March 11, 2013

My Cute DIY Felted Wool Rings

Remember when I rounded up a gaggle of wintry wooly crafts?  Well, around that time I had an idea churning in my head for a sweet, felted wool ring.  Although I was distracted by my penny ring project, I finally put the ring shanks I bought in Hungary to use (again) and made these:


Sweet, right?  They are wooly and cute, but I especially love the cheery colours and shiny silver ring shanks, which keep them looking pretty modern for a wooly craft.


Supplies:
  • Wool roving (try etsy)
  • Bowl of hot, hot, hot water
  • Bowl of cold, cold, cold water
  • Liquid dish soap or hand soap
  • Ring shank (again, there's lots on etsy)
  • Jewellery glue or gel epoxy (my favorite)
  • Toothpick
  • Calipers or measuring tape 

The how-to is super simple, and even a little repetitive (especially for all you folks who have tried my billy button tutorial).

1.  Measure the diameter of your ring shank.  Write that down because you'll totally forget (I did).

2.  Grab some wool roving.  Pull a tuft off and form it into a loose ball shape.  Remember, a finished ball will be about half the size once felted.

3.  Once you've got the wool formed loosely into a ball, felt it!  Check here for my original tutorial on how to make a felted ball and see here for my troubleshooting tips.  I've put together a collage of the steps as a refresher, but those two posts have all the details.  Try to felt your ball as firm and as dense as possible.  When it's done, smooth down any loose fibres with a soapy finger.



4.  Stop and check the size.  The size you need will vary, depending on the size of your shank.  At first I was felting them too big, so I started off with a much smaller ball than I needed, added a layer of wool, kept felting, measured, added a layer of wool, kept felted, measured until it was the right size.  I am very scientific ;)


Hubby has calipers, which helped, but a simple measuring tape works too!  There's a little room for error when matching the diameter of your felted ball and the diameter of your ring shank because the wool is flexible.


5.  Let the wool dry for a couple of days.  I swear, don't touch it yet.

6.  Grab a pair of large, sharp scissors and cut the ball in half (I eye balled it, lol).  One half became convex, the other concave, from the way my scissors made the cut.  The concave side worked better.  Marvel at how nifty the ball looks inside (and also check your felting skills: it should be nice and dense).

7.  Dab gel epoxy in a thin layer on the ring shank, using a toothpick to spread it around.  Make sure it gets to the very edges and even coat a little bit on the sides, close to the bottom.

8.  Place the flat part of the wool bead onto the ring shank and wiggle it into place.  Hold it firmly for a minute or so.  Use the toothpick to tuck in/under any loose fibres.

9.  Set aside to dry overnight.

10.  Enjoy!!

Caring for your new, wooly ring: this ring can get wet and soapy, but I found it's best to take it off before washing my hands.  The dark teal one (top) was worn and washed for days and looks a touch looser and fuzzier than the others.  

14 comments:

  1. Tanya these are too darn cute!
    Love the texture And colors.
    Amy

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  2. Those are to die for! I want one, you should sell them!

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    Replies
    1. Awww, thanks! I was thinking about selling them in my etsy shop - I bought extra ring shanks just for that. I was thinking maybe $12 + shipping? It's just tough to find the time (and I'm worried they won't sell!). But if you're interested, I will make time :) I can even email you a photo of the different colours of wool I have (I have tons) for a custom ring. Email me if you're interested: dans.le.townhouse@gmail.com

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  3. these are super cute and fun. also your nails look pretty in that pale pink!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm trying to inject a little spring into my life (seeing as the weather won't), but they are already covered in paint :(

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  4. These are cute! Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks!! They pretty much make me smile all day long when I wear them - a total mood-lifter!

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  6. Hi! I'm wondering why you dipped it into a bucket of water in the fourth photo? Really cute rings by the way :)

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    Replies
    1. That's how I felt the balls. Shocking them in cold, then hot water, with some soap worked in makes the fibres fuse together. Some people do this in the washer/dryer but I've never tried. The link to the full felted ball tutorial is in the post, and here it is:

      http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.ca/2011/05/diy-felted-wool-billy-buttons.html

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