In this tutorial, I will show you how to felt a smooth and dense wool ball, which you can use to make necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches etc. Most tutorials on felting beads use either needle felting, or combine needle and wet felting, felt on the bubble film etc. I will show you how to do without needles, brushes and other devices for needle felting, and make a smooth ball, everything is very simple!
You will need:
- Merino wool for felting;
- liquid soap (any);
- small water tank;
- thick sewing needle to make a hole;
- good mood.
Step 1. Rolling wool
Separate a wool strand from the comb, it will make a bead. Typically, for beads of medium size, I take two or three small pinches. As usual when felting, keep wool in your right hand, separate with your left.
Fold the strand as shown in the photo, wrap it in a fairly dense workpiece. The denser you roll the workpiece at this stage, the more accurate, uniform, denser and faster the process will be.
Go to your bathroom to start wet felting.
Step 2. Shaping the ball
Pour warm water into a small container — I use a small cup, from which it is convenient to scoop some water. Take the ball-blank in one hand, and scoop water with another, water the workpiece, so that it is slightly wet outside. Do not put the whole blank in water, or let it go from your hand — the ball is likely to wrinkle, get creases, and you do not need it!
Take a drop of liquid soap in your hand, distribute it on the palm, lower slightly wet workpiece on the fingers and begin to roll slowly.
At this stage, the main thing is not let the ball crumple, make it denser.
Step 3. Felting
The longest stage is roll the ball carefully, gradually making it of the correct round shape. It is important to let the ball soak in water gradually, if you feel that there is not enough soap or water and the wool glides poorly, add what you need.
At some point you will need to roll the surface of the ball with your index finger in soap, as if flipping through the pages on the phone screen or drawing on a touch tablet. This will help to remove possible jams on the surface and accelerate felting.
The further you go, the denser and smaller becomes the ball, shrinks. When you feel that it is already quite strong, you can roll in your hands, gradually increasing pressure.
Step 4. Felting to the desired size and shaping
When you feel that the ball is already strong enough to withstand pressure, you can press your palms harder and roll faster.
Soon the ball will be very strong and will no longer shrink and decrease. When this happens, you will need to wash the ball under running water, roll a little without pressure for the soap to go out.
Then you should wipe the ball in a terry towel and let dry.
Step 5. Piercing the hole and trimming
When the ball has dried, you will need to cut it — after wet felting, wool sticks out, few people will like such shaggy beads. Take nail scissors with rounded ends and trim the protruding hairs. Proceed carefully not to damage the ball with scissors.
To pierce the ball, you need to pull the needle through, so that it passes as close to the axis of the bead as possible. If the ball is not smooth, make a hole to hide uneven sides! Fit the ball before creating jewellery.
When the hole position suits you and the ball is on the needle, you can put it on a pin or on a thread, it depends on your ideas!
Well, that's it, the ball is ready!