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Rag ball bowl fillers, inspired from the yesteryear when fabrics were repurposed. Clothing, feed sacks, and other items were turned into something new. Sometimes they were made into strips and rolled up into balls. These rag balls would later be used for making rag rugs. We’ll show how to make them for bowls or baskets in your home.
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Rag Ball Bowl Fillers Tutorial
This recipe is for making a country primitive version in which they get scented with vanilla and fabric is stained with coffee to give them a classic prim look. But, you can change the tutorial to fit your own style, if you prefer more country or farmhouse style.
1 Bag of Plastic Balls (like those used in a child’s bouncy house – can be bought at a toy store.)
1 bottle imitation vanilla food flavoring (not candle oil)
Instant coffee (optional)
fabric of your choice, can use scraps
Ground Cinnamon (Optional)
Disposable Baking Pan
You can find most of your supplies at a local Dollar Store or on Amazon.
1. Cut your fabric into approximately one inch wide strips. You can vary the width according to your preference. You can also rip the fabric into strips if you want a raggy look.
2. Slowly pour the bottle of liquid starch and bottle of vanilla flavoring into the bucket. Stir until blended together. Add some instant coffee and stir until dissolved if you are using light fabric and you want a stained looked. It’s better to add a little coffee to test the color then if you need more, add accordingly.(Keep your starch bottle to save leftover liquid for future batches.)
3. Push the fabric strips down into the mixture, pressing them down until they completely submerged in the mixture.
4. With gloves on pull out a strip, squeezing out the excess liquid by running the strips between your index and middle fingers. This also smooths the fabric so it will lay flatter.
5. Holding a ball in one hand, use your other hand to lay the end of the strip across the ball. Press down so it lays flat. Continue rolling the strip around the balls like rolling a ball of yarn. It gets easier after a couple tries. No need to pin the fabric in place. The liquid will stick it in place as it dries.
6. Set them on a clean surface to dry. Turn them over a few times as they dry.
7. Optional step: While they are still wet: sprinkle cinnamon over them while holding them over a baking pan.
8. Store them cellophane gift bags.