Monday, August 9, 2010

Felted wool beads

I made felted wool beads today, it is the first part of a few birthday projects I have planned for Kaleena, who turns 7 next month. 
They turned out so pretty and I am looking forward to make more. perhaps some that are slightly bigger next time.
In case someone out there does not know how to make these, I will share how I did it. 
I used a bowl of hot water and one with cold. Wool roving, as always from here, some dish soap,  
a bar soap, and scissors.
I pulled out a long piece of wool from my bunch, about a yard long I'd say, and separated the fibers into wispy strands (on my first try I did not separate the fibers and ended up with a line going down the middle, creating little hearts instead of circles, cute but not what I was looking for)
Then I twisted it all up and dipped it in the hot water and added a bit of dish soap, then I squeezed and rubbed and rolled the fibers together between my hands, felting it to create a long snake, I alternated between the hot and cold water now and again to assist in the felting. This process took quite a bit of felting and rolling, until it turned into a lovely dreadlock looking snake.
Once I had a firm snake I cut it into little pieces with the scissors, this part is important so I realized, if you want nice even beads with no openings in them, you must make sure you cut them only as long as the width of the snake, this way it wont fold over on itself.
At this point I took them one at a time and dipped one side in a little water and rub that side ever so lightly on the bar of soap, and gently roll between my palms until it formed a perfect circle, then I left them in the sun to dry.
Here is my first successful batch
and here are all the ones I made today. I would like to make more, a whole big jar full, it does however take some time with all that rolling, so it will have to be a little at a time.
I also saw somewhere that if you want a more firm bead that does not shed, you can dip them for a moment into a mixture of half white school glue and half water, do this after they are already dry, and this should set them even further. You can of course also put them in the washer and dryer for more firmness, but I am quite happy with them as they are and will skip this step for now.
So pretty, love all those colors!
~A very happy monday evening to you all~


  1. Beautiful colours. I know it takes ages to roll felt balls, so I can appreciate your dedication. I like finishing my felting off in the washing machine for that extra hardiness. I've not heard of the glue method.

  2. Those are just so beautiful! The photos on your blog are just amazing!


  3. Gorgeous! This is on my list of things to do.....

  4. Those colors are super-wow!!!

  5. i just love the colors of that wool! we have not done them exactly like this before. we have just rolled wee balls and we have made the snakes and cut them into beads. had never thought of combining the two! clever!

  6. I knitted and felted a couple of bags last year and fell in love with the whole felting thing but I have never know how these little beads were made ... now I do. Thank you for sharing this!
    Donna :) :)

  7. they are amazing!!! Love the colours

  8. They turned out gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your technique!

  9. Dear Christina,
    This is such a beautiful tutorial, the colours are amazing:) Thank you so much for sharing on my Creative Friday:)

  10. Oh they are just lovely, cheers Marie


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