How to Make Felt Beads From Recycled Sweaters

Written by donna tinus
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How to Make Felt Beads From Recycled Sweaters
Use wool sweaters to make felt beads. (sweater image by dinostock from

Don't throw away your old sweater, use it to make some felt beads. Be absolutely certain it is real wool before you attempt to make the beads, because no other material will felt except wool. You can make a ton of beads from one wool sweater. Use the beads to adorn scarves and hats or make jewellery such as necklaces and bracelets out of them.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sweater
  • Scissor
  • Bowl of hot water
  • Dish detergent

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  1. 1

    Make a small cut into your sweater and start to pull and unravel the weave. Wide the yarn into balls. If there are different colours on the sweater, wind them into separate balls.

  2. 2

    Take one ball and start to pull the ends of the yarn apart. Pull apart a piece of about 1 inch and luff it up and pull it apart with your fingers.

  3. 3

    Push the yarn into a ball, and roll it in the palms of your hand. If you want a larger bead, pick off a larger piece of yarn the next time you make one, or if you want a smaller bead, pick a smaller amount of yarn. If you want the bead to be muli-coloured, pull a little bit from two or more colours of yarn and fluff them up and roll them together into a multicoloured ball.

  4. 4

    Dip the ball into hot water. Put a dab of dish detergent on your hands and get the ball soapy. Roll it around in your hands and you will feel it getting tighter and felting. It is done when it is no longer getting hard, and you can't pull any fibres from the wool. Rinse it well and roll it up in a towel. Take it out of the towel and set it out to dry.

  5. 5

    Push a threaded needle through the balls to use as beads. If you want to make very large beads, push a needle through them when they are still slightly damp in the middle.

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