We have been busy making lots of little kitty jingle toys. We have made these using the hot water in a bowl method, which is so time consuming and takes forever if you want to make a lot of these. Then there is the short cut method- the washing machine. Using the washing machine does a pretty good job forming the balls and aiding in the felting process. This method is so much faster and easier!
What you need:
wool roving (we purchased ours at a fiber fair)
jingle bells (small or medium size)
top loader washing machine- (top-loading machines work the best for this)
nylon tights (child sized)
yarn or string
1. Layer the wool, place the bell at one end and roll into a ball.
A mess of loose balls ready to put into the nylon tights.
2. Place the balls in the tights, tie a piece of yarn tightly between each ball. Make it tight! This is what forms those balls.
3. Place the links of wool into the washing machine. I put in three or four “links” at a time (each link has 12-14 balls). Set the water setting on HOT, small load, and add 1 tablespoon washing soap. Set on the longest cycle, the more these are agitated the better.
4. I put the balls through 3 washing cycles. Each wash you do, the tighter the balls become.
5. After 3 cycles they still come out of the tights kind of soft with the machine method; so we do the manual method to tighten them up a bit and shrink them more. We put them in a bowl of hot soapy water and roll them in our palms for about a minute until we reach the desired size.
6. When you are happy with the size, set them aside to dry. I was in a rush with this last week, so I tied them up individually into the tights and threw them in the dryer for about 20 min. This really speeds up the drying if you are anxious for them to dry.
This is how the little ladies are packaging the toys. They threw in some dry catnip for that extra bit of kitty love! They cut apart cardboard cereal boxes to make the labels and refer to their “shop” as “Little Spud.” I love it! Hopefully these will be a hit at the fair this weekend!
Instead of kitty toys, skip the bells, add an acorn top and you have cute little acorns. We will add ribbon as a hanger to put these on the Yule tree. (The cats love these too by the way, so they must be put up high on the tree).
Now I’m off to help make cinnamon ornaments and peanut butter kiss cookies. The holidays are so busy but I love every tradition and minute of it!!!! Enjoy your day!