How to Make a Colorful Felted Bead Bracelet

This quick, easy bracelet teaches you the basics of felting without the needle.

Materials and Tools:

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raw wool roving
slow cooker filled with hot water
dish detergent
towel
bar of natural soap
awl or pearls reamer
felting needle
assorted pieces of wool yarn
knee-high panty hose
nylon beading thread
assorted glass seed beads
tiger tail
crimp beads
wire cutters
pliers
toggle clasp

Steps:

1. Prepare a felting solution of hot water and about two tablespoons of dish detergent in a slow cooker set on high.

2. Select colors of wool for felting.

3. Gather piles of wool of equal sizes before the felting process begins. This will ensure the beads will be similar in size when felted.

4. Roll the dry wool between your hands for 10 seconds.

5. When it has formed a loose ball shape, dip it the hot, soapy water and roll between palms to help the fibers shrink.

6. Continue rolling the wool, pushing your palms closer and closer together, to shape it into a tight ball.

7. If the fibers are not merging, immerse the ball into hot water for a few seconds. Squeeze out the water and continue rolling.

8. If your palms become dry, use natural bar soap to keep them lubricated. Do let the wool get sudsy as this will trap air bubbles in the ball.

9. After about five minutes of rolling, put the bead into the felting solution in the crock-pot. Keep beads in the felting solution until you are finished felting them all.

10. Place all the beads in knee-high panty hose and tie it shut with yarn. Put the hose in the dryer for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to dry the beads, or air dry the beads overnight.

11. Using an awl or pearls reamer, pierce each bead to create a hole.

12. Attach a clasp to one end of the tiger tail with a crimp bead.

13. String the wool beads onto the tiger tail until attaining the desired bracelet length.

14. Attach the other end of the clasp with the crimp bead.

15. Embellish each wool bead by felting on glass seed beads.

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