… so it’s good I can craft my way out of the debacle.
I have terrible luck when it comes to plants. I have tried to be trendy and buy succulents “that can’t die” and yet have killed them. I have bought pretty flowers for my front door only to find that our neighborhood turkey family decided it would be a good snack. I could go on and on about my lack of a green thumb…
I am good however at buying cut flowers and being in love with them until they too, die. Last month, I put together my brother Greg’s graduation party and I was doing all sorts of research for what types of flowers I should buy. Ultimately I decided that my 18 year old brother did not want a party full of daisies and sunflowers. I needed a manly flower.
Then it dawned on me… I could use billy balls. They are yellow which fell into the color scheme and are pretty neutral in terms of looking overly girly. I looked into buying them fresh and dried and both options were more expensive than I was looking for. Then I cam across this tutorial. I could make my own look-a-likes out of roving wool. I was pumped…. I will try anything to see if it works!
What you need:
- Roving Wool (I bought mine online at Joann’s . They have so many colors and it was wool from a place in Michigan so I liked the idea of buying from a little place. I got two bags at $2.99 each)
- A bowl of really hot water (I used a simmering pot to ensure it stayed hot)
- A bowl of ice water
- Floral wire (I don’t know what gauge I used… yikes sorry!)
- Dish Soap
Here is what I did… it is a really strange process but it somehow works:
The entire process consists of felting the wool into a little fake billy ball (aka flowers I can’t kill in the future – yay!) First tear off a piece of the wool.
Then add a little drop of dish soap into your dry hand and rub a bit into the roving wool. Don’t ask me why you do this… I don’t understand the science, but it works.
Then mold the wool into a ball-ish shape before you get ready to dip it into the water. Like I said, I just kept a pot simmering on the stove with a bowl of ice water next to it. Just dip the ball into the water just to get it wet – not soaked.
Once you dip it in the hot water… very, very lightly roll the wool in your hands. If you handle the ball roughly it will start to shrink. It will start to get a bit soapy. Once it is in a ball, then dunk it into the ice water and then keep rolling the ball. Repeat the process of hot to cold a few times. The rapid temperature change is what actually “felts” the ball. You will start to feel the ball become more dense and will shrink a bit. You will be able to tell when it is done!
Once you start going you will find that some require more wool depending upon how hard you roll the balls. Mine are not all perfect in size but they worked for me!
Let the balls dry for 24-48 hours. Unless you are me and are super eager to finish them… I think I waited about 24 hours and then squeezed them to drain out the rest of the water and decided they were good to go. Who knows, maybe I ruined the process but I was tired of waiting for them to dry
Once they are dry, you can stick some floral wire into it to create the flower. If you are having a difficult time getting the billy ball to stay on the wire you can always put a dab of hot glue on there to secure it!
Okay… I will be honest with everyone. I did originally make these as a decoration for Greg’s grad party but I had a special place in mind for these in my place when the party was over Double duty!
Yay! Flowers I can’t kill by mistake! Overall it was a really easy and fun process. Each ball only took a few minutes and it was something I had never tried before. Let me know if you have any specific questions about the process!
Oh and total side note that has nothing to do with felted billy balls… Yesterday Brett and I went to my company’s 80th anniversary celebration and had a really great time. We even got to go up in a hot air balloon! Okay, okay… it was tethered to the ground and hardly went high at all but when else would I ever be in a hot air balloon??
Such a beautiful site, isn’t it? I just love the look of hot air balloons… they seem magical to me. Oh and check this out…
So hilarious. I love how Brett is giving a thumbs up which is something he would never do in public but I do in just about every picture I take…
Truthfully.. it’s actually embarrassing how many pictures I have of me making weird faces and giving a thumbs up. I think I am just awkward and don’t know what to do with my hands… oye..
But back to the main reason for this post… try to make some felted billy balls of your own!