Make this adorable DIY Christmas Garland from wool felt balls and trim your tree in style! This is an easy and quick Christmas craft that adults and children alike will love.
Welcome to the first craft session of the season! The project I’m sharing today is something I’ve wanted to do for several years, and I’m so happy I finally pulled it together. I have loved wool felt since I was first introduced to it many years ago. The softness and texture cannot be found in any other fabric.
What is Wool Felt?
It’s important to know that wool felt, and felted wool, are not the same thing. Wool felt is fabric made from wool fibers (picture wisps of wool) that are pressed together, and there is no weaving involved. It’s available by the yard, and sometimes in smaller squares. The mills that produce wool felt are few and far between, because the process and machinery are very specialized. Felted wool is actually woven fabric made from wool thread that has been washed in very hot water and dried. The hot water process, or felting process, makes the fabric softer and fluffier. The same hot water process can be used with wool felt. It completely changes the texture, and like felted wool, the wool felt becomes thicker and fleecier.
(Back in 2014, I wrote two little posts about felting wool. They are very short and to the point! One was how to make felted wool, and the other was how to make felted wool boot cuffs. Remember wearing boot cuffs? The process, using thrift store wool sweaters, can be used to make anything. I’ve seen felted wool sweaters repurposed as pillow covers, Christmas ornaments, mug warmers, and more.)
So what we’re working with for this project is wool felt. Wool felt balls are made by placing bits of wool (remember the wisps we talked about?) in hot, soapy water, and then rolling the soaked wool into a ball with your hands. I’ve never done it, but it appears that it’s just like rolling cookie dough into a ball with the palms of your hands. I know I could have made my own balls for this project, but even though it’s easy, it would have been time-consuming. After a quick search on Etsy, I decided to buy the darling pieces pictured above.
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DIY Garland from Wool Felt Balls
As you can see from the image below, it takes about 12 wool felt balls to equal one foot. The wool felt balls used for this project measure 2.5 centimeters, which is about 1 inch. If you want to make a garland that is 6 feet long, you will need approximately 72 wool felt pieces.
*Note: the wool felt balls come in various sizes, with 1 centimeter being the smallest, and 4 centimeters being the largest. I opted for balls that were right in the middle of the range of sizes available.
- twine or heavy thread
- large sewing or darning needle
- white wool felt balls
- red with white swirls
- red with white dots
- candy canes
Cut a piece of twine the desired length of your garland, plus 15 inches. You will need 7 inches on each end to use as a hanger. This is how I assembled my garland:
- I started and ended with a star. Thread a large needle onto one end of the piece of twine. Run the needle through the star.
- Continue adding the wool felt pieces to the twine. I alternated 3 white balls with the red balls, stars, and candy canes.
- To finish off the ends, make a large circle and knot it off as close as you can get to the end of your garland.
TIP: if it’s difficult to pull the needle through the felt ball, a small pair of pliers makes the job easier. You can also use a thimble to push the needle through.
When I got to the end of my garland, I fudged a little. If you look at the picture below, you will see that my last section (on the right side) is missing a candy cane group. I thought about starting over, but decided to just go with it. Handmade items aren’t always perfect! The finished length of this garland is about 6 feet, and there are 74 pieces.
The possibilities for this sort of Christmas garland are endless. The wool felt balls come in a huge array of colors. There are stars, candy canes, peppermints, little reindeer, red hearts, embroidered snowflake balls, an adorable Santa belt, and more. Visit The Felt Pod on Etsy to see everything. Another idea when assembling the garland is to leave a space between each ball. Make sure to use a thick piece of thread or twine so the balls don’t slip. Even if they slip a little, they can always be arranged once your garland is in place. If you want a really long garland, this would be the most cost-effective route to go.
Most of the felt ball garlands I have seen in retail stores or online are multi-colored, and chances are the balls aren’t made from real wool felt. By making my own, I was able to get the exact colors I wanted. The soft white balls with little pops of red will add just the right amount of color and texture to our little tabletop trees.
We are all in that odd time of year where we are preparing for two holidays. I’m definitely still planning and preparing for Thanksgiving, but I know I need to get started on Christmas as well. The month of November is challenging. This is the month where we especially need to take care of ourselves. So even though our first inclination is to put ourselves last, don’t do it. Taking time for a craft session might seem impossible, but it will brighten your day, and make you more relaxed. So move yourself up the list…and I bet that everyone in your life who loves you will thank you for it!