Emergency Gift: Easy DIY Wool Dryer Balls

Easy DIY Wool Dryer BallsI cannot believe we’re only a week away from Christmas! I’m so not ready! As much as this year seemed at times like it would drag on forever, in the end it really flew by, and Christmas has snuck up on me.

Hopefully, you’re more prepared than I am, and all of your shopping, crafting and DIY-gift making is done. But just in case it’s not, here’s a great last-minute DIY gift idea: homemade dryer balls. 

I made myself a set last year with wool yarn I recycled from a worn out knitted purse and another knitting project that didn’t go so well. I love them. They’ve eliminated any need for dryer sheets or fabric softener, they put some old yarn to excellent use, and, best of all for our purposes today, they’re fast and easy to whip up.

Here’s what you need:

  • 100% wool yarn (an old sweater that you can unravel will work great, but you can just go buy some yarn, too. Lion’s Brand Lion Wool works great [but not the Wool-Ease! It won’t felt right.])
  • A darning needle
  • A washer and dryer

Wind the yarn into a ball about the size of a tennis ball (here are some good instructions on winding yarn balls — don’t worry about making a center pull ball). Hopefully, you’ve got enough yarn to wind at least three balls. Once wound and ball-shaped, use a darning needle to thread the yarn tail through the center of the ball and out the other side, and trim it flush with the rest of the ball.

Once the balls are done, run them through the washer on a hot water cycle. You can add a little soap, and maybe a pair of jeans, to aid in felting. I’d avoid throwing  in any towels or anything that might leave lint stuck to the dryer balls. You don’t need them to be completely felted, but it might take a few cycles to felt them enough that they won’t come loose and unravel. The beauty of these is tha the more they get use, the more they’ll felt up and the more effective they’ll become.

Finally, run them through a hot dryer, tie them up with a bow and put them under the tree for Christmas morning.

Have you had good luck with using dryer balls? Do you have any last-minute gift ideas to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!