DIY Home: felt ball rug

How to make a round felt ball rug

{the supplies}

+ Fishing line {available from almost every hardware store and many supermarkets}

+ Scissors

+ A reasonably sharp needle with an eye large enough to thread the fishing line through {I used an upholstery needle from Spotlight}

+ 2cm felt balls of your chosen colour {I always order mine through Felt & Yarn, straight from Nepal – to make a rug approx 73cm {28 inches} in diameter I used approx 1000 2cm felt balls}

+ Thimble & rubber patch to help pull the needle through the felt balls {optional} {again from Spotlight}Felt ball rug image 11{the method}

Note: This DIY is a little bit difficult to explain, so bare with me – hopefully the pictures will help.  Some of the photos have been annotated to help explain the method.  White arrows and lines show where a step should be performed and pink arrows are simply pointing to an item to help you identify it and understand the method.

1. Prepare a length of fishing line. Take about 100cm of fishing line and tie multiple knots on top of each other at one end, to create a large enough knot so that the fishing line will not slide through the felt ball.  Cut the surplus fishing line after the knot so you have a neat end to the fishing line.Felt ball rug image 12

2. Create a string of felt balls. Thread the felt balls onto the fishing line, one by one.  The thimble and rubber patch may help here to protect your fingers as it can be reasonably difficult to pull the needle through each of the felt balls.  If you choose to use felt balls in multiple colours you can either simply choose a colour at random or choose to keep a specific order.  I place the felt balls in bags sorted by colour and choose them in a specific order.

2013-10-15 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace092013-10-14 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace083. Secure the string of felt balls.  Once you have strung 10-15 felt balls together, thread the fishing line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string and then return the fishing line through those same 2 felt balls {the aqua and pale blue balls in the photo below} so that some spare fishing line is sticking out from the end felt ball {this fishing line will be used in step 5}.Felt ball rug annotated image 1The photo below shows the first string of felt balls with spare fishing line sticking out of the end felt ball {the pale blue felt ball in this case}.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace014. Create the centre of the round felt ball rug.  Take the first string of felt balls and wind it around on itself to create a small round shape, which will be the centre of the felt ball rug.  Prepare another piece of fishing line {as per step 1} and thread the fishing line back and forth from one side of the round to the other so that the fishing line goes through each of the felt balls at least once to secure it tightly {see photos below}.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace02Felt ball rug annotated image 2Try to keep the fishing line inconspicuous, however don’t worry too much as the benefit of using clear fishing line is that, not only is it strong, it is not too noticeable once the rug is finished.

Tie a knot at the end of the fishing line and cut off the remainder of the fishing line so you have a neat round of felt balls, held tightly together.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace035. Add to the centre round to create your felt ball rug.  Take the spare fishing line that is sticking out from the end felt ball {the pale blue felt ball in the photo below} and thread the felt balls onto this length of fishing line, creating another string of felt balls.Felt ball rug annotated image 3Unlike the very first string of felt balls created in step 2, this string of felt balls, and all future strings of felt balls, will have their first felt ball already attached to the main round of the rug.  The photo below shows a string of felt balls I have created later in the process.  Each time you create a string of felt balls, add felt balls until the fishing line has about 10 cm remaining.Felt ball rug annotated image 8{6} Secure the string of felt balls.  Thread the fishing line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string {the grey and light blue balls in the photo below} and thread back and forth through a couple of felt balls to secure the string of felt balls.  Cut end of fishing line so that it is neat.Felt ball rug annotated image 52013-10-15 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace15{7} Prepare a length of fishing line & attach the string to the round of the rug.  Prepare another length of fishing line in accordance with step 1.  The fishing line should be longer than the length of the string that needs to be attached.

Thread the fishing line through the last felt ball attached to the main round of the rug {the grey felt ball in the picture below}.Felt ball rug annotated image 6Secure the new string of felt balls to the growing round of felt balls by threading the fishing line through the row of felt balls on the outside of the round and then back through the new string of felt balls.Felt ball rug annotated image 7Felt ball rug annotated image 9Provided you cut your fishing line longer than the string of felt balls you had to attach, you will have some fishing line sticking out of the “last” felt ball that was secured to the round.

{8} Repeat until you have a rug of desired size.  Once again thread another 10-15 felt balls on this fishing wire {step 5} and secure it by threading the line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string {step 6}.  Prepare a new length of fishing line {longer than the length of the string you need to attach} and secure the felt balls to the round of the rug {step 7}.  Continue repeating steps 5, 6 & 7 until you have the size of rug you require.  At the very end simply secure the final string of felt balls to the round with the fishing line.

Essentially, once you get going, each length of fishing line you prepare will first be used to secure a string of felt balls to the round of the rug and then be the base on which to thread new felt balls on, to create a new string of felt balls.

Tip: during the construction process it is worthwhile keeping the rug relatively flat.  I simply left a pile of heavy coffee table books on the rug over night.2013-10-14 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace079. Congratulate yourself {this is not an easy DIY}, style up your space and admire you creation!Felt ball rug annotated image 102013-10-17 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace19I would love to hear from you if you have a go at following this tutorial – especially in terms of how I could make it easier to follow.  Please leave a comment or send me an email.

