Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scrap Balls

I saw scrap balls on someones blog months ago, sorry I can't remember where, and thought it would be fun to try.  The idea is to keep this next to your sewing machine or work area and keep feeding all the tiny pieces you can't save for something else into it instead of the garbage.  You know we crafters will save some pretty small bits to maybe make something else out of them.  You know you do.
Since I like to make stuff (pretty much any stuff), I always have remnants of all types.  I only begrudgingly throw out the tiniest of pieces.
The original pattern was the one on the left.  After I drew the pattern from the directions they gave, I knew it would be far too large a ball for my liking.  I redrafted it in the smaller size and sewed a scrap ball for myself.  The resulting ball took quite a long time to fill.  I left it sitting by the machine and used it when sewing.  It was very easy to get used to putting the scraps into it and fun to watch it slowly fill out.
When it felt stuffed so full that I thought I really couldn't get much more in it and still be able to sew it shut, I did just that.
It's pretty heavy for it's size, like a good orange.  It would be a good baby toy or a dryer ball.
I went along without a new one for a few months before I missed it.  There were a lot of tiny (bitty!) scraps in my basket next to the sewing machine. The crafter in me wanted to stuff a new ball and of course, here it comes, I couldn't leave well enough alone.  Enter the Acorn Scrap Ball.

You see the original lines of the pattern on the right, I made it pointier and cut off the top.  Then I made a circle for the top and gathered it in to fit.  A loop and some decorative stitching and I was ready to stuff.
Before I stuffed it I'd already drawn a new pattern for the next one.  Bigger top and shorter bottom.  Do you see a pattern to my craziness here?  No project can ever be left simple.
After stuffing, I found that it came out so much larger than the original and less acorny than I thought it would.  Maybe the next one will be the smaller top AND the smaller bottom.

I think these would be good to list, unstuffed, in my shop.  The round ones, that is, the acorn cap took a lot longer to sew on than I thought it would.
Crafters could make their own dryer balls and have less angst over scraps in the garbage.


  1. How cute are those. I love them! I am the exact same way. I hate throwing away any scraps, I always feel like they could be destined for something else. My mom is the complete opposite. Whenever I see her craft trash can, I am appalled and then I quickly start garbage picking :)

    1. Some of my scraps from wool sweaters are so small I know they haven't any real use. In my mind that tiny bit could be a leaf or flower petal or something else I'll probably never use it for.

  2. These are great! I like these better than some felted wool balls I made as they have only four panels instead of eight. I will try your pattern next time. I like the idea of using wool scraps for stuff--to think of how many little pieces I've already thrown away! I saw somewhere on the internet that a felter used special scissors to sort of shred he wool scraps.

    1. If you use this pattern, take a generous 1/8th inch seam. This is enough to hold and won't need any clipping of curves. A larger seam allowance will just get in the way.