Looking for a fun, simple, and practical DIY project? These homemade dryer balls only take about 15 minutes to make!
So what exactly is a wool dryer ball? It’s a felted wool ball that you put in your dryer that works as an all natural alternative to dryer sheets. The wool absorbs and redistributes moisture to reduce drying time and static. I haven’t run any official experiments to see exactly how much energy they save, but I’d guess between 10 and 20%. With how much laundry we do, that will add up quickly!
You can purchase wool yarn or ransack your closet (or the thrift store) for old 100% wool sweaters to use. Both work equally well.
DIY Wool Dryer Ballsbuy wool roving/yarn or cut up an old wool sweater. [Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]
Supplies you’ll need:
- 100% unworsted wool yarn (I bought this lovely wool roving) or an old 100% wool sweater (I ransacked the thrift store!)
- nylon tights
- washer & dryer
How to make wool dryer balls
Before you get started: If you are using a sweater, you can either unravel the yarn (if you’re up for that!) or just cut the sweater into thin strips, like I did. It worked great and went really fast.
Step 1: Tightly roll the yarn/strips into an orange-sized ball. (It will shrink a lot!)
Step 2: Weave the end under several strands.
Step 3: Put the dryer ball in a nylon hose to keep it from coming unraveled when it’s felting. Secure with a knot. You can add multiple balls, just make sure to keep them separated.
Step 4: Wash the dryer balls in a warm/hot load of laundry (OR, just soak them in really hot water and gently ring most of the water out.)
Step 5: Dry them on your dryer’s hottest setting, with a load of laundry.
Step 6: Repeat step 4 & 5 till the balls are felted. You can tell your dryer balls are done when you can gently run your finger over the yarn and it doesn’t separate. It’s become one solid ball.
Step 7: Remove from the nylon.
You’re finished! Toss four to six dryer balls into your dryer with each load of wet laundry to reduce dry time and static. They can be used hundreds of time!
DIY projects I’d like to try this year:
Last year I tried a few DIY projects, like delicious homemade vanilla extract and super practical anti-bacterial green salve, but I want to be more intentional about it this year. Especially because Rose is getting to the age where she’s dying to learn new crafts and skills. She really wants to knit socks. I’m not sure if I’ll get talented enough to learn and teach sock-making, but I definitely plan to teach her to make scarves!
DIY Wool Dryer Balls (done, woot!)
- DIY rustic wall-hanging (kind of like this)
- DIY picture wall (once we can get all the study stuff out of our bedroom, I really need to get some things up on the wall. Isn’t this picture wall cute?)
- DIY hand soap (my first attempt was a disaster. I’m hoping with an accurate scale things turn out better!)
- Homemade candles (we’ve made them once before, but I loved them so much we ran out quickly)
- Teach Rose how to knit a scarf (I’m not a huge knitting fan, but she’s dying to learn. Knitting with her sounds like a blast!)
- DIY owl rice packs.
- DIY Christmas-scented jar (wouldn’t this make an awesome gift? And it looks incredibly easy and I would get to feel craftsy! )