Felted Wool Dryer Balls

Felted Wool Dryer Balls

 

 

I have seen these Felted Wool Dryer Balls on Pintrest a number of times. They seem to be tried and tested enough to know that they really do work in place of buying dryer sheets.

I have a confession to make…

I have never actually purchased dryer sheets.

At least I don’t remember buying any, perhaps I did way back when.

Before I realized how bad they are for you.

Part of our quest to live an organic and chemical free lifestyle is to review each and every item that comes into our home.

Is it really necessary?

Is it full of chemicals?

Why do we need it?

Is there another alternative?

You would be amazed how your perspective changes after a while.

There are many things that most families purchase that are considered “essentials” , that we simple don’t buy. One of them is dryer sheets.

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The skin is the largest organ in the body, so they say.

Why do we perfume and chemically dose our laundry that goes next to our skin?

It doesn’t make sense to me.

We absorb so much of what we come in contact with in our environment, we don’t even realize it.

When our son was young and struggling with ADD, ADHD, allergies and learning disorders and a bunch of other things, I remember reading about how many environmental chemicals are absorbed by small children.

Children are so much more sensitive to things than adults. If chemicals in our environment bother us, just think so much more it must bother them.

I immediately began seeking chemical free alternatives, and have never looked back.

That’s my soap box for today: the less chemicals you have in your home the better.

If you absolutely love these organic, beautiful Felted Wool Dryer Balls, then read on!

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To make the balls you will need:

one skein of 100% wool roving yarn

essential oil of your choice

a couple of old socks and rubber bands

(Note: You must use 100% wool for this project or it won’t work. Also beware of light colored roving, it may be bleached and will not felt properly.)

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Wind the yarn into balls of desired size. Use a large needle to thread the loose end of yarn back through the ball to secure it and cut off any excess.

The balls don’t need to be all that huge, I would say the maximum size should be that of a tennis ball.

I used one skein to make 4 balls, one is a bit smaller than the others, but I like the variety in size.

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After you make the balls, tie them up in an old sock and secure the end closed with a rubber band.

(I knew that big basket of single socks would come in handy some day!)

The balls are then ready to be felted.

Throw the sock into the laundry with your regular wash on the hot water cycle.

It is helpful to have a full load, more agitation is better for felting.

Don’t forget the soap! It helps in the felting process as well.

When the wash is finished, throw them into the dryer on the hot setting along with your wash, until dry.

When the load is finished, remove the balls from the sock and admire your felted balls.

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Isn’t this the easiest thing ever?

All that is left is to add essential oil to your balls for fragrance.

I chose lavender oil, but you could use lemon, cinnamon, orange or grapefruit oils.

To use, place the balls in the dryer with your damp laundry.

The heat of the dryer during the dry cycle will release the oils into your clothes and they will smell wonderful. You may add more essential oils to the balls if needed as time goes on.

Wool is an anti-static and is excellent for absorbing extra moisture and odors inside the dryer.

It is priceless organic alternative to the chemically laden dryer sheets.

I am going to make a bunch of them to give as Christmas presents.

What sort of organic things do you use in your home?

Christmas in the Country Home Tour

Glad you could stop by for the Christmas Home Tour! There are more than 40 bloggers participating, be sure to check out some of the other links at Creative Country Mom.

Wreath Lead

I have been working on decorating for a while, it feels good to finally have everything in place!

This is the back door, a Rustic Wooden Wreath says “hello”.

Red coop

The view from the back door is of the chicken coop. Our sweet Delaware chickens have gone to live with friends for the winter, but I couldn’t resist decorating the coop.

I have always wanted a barn to decorate, this coop is as close as I have ever gotten to owning a barn!

Timepiece display

The back porch has a few fun Christmas touches, this old mail box and jingle bells make for a unique coffee table vignette.

The Timepiece Ornament was one of my recent sewing projects.

side view-4

The back wall of the porch is full of beautiful rustic barn boards. It’s my favorite thing in this entire house. I love how the barn boards look with my DIY Gold Snowflakes.

Painted tree

The porch also is the home to our Spray Painted Christmas Tree.