{the details}

+ Felt balls sourced from Felt & Yarn in Nepal

+ Other materials available from Spotlight

+ Styling & photography by catherine & grace {if you would like further details about any other items photographed, please contact me}

{the alternatives}

You can find more rug ideas on BobVila’s blog {which also features my DIY felt ball rug tutorial}.

Felt & Yarn and Felt Ball Rug can create a felt ball rug especially for you should you decide it may be easier to order one online {probably the sensible decision!}  The rugs produced by both companies are made in Nepal and can be customised in a variety of ways, including colour.


{Photo courtesy of Felt Ball Rug}

xx Catherine JPEG

42 Comments on “DIY Home: felt ball rug

  1. Hi Catherine,
    Love this felt ball rug – can you please let me know the finished size/diameter of the one you made and approx number of felt balls required? I’d love to try it, could be my next project!

    • Hi Larissa

      Thank you very much! Yes… a number of people have asked this and I realise I should have put it in the blog post. I’ll double check and update the post in the next day or so.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      xx Catherine

  2. Dear Catherine,

    We just found your nice and creative diy with felt balls: it is a lot of work we can say 😀
    We can make your rug in any size, colour or shape that you’d like. Furthermore, as a professional textile designer. I’m be happy to help with any design and colours questions (free of charge)!

    Warm regards,

  3. Hi Catherine,

    Can you tell me approximately how long it took you to make your 73cm rug? I was thinking of making something slightly bigger, but that might be a little over ambitious!!

    Thanks very much,


    • Hi Bianca

      I did it over a couple of months, a few nights a week after my little one went to bed, so its hard to estimate. However a friend of mine has recently made one and she completed hers in about 4-5 weeks working for an hour or so 3-4 nights per week. I would approximate that the 70-75inch rug is about 20 hours of work. Sorry its not too specific, hope it helps a little! xxC

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  6. Oye y si hago esta alfombra como se lavaría a mano o en lavadora? Para q no se maltrate y otra pregunta la parte de abajo lleva algún tipo d tela? Cual m recomiendas

    • Hi. It is best to wash the rug by hand in a large tub with cold water and a speciality wool-wash product {called Softly here in Australia}. There is no fabric underneath – just the felt balls attached to each other. I hope this helps. Thank you for visiting.
      Hola. Es mejor lavar la alfombra a mano, en una tina grande con agua fría y un producto especial para lana (aquí en Australia se llama Softly). No hay ninguna tela debajo, sino solo las bolas de fieltro unidas las unas a las otras. Espero que esto te sea de ayuda.
      Muchas gracias por visitar la página.

  7. Hey there,
    Thanks for sharing this way for make felt ball rug..It is very interesting concept to make round rug..Round rug is best for room decoration..I really appreciate to designer of this rug..I also try this concept for make a round for my room…Thanks a lot once more…for more interesting info about the rugs You can visit on this link:

  8. I really want to make my own felt ball rug but I really need a tutorial to follow . Please can you help me.

    • Hi Marla – the post you commented on is a tutorial to make a felt ball rug. Just follow the steps – there are photos included. Let me know if you have any questions about individual steps. Good luck! xxC

  9. Great DIY article about felt ball rug. Thank you for sharing the article. This certainly helps your audience, understand the effort that goes into making these wonderful rugs.

    If it’s lot of work for you to make your own rug, you can certainly go to this link and choose some fantastic designs from our women artisans from Nepal.

  10. Thank you Catherine for the tutorial. This is a great idea. I also have another question. Did you make the teepee? If so, do you have a tutorial for it? Thank you.

    • Hi Nat, thank you. No I didn’t make the teepee. I ordered it from Etsy, however I was not 100% happy with it and we actually don’t use it now as it fell down a lot. If you are after a great teepee, I would recommend Such Great Heights {} who have fabulous clothes racks that can be converted to teepees and vice versa. xxC

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  13. May sound funny, but how much does the rug weigh?

    • Hi Jennifer, unfortunately I can not give you an exact answer at the moment, as it is packed away in storage while we move, however it is reasonably heavy. It is pretty easy for an adult to move around from room to room, however a toddler would have difficulty {which is perhaps a good thing!} I can give you a better idea when we move and it comes out of storage xxC

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  15. Great article and thank you for promoting felt ball rug. This means a lot to our fellow underprivileged Nepalese women artisans as this will hopefully give more opportunity to them.

    If your readers wish to see felt ball rug designs and want to make custom felt ball rugs, please visit our website

    Thank you.

  16. Do you remember what colors you ordered exactly. I’m getting ready to order 2000 felt balls to make my baby girl (who’s still in my belly :)) a rug. I love all of your colors but its so hard to tell on the website which ones that are. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Kelly, The colours have changed names since I ordered, however I think I ordered: Bright pink, Can Can, Mandy, Sea Pink, Caberet for the pink and grey rug I created and Wedgewood, Blue Lagoon, Danube, Hippie Blue, Ship Cove & Polo Blue for the blue & grey rug. The greys and whites are the same for both: Friar Grey and off-white. There was another grey as well, however it doesn’t seem to be on the website anymore. Hope this helps. xxC

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  18. I’ve always liked the Hay Pinocchio rugs but wanted a different colour palette. Thanks for the tutorial!

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