I’m so jazzed that Design*Sponge featured my DIY Felted Billy Buttons because D*S readers have been asking the best questions! I answered a few questions on the D*S feature, and also in this post, but now I’m going to answer in more detail.
HOW DO I FIX CRACKS?
Sometimes you might notice a crack forming during the felting process. Sometimes this can happen from pressing too hard on the ball too soon, or not forming the dry roving into a smooth enough shape. Sometimes the wool does it just to annoy us.
|Crack forming during felting process.|
I am not sure if this is the “official” way to fix cracks, this is just a technique that I found works well. To fix a crack during the felting process, grab a thin layer of wool roving and place it over the crack.
Keep wrapping additional wool onto your ball until the crack is covered. Then, add a touch more soap, roll the ball and keep dunking into the super hot and super cold water. Basically, you keep going with the felting process.
If you notice a crack on your dry wool ball, don’t stress. With a simple tool you can mend a crack in seconds. You will require a needle felting barbed needle. It looks like this:
Grab a thin layer of wool, apply over your dried ball and using the needle felting tool (the same tool I used to create these needle felted abstracts), push the fibres into the ball. Protect your fingers because these barbed needles can really tear up your skin. Below is a fabulous video, by Sara from Sara’s Texture Crafts, that best explains the technique. But remember: you want to use the same colour wool for a seamless repair.
This same technique can help you decorate felted balls too. Check out how I turned these little purple balls into “blackberries”. I didn’t intend to share them on the blog, but I thought they would show what you can do with needle felting techniques.
|Plain purple ball.|
HOW MUCH WOOL DO I NEED?
I answered this question, vaguely, here but I thought a photo might help. I started with this much wool and used almost all of it for my bunch of billy buttons. Your finished ball will be about half the size once felted. I know this doesn’t help a lot, but I normally just grab a bunch and go.
- Don’t press to hard on the ball when you are first felting – handle the wool like a baby chick
- Practise! I had a ton of flops in the beginning (check out my post about my DIY felt necklace to see one of the felt “pancakes” I accidentally made).
And check out this great video, courtesy of Sara’s Texture Crafts, for a real-time view of the making of a felt ball. But remember, you can use bowls of hot and cold water instead of running the taps.
Good luck! And feel free to ask any other questions . . .