I love the grey color, it’s very subtle.

I love it even more with silver, grey and blue ornaments.

Monogrammed ornament

The ornaments look rather mysterious on it. This monogram is chalk paint on a DIY ornament globe.

I still have more of them to paint. Perhaps I will finish before the holidays!

I love the beaded ornament hangers from Hobby Lobby, they make the simplest ornaments look special!

Reindeer

I have collected white reindeer ornaments for some time, they look so right on the “frosted” tree!

Snowman

Speaking of Frosty… he’s my son’s favorite orament.

Kitchen tour

I didn’t decorate a lot in the kitchen, but I did put together this mason jar display with bottle brush trees and snow on the pantry shelves.

The wooden Merry Christmas Banner above it is from Target. I bought it especially for this tour, but totally failed to get it in the picture.

Sorry folks.

I will redeem myself instead with more Gold Snowflakes.

You can never have too many jars, or snowflakes as far as I am concerned.

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The master bedroom got a special treatment, more DIY Gold Snowflakes were added to a boring white wall with the help of Command Strips. I love those things!

I had a ball stringing up the lights and vintage ornaments over the bed.

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The vintage ornaments were hung on twine with mini-clothes pins. They are completely charming and are mostly handmade.

I also added some jingle bells on silver clips to the lineup.

I find the little white lights very soothing, not to mention romantic.

Kitchen tour-2

I prefer all white bedding, it makes me feel like I am sleeping in a cloud. The only extravagance here is the furry white pillow.

The gold mirrors around the room were antiques that my mother gave me. They are very old.

They are some of my favorite things in the entire world.

I absolutely never tire of them.

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The bedside table sports some bottle brush trees displayed on a cake plate and a little matching wreath.

I fell in love with the vintage baby shoes and filled them with ornaments, rosemary twigs, and more jingle bells.

The Amaryllis will be blooming around Christmas, I can’t wait until it opens.

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Merry Christmas baby!

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More gold mirrors here.

I found the gold reindeer at a thrift store.

The mauve bottle brush wreath adds a bit of color to the room and keeps it from being too white.

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On to the dining room!

I just painted the buffet yesterday, so glad I did!

I love how it looks with the silver and grey ornaments on the tree.

The wool fabric is a leftover scrap from a cape I am making.

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Kitchen tour-10

The room is very small and a little tree is all that’s needed to brighten up a dark corner.

The big mirror over the buffet helps to brighten things too!

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Our little dining area is not at all fancy. I found the tartan place mats last year at Target.

The table cloth is a piece of grey suiting fabric. I am into suitings this year for some reason.

No, I didn’t iron the fabric table cloth. I am rebelling against ironing this season.

Wrinkles are okay with me! They make the place look lived in. Ha!

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The make shift center piece is a crystal bowl filled with battery operated lights, glitter and glass ornaments, and a set of silver angels my husband gave me on our first Christmas together.

I tucked a small round mirror in the bottom of the bowl to make it brighter.

Yarnball Wreath-2

Last but not least, is the Yarn Ball wreath on the front door.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Spray Painted Christmas Tree

Spray painted tree, finished

 

 

I have been hard at work decorating for Christmas. It always takes more time and energy than I think it will. I thought I could do it all in one day, boy was I wrong!

I have been waiting for just the right warm day to work on my tree project, today was perfect!

It was sunny and beautiful, a balmy 40 degrees, practically perfect for spray painting!

What did I spray paint?

Our fake Christmas Tree!

Tree before

This is what the tree looked like before I painted it. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it, it’s your basic fake Christmas tree.

It’s rather a garish green though, and screams PLASTIC to me. It was fine for a while, but now I would like something different.

Since we didn’t have any money tied up in it (we found it in the trash last year, box and all), I decided to experiment with it.

 Rustoleum paint

The good folks over at Rustoleum sent me a case of this beautiful Stone Grey spray paint. I love the neutral color and the matte finish of this paint.

Spray Painted bows

Even though temps were a little on the chilly side for spray painting outdoors, it made more sense than trying to do it inside.

