Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Felted Garland

OK so here it is- my first ornament of the Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge. I'm so excited about it because the colors of this garland are going to tie my whole tree together.

It's made from about 82 felted balls. And for those of you who've made felted wool balls who are groaning at the prospect of making over 80 of them- surprisingly this was quick and easy.

I had a completed garland after only three afternoons! (2 of felting and 1 of stringing.)

For the little teal colored balls I needle felted.

For the larger green and white ones I used a hybrid method to make them. I started by needle felting them into rough spheres.

In the picture below you can see the before after side by side. Just needle felting on the left and after wet felting on the right.

The result was a ball that felted very quickly (quicker than if I had used just one of those methods alone) but remained lighter and fluffier than if it had only been needle felted. Perfect for a garland!

Once they were dry I strung them together using red embroidery floss, a yarn needle, and some fabric glue.

Poking the needle through the center was easy- to my surprise I was even able to use a plastic needle.

As I strung them into place I found I wanted a bit of space between the felt to allow the red string to show. So I used a dab of fabric glue to secure each ball in place.

On both ends of the garland I made a loop with the floss. This should help secure the beginning and end of the garland onto the tree branches.

The entire garland is about 9 ft. long. I used $5.25 worth of wool (There's a bit of extra wool included in there if I need to make the garland longer). The embroidery floss was bought with a 40% off coupon so it was only $1.01. (I also have extra of that which I'll be using on some other ornaments).

Grand total was $6.26 which means I have $13.74 left in my $20 budget.

Although that's a pretty big chunk of my budget, I think it's ok because to me this garland is the foundation of my tree. It's a big punch of color and I think it's going to tie everything else together. (At least I'm crossing my fingers that's what it'll do)

If you want to join me on this Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge there's still time! Click over to this post and leave me a comment OR just send me an email.

$13.74 and a lot more ornaments to go!


  1. Oh I really want to make one of these. I guess it is time I learn to felt! (you can make dryer balls with felted wool, right?)

  2. Hi Samantha- You can totally learn to felt!

    I've heard about those dryer balls but honestly am not sure if they are the same. If they are just balls of plain old felted wool then they would be very easy to make. Although the ones in my garland are pretty small, only about an inch at the largest, so they'd be too small for the dryer. No doubt these would get lost wherever it is all the single socks seem to go. But you could always make larger ones.

    : )

  3. Can't wait to see this garland on your tree! :)

  4. Oh i love your garland! Very nice start!

    I have my first Christmas Tree Challenge ornament done and will be posting it early next week. Have a couple projects to share this week for which I used your brilliant felting tricks! And I WILL be linking!

  5. I'm so excited to see your first ornament Pam! Not to mention all the wonderful things you have planned for this week. I can't wait to see what you've been felting.

  6. So cute and simple I love the color combo. Found you on Some Day Crafts Link Party.

    Happy Blogging

  7. I have always wanted to do something like this and you made it actually seem possible! Your garland is gorgeous!

    We are having a Home for the Holidays link party on our blog and I know that our readers would think the garland is amazing! We would love for you to join us!


  8. Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment! The project really was easy- I hope you give it a try.

  9. Do you make this with wool roving? May I ask where you purchase yours from? I bought some today to try to make some felted balls for this project and some cat toys, and mine definitely came to higher than $5.25! And I only bought two small sample packages because they didn't have anything bigger. Definitely not enough to make a garland!

  10. If you'd rather email me back, it's jesllee(at)live(dot)com

  11. Thanks Tricia!

    Jeslee- Hi Jesllee,

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I use wool that's pulled from a batt. I buy all my wool at New England Felting Supply, they are local to me but also have a website (http://feltingsupply.com/). I use their C1 wool meant for needle or wet felting.

    In the store I can buy exactly what I need by weight at 2.50 and ounce. Online it looks like you can buy multi-color packs or single colors in either 4 oz or 1lb quantities.

    Hope that helps!

  12. That's so cool! I have never made felt balls before. Great idea. I cant wait to see it on your tree.


  13. Hi Meg!

    I've begun to make my garland. So far I have fifty balls done. You stated you made 9 ft of garland. How big is your tree? My artificial tree is 7 feet tall, and the rule of thumb is 9 feet of garland per foot of tree...this means I will need 64 feet of garland! At approximately 80 balls per 9 feet, I will need 560 balls! I'm freaking out! I don't think I can finish this by Christmas! Maybe next year...

  14. Hi Robin,

    First- I'm so happy you are making a garland. I'd love to see a picture of how it's turing out! Second- to address your question on length. I was guessing on the length garland I needed based on other garlands I've bought for my 6ft tree. I left myself and extra 3 feet (because at the time all the decorations were packed away and I couldn't check to see if I had 9ft or 12ft of garland).

    The tree is unpacked now and turns out I had about 15ft of garland. I'll definitely need to make more garland for the tree... I'm going to go for twice the length and that should be plenty.

    I looked up the ratio you said 9ft for ever foot and found range of lengths recommended (anywhere from 5ft to 9ft) but something I noticed about all of these was that they were talking about small beaded or popcorn type garland. Personally I tend to hand those garlands very close together- a larger garland like the one I've made I only drape around the tree a few times and tuck it into the tree a bit.

    So I think length comes down to how you want to hang the garland to achieve a look you like.

    You got me thinking a lot about this- and so I think I'll be doing a post about it later on today!

  15. Beautiful garland! We've decided to do this in our home. I included a link to your post in one of my Handmade Holiday blog posts - http://trinityacres.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/handmade-holiday-garlands/

  16. Thanks Lindsay! I can't wait to see how your garland turns out.


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