Thursday, January 24, 2013

diy thursday: dryer balls

Staying with the laundry theme, I made dryer balls last week. I had been wanting to make them for a while as they are a completely natural and non-allergenic alternative to dryer sheets. AND they cut down the drying time. All in all, these lovely balls should save us money while also not adding any additional chemicals or the like to our laundry (we have both had issues with washing detergents and such causing irritation).
I found good directions on how to make dryer balls on Pinterest.  They are super easy to make and they will last for a long time... even years.

To learn more about how wool dryer balls work and their benefits go here.

What you will need...
100% wool yarn

Make sure you have 100% wool yarn - not some combination of wool and acrylic yarn. All you have to do is make a ball. 

To start the ball wrap the yarn around two fingers twenty times. Then slip it off the fingers and wrap the yarn around the middle twenty times. Finally, scrunch the ends of the yarn ball together and begin wrapping the yarn around forming a ball. Keep wrapping the yarn nice and tight until the circumference is about 7 inches. 
Then once you have the desired size, secure the end of the yarn under the other strands using a needle.
Repeat these steps until you have four balls.

Now it is time for the felting process.  
Cut off and use one leg of some pantyhose. Put one of the balls into the toe of the pantyhose and secure it there with some yarn - acrylic or cotton yarn, not wool yarn (or it will felt). Secure all four balls in the pantyhose leg.
Add the balls to a hot washing machine cycle and then into a hot dryer. The hotter the better as it will speed up the felting process.

After the first felting process you will notice that the yarn on the balls have become tighter and almost merged together.

Add some more layers of wool yarn to each ball making them the size of tennis balls (the bigger the dryer balls, the longer they will last). Then repeat the felting process.

After the second felting process the dryer balls are ready to use! Put them in the dryer and they are ready to be used time after time. You can also add some essential oils to the dryer balls to make your laundry smell nice.