wet felted felt balls. It's a great activity to do with kids, since it doesn't use any sharp objects.
What would you make with these charming felt balls?