Rag balls – Are you looking for a quick, hopeful decor project for your home?  Something therapeutic to make, but simple and not too time consuming.  

Make these rag balls  from fabric offcuts or recycled clothing.  Each one will have its own story to tell.  

Rag Balls
Rag Balls

How to Create Your Own Set of Rag Balls

You will need:

Fabric of some sort.  This could be offcuts from sewing, but also old clothing.  I have made some lovely balls from a man’s shirt. I have also used thick string and pretty cord.

PVA Glue


A Large Pin

This video contains full instructions along with some extra hints.

See link below if you need a quick recap version.

Rag Balls
  1.  Begin by intentionally collecting bits of fabric to use.
  2. Sort the fabric into types.  
  3. Begin with the least smooth sections of fabric in the centre of the ball.  I have started with an old zip.  In the video you will see how I use some old upholstery piping in the centre of the rag ball I made.  When I had an old men’s shirt to recycle – I cut the colloar and button sections off to start the balls.
  4. Cut or tear the fabric into strips.  Keep the best looking strips for the outer layers of the ball.  The strips should not be too wide, to ensure that they roll on neatly.  
  5. Pull the strips on firmly, but not too tight.  You will impove yur technique with practice.  
  6. Use glue or a large pin to secure strips in place as you begin a new strip.  
  7. Use more glue as you get to the outer layers.  This is to ensure that the ball will not unravel with handling.
Rag Balls

Japanese Rag Balls – Temari

I thought my idea of winding scrap fabric into balls was fairly unique.  Not so!  The Japanese have been creating magnifient spherical works of art since around the 7th Century.  This BBC documentary tells a delightful story of a modern day version of these ancient balls.

Here at Freshly Found we have a deep fascination and respect for Japanese craft.  See some of what we have tried in the past –  

Azuma Bukuro Bags created from Sari fabric

Kanzashi Flowers, also from sari fabric

Shibori Dyed Dishcloths