Monday, December 13, 2010

Primary Christmas

Let's wrap this list up!

Old folks--on Sunday, Kidzlink took the boys and a ton of other kids to a local nursing home where they decorated rooms, visited with old folks and sang carols (and if you were Corey, you did a little booty shakin too!...cracked the staff up!) I am so thankful for these opportunities that Kidzlink gives the kids to serve. We had 3 very excited boys who talked all the way home about their afternoon :)

While they were out, Jim and I watched movie and I finished wrapping balls for my new project!

I saw these beauties here and had to try and make some! After hunting down Anthropologies' version (whew---$68 for less than 6 feet of garland!!!!!) and then searching etsy for colored felt balls, I remembered that I had a huge stash of merino fiber waiting for me to spin up (shyeah...I'm never gonna do all of that!). I even had dye tucked safely away somewhere!!!!

So, here's my version of making your own felt balls (oh man....the joking done while making this project! Delicious Dish....why did you have to make balls So Funny!!!)

Anyway, gotta stop chuckling and start tutorialing ;)

I started with about 6 inch sections of wool. Firmly grasp the fiber and pull...Do Not Cut.IMG01722.jpg

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Divide each section in half length-wise. Then with the smaller section pull off about 1/3 and pull it out until it looks like a long fluff. Roll in a semi tight ball. Fluff the remaining 2/3rds and wrap around the small ball. It will look like a large cotton ball. Do this 30 or 40 times in order to make a 8 foot garland, spaced 2.5 inches apart.

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Here's a shot of the smaller ball, pulled apart 2/3rds section and a finished ball, just in case I have you totally confused....really, it's not rocket science, just time consuming.

Once you have your balls rolled (ahhahaha), fill your sink with some hot suddsy water. (just think everything you Wouldn't do to a wool sweater).

In one hand hold the fluff ball, with the other gently scoop water on top. Toss ball l of back and forth like you're making a meatball, every once in a while scooping more water on top. Once it seems to have a good felt going on the outside (so you won't unwind your ball), dip it in the water and let it soak for a bit. Next step is to roll it in your hands like rolling a ball of playdough until it feels like a gumball.

Now the fun part! I had dye laying around (my favorite culinary colors is safer and easier to work with than normal yarn dyes)....but you can also use koolaide (not the sugared kind) or gel food dye.

To dye 12 balls, I added 1.5 cups hot water to a mason jar, 1/2 tsp dye and a good glug of white vinegar. Swirl it around, toss in your balls and microwave for 5 min (be careful because it will start to really bubble and might boil over).
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Cool, Rinse and Dry.

There you have it! Lots and Lots of felt balls! (this is a gallon sized jar by the way...not a little quart)
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With an embroidery needle, thread the balls with crochet thread and viola!

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Hang on your wall with book page snowflakes.....
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Hang on your tree.....
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Make a wreath or a banner....the world is your oyster!

Also, this doesn't have to be just for Christmas....my friend Joyce loves pink so I dyed a few up for her :)
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If you're loving the look, but not wanting to go through the hassle....I have a ton of them leftover. I don't have an etsy account, but leave me a message if you're interested! I have 2-10ft garlands that I'll sell for $15 each or $20 for both. I also have a bunch of fiber left if you want something custom!

3 comments:

gottaluvboyz said...

One of our favorite things to do is go caroling with our church group at a local nursing home. How fun for your boys!

Those decorative balls are way too stinkin' cute!!!! They look fantastic:)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

ADORABLE! What a project--but it turned out so cool!

Jules said...

I just love the felt balls and can't believe you made so many!! :) Thanks!!