I was going to post a tutorial on how to make a felt ball garland, but with Valentine's Day upon us I took it one step farther and needle felted the balls into hearts. This heartfelt (get it?!) garland is a lovely subtle addition to a home lacking in Valentine's Day decor. If you are interested in needle felting it would be a great beginner project.
What You Need
*wool roving: a 50 gram ball will make about 15 1" felt balls
*fingering or lace weight yarn: to string the felt hearts onto
*old or cheap pantyhose/tights
*hand sewing needle: with an eye big enough to put the yarn through
1. Cut separated out roving into two 8" sections.
2. Lay one of the sections across the other.
3. Roll them up into a ball.
4. Cut the leggs off of the pantyhose. Tie a knot at the toe and then stuff the ball of roving inside.
5. Tie another knot and repeat the process to make as many felt balls as you'd like.
6. Put the stockings full of roving balls into the washing machine. Run it through a hot cycle with some laundry detergent. I threw in a pair of jeans to give it extra agitation. This is where the felting magic happens!
7. Remove stockings from the washing machine. Cut them open just below the knots to peel out the felt balls.
8. Roll them in your hands to help round them into balls. (note: You can stop here if you simply want to make a felt ball garland!)
9. Using the felting needle, stab the felt ball repeatedly to create the crease that will be the top of the heart. This can be a little time consuming, but by pinching the felt with your fingers then stabbing the compressed felt it goes a little faster.
10. To make the point at the bottom of the heart I pinched the felt together and stabbed through it. It helps to do this over a padded shipping envelope because 1) You won't stab your fingers, and 2) You won't break your felting needle by stabbing the table. Carry on until you are pleased with the shape and density of your felt heart.
11. Thread your yarn onto the sewing needle. Pierce the heart near the top to ensure that the top heavy hearts with hang properly on your garland. Hooray, you are done! Hang up your garland and enjoy.
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(Images: Molly Anderson)