Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Felt ball rug how to...lots and lots of felt balls...


We have gotten a few inquiries from folks asking if we make these rugs for Anthropologie. We don't. We do have lots and lots of felt balls, and the rugs are made of thousands of felt balls, sewn to a cotton backing. The balls make for a comfortable and bouncy floor covering. I have to say, I have been tempted even though I have a comfortable and bouncy floor covering already in my home (a ten-year-old, 10x14" Tenango that still makes me swoon, thanks Crispina!)

Lo and behold, we received notice that a favorite customer of ours, the talented Claudia, is making a felt-ball rug of her own. She is making the rug in a mix of browns, blacks and whites that will be so lovely when finished. Claudia shared her process photos with us and I am sharing them with you.

Claudia begins by sewing her felt balls into long strands, mixing up the colors as she goes. I didn't ask her if she has a planned-out 'random' for the strands but I think it would work just fine to make them really, truly random.
After she has the individual strands sewn Claudia sews the strands to one-another. She has tested the rug out, too, although it's more of a runner at this point! She estimates that it will take 7000 felt balls to make the rug she wants. Since my floors are pretty covered I am thinking that some placemats would be really cool, or maybe chair pads? So, what are you making with your Ornamentea crafty ingredients? Send us a message and let us know...

Thank you, Claudia, for sharing your photos with us!

Edited on 7/19/12 to add:
This video shows how to sew them together...just a needle and thread, albeit a strong thread, will do the trick! These coasters are a great intro project, too!
The felt balls are available on our website (see the link above.)

32 comments:

  1. Oh that's sweet! I'm thinking about a mini version (and I mean really tiny) as a pendant. Maybe that's already been done.....

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  2. That rug looks awesome. I want one!

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  3. Those would be great wall hangings too, especially colorful ones!

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  4. ohh, Alice, I love that idea. A tiny felt pendant, very graphic. Wall hangings would also be nice. Tonight I laid out a table mat for the center of my round dining table with 570 felt balls, it looks so wonderful now I just need to stitch it up...

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  5. But it will cost around $1,000 to make? I wish I could make one, but I can't afford it.

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  6. Anonymous10:40 AM

    How does she sew the balls to the string? just sew the bottom of the felt ball?

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  7. Anonymous8:42 PM

    Did she make the felt balls or buy them? If she made them, if there a tutorial on that?

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  8. where can you get these felt balls?

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  9. She bought the felt balls from us! http://www.ornamentea.com/FeltBalls.htm

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  10. Anonymous5:49 PM

    so cute but $1000+ for a rug you have to work so hard to make is nuts

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  11. In a busy house like mine, my thoughts are on cleaning the rug. Is it washable? can't vacuum it...Definitely not cost effective or easy care from my vantage point....very cute though! really caught my attention.

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  12. Actually, it's quite vacuum-able. Those felt balls are really tough. You'd care for it the same way you care for any other wool carpet. In my house that means a very rare vacuuming when the dust bunnies start to take over! ;-)

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  13. Anonymous1:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  14. Well, there are three replies to your comment, anon.

    First-most folks I know don't think of the time they put into craft projects as wasted, but as spent on something enjoyable. I craft a lot. I do not watch television or play card games, keep a farm in Farmville, get my nails done. Perhaps to you putting time into making a beautiful object for your home is wasted, but to me that is an excellent way to spend time.

    Second-the $300 version of the rug you have found is perhaps made with less-dense felt balls, less-permanent dyes, in less-than-ideal conditions (sweat shop in China, perhaps?) The original rug that Claudia was inspired by was around $4000. The felt balls we sell are made in small workshops in Nepal where the workers receive fair wages. The balls are very dense and durable and the dyes are colorfast.

    Third-if you need 7000 felt balls we might be able to special order them and give you a bit of a discount, don't you think?

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  15. Anonymous11:47 PM

    Can you show how to acutally sew this together? I am really interested in making one!

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  16. Anonymous12:15 AM

    What size felt balls did she use?

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  17. Anonymous7:59 PM

    I would also like to know how she sews them together. Just useing a large needle and putting it through the middle? How?

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  18. The felt balls used in the rug were 2 cm. I have edited the original post to include a video showing how felt balls can be sewn together to make a rug. The video demonstrates the stitching technique, although coasters (not a rug) are made.
    Have fun!

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  19. These rugs look so comfortable! I have actually never seen rugs like this before. Would love this in my living room!

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  20. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Hi. Can you please elaborate on the cotton backing and how to affix it? Maybe rubber? I'd' be afraid someone might slip if used on a hard surfaced floor.

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  21. These rugs can be made without backing too... so you can use by both side

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  22. Anonymous8:03 AM

    On the video what is the purpose of the seed beads? Is it just decorative?

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  23. Where do you get the felt balls and how much are they? how much does this project end up costing roughly?

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  24. where do you get the felt balls and how much are they?

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  25. cool thank you this will help me with a small rug for my daugther's dollhouse im making. =]

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  26. cool thank you this will help me with a small rug for my daugther's dollhouse im making. =]

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  27. I think this would be awesome for use with a newborn baby photo shoot, or even a baby (non-walker), but in a square version.

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  28. Anonymous12:11 AM

    Hi! I'm falling in love with these rugs. I see your note about them being vacuumable. I have 2 yellow labs that leave a lot of fur everywhere... Would these withstand frequent vacuuming?

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  29. Hmm, yellow labs? Make your rug YELLOW! No,seriously, I think you might need to vacuum it with the brush in the off setting. That should work fine.

    Good luck!

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  30. Anonymous12:41 AM

    How many felt balls would I need for an 8 inch round rug?

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  31. So, this is a bit of math that, honestly, I should be able to do pretty quickly. After all, I DID pass 5th grade!

    I decided to tackle this completely in the metric system. I'm going to work on the idea of making a 1 meter (in diameter) round rug. That's a bit over a yard ((39+ inches) across, which is a nice size. To find out how many balls will make a round rug of that size you need to figure out how many square centimeters are in a meter and then divide this by 4. Why 4? Well, a 2 cm felt ball is a little less than 4 square centimeters.
    I visited this site http://convert-to.com/conversion/area-surface/convert-circle-1m-diam-to-square-centimeters-cm2.html and found that there are 7,853.98 square centimeters in a 1 meter diameter circle. When you divide 7853.98 by 4 you get 1963.49. You can discard the .49 of a felt ball and work with 1963 felt balls. Because the balls will 'nest' against each other you may end up with a slightly smaller rug unless you are careful to stitch them so that they only touch in a few spots (the way we did it in the video, just watch to see what I mean.) If you want a denser rug, just 'nest' them together.

    We do offer discounts on bulk purchases of the felt balls on our site.

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