I’m going to say something silly, but I’m sure there are others out there feel the same. I have a hard time throwing out wool scraps. I don’t feel the same about cotton or acrylic yarn and I’m not sure why. There’s just something about the wooly ends. It pains me to toss them.

One night after amassing a large pile of granny square ends, I had an idea. I pulled the plies apart, walked over to the sink where my husband was doing dishes, and doused them with hot water. I added a tiny drop of soap and started rolling them in my hands. Within seconds I had the most adorable little felted bead! Just recently, I made some while the camera was out, and decided to take a few pics for the blog.

How to Make Felted Beads

1. Collect your wool ends. Here are a few from recent projects.

how to make felted beads from leftover wool yarn

2. Separate the plies. Skip this step with single ply yarn.

how to make felted beads from leftover wool yarn

3. Pull apart the individual plies until you’ve got a fluffy ball of wool. The fluffier the ball, the more even it will felt.

how to make felted beads from leftover wool yarn

4. Felt them by hand. Sometimes I use hot water from the tap. Other times I heat a small mug of water in the microwave. Get the wool wet and then squeeze out the excess water. Roll the wool between your palms until it starts to felt. Sometimes a little bit of soap helps get the process going.

Rinse out the soap and you’re left with these little cuties:

how to make felted beads from leftover wool yarn

I have great ideas for these, but I must admit that they are currently in a jar with a rainbow of other colors. I’d like to make a bracelet or necklace with them. I’d also like to use one as a center for a crochet flower hair tie. In the meantime, I just keep felting and collecting, happy that I’ve found a use for my wooly ends.

What do you do with your yarn scraps?

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9 Responses to recycle: how to make felted beads from yarn scraps

  1. Anna says:

    I am pinning this- thank you so so much for the great idea. It feels like a Duh moment because I knew you could splice two ends together with a similar method when knitting. (spit method-EEEEW!)I will start saving ends too….. happy day!

  2. Mary says:

    I am so glad you shared this! I have that same problem with those wool scraps AND I always want felt balls to craft with. Brilliant!

  3. Yana says:

    Hi Julie! I have a hard time throwing them away too. I started saving them last year (along with bits of crochet thread) and hung them in small trees and shrubs in the spring and watched the birds take them for nesting material! I love to think of my scraps keeping babies warm and dry!

  4. Cindy says:

    Brilliant idea! I knew there was a good reason to save yarn odds and ends. ;-) And I learned a second bit of wisdom in your comment section: the spit method of splicing yarn ends. LOL!

  5. Roudi says:

    WOW that’s really nice and easy. :) Would definitely try that.
    Roudi @ c-is-for-craft.blogspot.com

  6. Lisa says:

    Great idea!
    I’ve been wondering how to do this for a while, and now I know – thanks!

  7. Cindy says:

    I love this idea. I don’t use too much wool, but was curious if mixing colors for each ball would allow a marbled effect or just a yucky mess.

  8. Gill says:

    Great idea have lots of wool so going to get snipping and see what happens thanks am repinning.

  9. Maria says:

    Thank you so much for the instructions!I wanted to learn
    how to make little felt balls.