Do you love felt ball garlands as much as I do? (Please say yes!) I think they are perfect for party layering — which I am declaring a thing. I usually just buy my felt ball garlands, because they are pretty darn inexpensive on Etsy. But, I also wanted to try making one myself. This is a totally do-able DIY and today I’m showing you how to make a felt ball garland and where to buy your supplies.
- Felted wool balls
- Baker’s twine or embroidery floss
- Yarn darner needle
Tips for making your felt ball garland
The standard felt ball size is 1-inch, though you may see it listed as 2.5cm. That makes it easy to figure out how many balls you need to make your garland. Just decide on the total number of inches you want your garland to be. Then decide the spacing you want in between balls.
- 12 inches of garland with no space between balls = 12 balls
- 12 inches of garland with 1-inch space between balls = 6 balls
- 12 inches of garland with 2-inch space between balls = 4 balls
Now you have to figure out how many balls you need in each pattern. Balls come in different standard amounts. Generally, you can order:
- Solid balls in sets of 25 for about $7.50
- Patterned balls in sets of 10 for about $5.50
- Premixed sets of balls are about 25 balls for between $10-$11
- Speciality shapes in sets of 10 for about $5.50
I wanted to order my felt balls from an Etsy seller, but I couldn’t find a seller who offered all the colors and patterns I wanted. Since I would have had to from multiple sellers and pay multiple shipping fees, I ordered from The Felt Pod.
Before you decide to DIY this project, I want you to understand the economics of it. A 4-foot garland with balls spaced 1-inch apart would require 24 balls and might cost you $7.50 in solid felt balls plus about $4 shipping. You’ll pay another $8 for the baker’s twine and $3 for a pack of yarn darning needle. That’s $23 in total, so don’t expect to save any money DIYing a garland. There are so many felt ball garland makers on Etsy that you can definitely find someone who can make a 4-foot garland for $12 – $16 plus shipping. You’ll save time and money buy ordering a finished garland.
Here’s how I made the garland I used in my Visit to Santa After-Party. The variety of patterns you use is entirely up to you. Garlands can look cute with an ombre pattern or a contrasting pattern like I used in this garland. My garland was 10 feet long with felt balls spaced 2 inches apart. Next time, I would probably make them just 1 inch apart.
First, arrange your felt balls in the order that you want your pattern to appear. My pattern was:
- Solid red
- Solid white
- Solid red
- White with red dot
- Red with white swirl
Measure the amount of twine you need for your garland. Add two feet of twine to either end for creating a loop to hang your garland. Cut off the total amount of twine. Example: if you want a 4-foot garland, cut off 8 feet of twine. Keeping the twine from tangling as you make your garland will be one of the biggest challenges you have while making this project. I wish I had a suggestion for you, but all I can say is go slow and try to keep straightening out your twine as you go.
Make a knot two feet in from the end of your garland.
Thread your needle with the twine. Push the needle through your felt ball, trying to keep the thread going through the center of the ball. (You may want to wear a thimble to do this. The tip of my index finger actually hurt for a few days after making my garland.) Push that first ball all the way down to your knot.
Now you have a decision to make. Do you want to be able to move your felt balls on the finished garland? If so, your stringing process will go a lot faster. The balls won’t move on the string, as long as you don’t touch them. The problem is that it’s easy to brush the balls out of place when hanging your garland.
But, if you want your felt balls to be stationary on the garland, then you need to make a knot after you add each ball. If you want to add knots, then you need to measure the distance between felt balls and make that spacing as consistent as you can.
When you add the last ball to your garland, add the final knot.
Stringing this 10-foot garland with knots between the balls took me about an hour.