Anyway, I've seen these things all over Pinterest recently, and decided I had to give them a try. The tutorial I like best is over at CrunchyBetty.com. Here's the tutorial. All you need is some wool and some old pantyhose, so that's a great craft for this house. :-)
So what are these weird looking things for? Well, basically you toss them in the dryer with your laundry instead of dryer sheets. They absorb moisture from the clothes, then release it again as they dry, which helps everything stay nice and fluffy. They also cut the static out the same way dryer sheets do. But get this - you just keep using these balls! They're not disposable! And they even make your laundry dry faster!
So - pretty, better than dryer sheets, reusable, energy saving, all natural... I'm sold!
These would make a great gift (about 3 of them to go in a standard dryer) and you could make a batch of homemade laundry soap to go with them. (Remember that tutorial?)
Ok, so first you need to get a hold of some wool and some pantyhose you don't mind ruining. The wool can be wool batting or stuffing (say, if you happen to make wool-stuffed dolls, for example); wool roving; wool yarn; even old wool scarves, sweaters, or blankets. You need to make a tight little knot or ball with the wool, about the size of a tennis ball.
They will come out best if there's at least a fuzzy-type wool on the outside, like roving or batting. (Wool roving can likely be found at your local craft store, or certainly online.) You can use the yarn or old clothes for the inside, then cover them with roving or batting, for example. Once you have a nice ball, stuff it down into the toe of the pantyhose and tie a knot right above it to keep it tightly packed.
|Inner core on the left, ready to stuff ball on the right.|
Ok, now go toss them in the washer on hot. I put mine through with the heavy laundry. You can do it twice if you're unsure (not a terrible idea to run it twice if you have a front loading washer). Then run them through the dryer.
That's it! Cut them free and you're done! You now have lovely, reusable dryer balls! (Really, who's going to come up with a better name for me?)
I made a set each for Robin and Lesley too. Shh! Don't tell; it's a surprise!
I hope this project goes great for you. Let us know how your turn out!