I started at the top and worked my way down. I sprayed top bottom and side of the branches. Then sprayed and sprayed a bit more. This 7 foot tree took 3-4 cans of spray paint.

You can see the subtle color difference in the color of the branches in this photo. The bottom branches are unpainted, the top ones have had their first coat.

Keep in mind that my goal was not to completely cover the green of the tree, but to add a “frosty-like” character to it.

I went over the branches from all angles, but I didn’t cover it 100%, I liked being able to see a bit of the green show through the paint.

Tree top

The more I painted, the more I like it.

It reminds me of the heavy frost we get on a really cold morning.

tree branches

I even sprayed the inner part of the tree, plastic rings and all.

I left it outside to dry for a couple of hours before bringing it in.

Ornament in tree

I didn’t get all the decorating done, but I did test out a few ornaments. I am loving the monochromatic look so far!

I will have all my decorating done in a day or two.

I am participating in The Christmas in the Country Home Blogger’s Tour on Wed. Dec. 4th so be sure to stop back for the big Home Tour reveal!

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Timepiece Christmas Ornament

Timepiece closeup

 

 

Some days just don’t go as you planned. I had planned to shop for food and start cooking Thanksgiving dinner today.

Instead, I spent my afternoon following an instinct.

On a whim, I began making this little Timepiece Christmas Ornament.

I have been dreaming of Christmas Ornaments and decorations for days.

Dreaming is a dangerous thing.

For me, when I wake up, I have to act on the dream or I forget it.

The other nigh,t I dreamed of what I could make with all the broken watches and jewelry I have laying around.

I can’t bear to throw them out. They are still beautiful.

This is my favorite old watch. We have been through much together.

It’s missing parts, and no longer works. I love it anyway.

Timepiece Ornament, lead

I love this old watch even more as part of a nostalgic keepsake ornament.

I cut up a couple of pairs of wool trousers and used the fabric for the ornament base. Mother always said, “Never throw anything away.” She was right of course. You just never know when you will need some scraps of old wool.

I cut a 4″ circle in of the dark wool, and a 3 1/2″ circle of the lighter color wool.

The edges were trimmed with pinking shears, and then bonded the two fabrics together with a fusible webbing.

Belt loops from the old trousers help hold the watch in place, and were topstitched in place .

A single needle stitch around the outside holds the front and back pieces in place. I probably should have used the fusible webbing to hold the pieces together before stitching, as they are small and hard to stitch without shifting under the needle.

A leftover bit of polyester fluff from an old pillow made the inside stuffing.

Bits of ribbon and greenery made the finishing touches.

Timepiece Ornament, back

I couldn’t resist adding the original garment label to the back of the ornament.

“Made in Italy” just sounds so sweet and exotic.

What’s not to love?

Timepiece display

I can’t wait to use this ornament as part of my Christmas decor this season.

Yarn Ball Wreath

Yarnball Wreath

 

 

I am normally not one to follow trends. I like to be unique in almost everything I do.

Sometimes though, the cuteness factor sways my opinion.

Like when it comes to making a Yarn Ball Wreath.

HUGE cuteness factors are involved.

I just had to steal this idea.

It called to me.

Many talented bloggers have had their own versions, and I must say I was tempted, but not completely swayed by them.

Until I saw the one over at Cherished Bliss.

She used twine in with the balls of yarn. It was the magic combination for me.

I was hooked!

Yarnball Wreath-2

I also loved her idea of starting with a ball of newspaper and then wrapping the twine around it. Brilliant! It uses less yarn that way.

It’s also lighter, and easier to glue them down.

I used baking twine, regular twine, colored twine and scraps of yarn from my knitting projects.

I used newspapers until I ran out of them, then I started in on the Christmas catalogue pages. I have millions of those, could have made balls FOREVER with them.

Yarnball Wreath-4

I hot glued them to a wire wreath frame and hung it on the door. Easy peasy!

Note to self: hot glue sticks to tables. Use plastic underneath to avoid the embarrassment of prying it off the table before dinner time in front of the family.

I almost stuck a candle in the middle and made it a center piece. Good thing the glue wasn’t really dry yet.

What do you have hanging on your front door?

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