I meant to make a felt ball garland last Christmas but it seems lots of other folks had the same idea, because by the time I got around to ordering my supplies, they were super back-ordered so they ended up coming after Christmas. Which is perfect because I often buy things for Holidays and don't get around to making them until the next year anyway.
So here it is next year... and since I already had all the supplies, I've made it! And though I haven't actually started decorating yet (though I have picked up a few festive things from Ikea already), I thought I'd share it in case you'd like to make one too, you'll have time to do it this year!
Making a garland is easy as pie (can you thread a needle?).
What you'll want to know is where to get the felted balls.
You can either buy them (I got some here I used the 2 cm size, spectrum and retro).
Or make them. I did a bit of both.
To make your own felted balls:
Pull off a handful of wool roving and ball it loosely in your palm
Run it under warm water and form a loose ball
Add soap...enough to get a good lather (any kind will work as long as it lathers).
Start to roll the wool between both hands in a ball like you are rolling dough into a ball (Sorry I didn't have anyone around to take a picture of that). Roll gently at first. You can roll a little more vigorously once the ball starts to firm up.
The fibers will start to "felt" as you continue to roll while running wool under warm water and add more soap as it washes away.
Keep rolling and rinsing. You can alternate between hot and cold water to shock the fibers if you want...I have found it works with or without doing this.
Your felt ball will look like a ball and be firm-ish.
Sometimes you will get little cracks where the ball didn't quite come together. Don't worry.
Just wrap another thin layer of roving around the whole ball,
Add more soap, and roll between your hands again until the outer layer has felted to the under layer.
And perfect for little hands to help with too.
Now just thread that needle and string up your beads (I used embroidery floss). You could tie a knot in between each ball but I didn't bother because I kind of like the haphazard spacing. The felt grabs the string well enough that it stays mostly where you place it. I used about 70 balls for a 10 ft. garland spaced like I did.
What I love about these garlands is that they are really just festive for any occasion... I think mine is going in the nursery after Christmas and it might get hung for birthdays too. Why not.
Need some new Christmas music to listen to while crafting? I can recommend this. My favorite song is, "Baby its Cold Outside." Its so cute...she is singing it to him. Clever. (And are you watching "New Girl"? I love it. I hope it doesn't get canceled. Oh boy its funny.)