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Posted by on Jan 9, 2012 | 2 comments

DIY Felted Juggling Balls

DIY Felted Juggling Balls

My friend Rachel made our family the coolest gift, a set of handmade juggling balls. She let me watch her make one of the balls so we could share the steps on DIY Del Ray, knowing that we not only have a lot of crafty readers, but probably some aspiring circus performers too. These balls are quick and easy to make (think weekend project).

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1. Because juggling balls need to be weighted, Rachel started out with some pennies wrapped in cellophane tape.

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2. She took some scrap yarn and started wrapping the pouch of pennies until the ball reached about 2 to 3 inches in diameter.

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3. She then wrapped some wool roving around the yarn ball. Roving is a piece of wool that’s been combed, drawn into a clump, and twisted slightly. Roving has not been spun into yarn yet. Rachel’s local yarn store doesn’t carry wool roving, so she ordered some online for a good price at the Brooklyn General Store. With a needle felting tool (the kind that has five needles and uses a spring action to penetrate the wool), she went around the ball and turned the wool roving into felt, which also adhered to the yarn underneath.

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4. Next, she formed small circles with other brightly colored pieces of roving to make the polka dots. She used the needle felting tool to felt and attach the polka dots to the balls. This time she used a pen-style felting needle to do more controlled felting.

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She made three of these. Because I can’t juggle (yet), I asked my brother-in-law to try them out.

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Rachel also made a cute bag for storing the balls.

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I’d imagine you can follow these steps to make balls as a shower gift for a baby, but with jingle bells inside, or as a cat toy with catnip inside or bells. Thank you Rachel!

Posted by Leslie

2 Comments

  1. I’ve heard about felted wool balls being a great replacement for drier sheets. I think that they are made the same way but without the weight in the middle. I assume this tutorial would work for those, too.

    • One of my friends in my knitting meetup makes the felted wool balls. I’ll ask her how she does it.

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