16 March 13 • SCB

Spring has unofficially sprung in these parts. Trees are blossoming, the days are warmer and we are receiving bursts of sun in between the rainy moments. The long days, open windows and bright natural light have me thinking about spring cleaning—in an effort to get myself further motivated,  I made myself a happy, new wool duster. Wool naturally attracts and holds dust, and once it’s dirty, I just remove it from the stick, throw it in the washer, and replace it once it’s dry.

To make your own duster, you will need:

:: About 1/2 yard of wool scraps (I used odds and ends that I had been saving from other projects, but any 100% wool will do—use an old blanket, a wool sweater that was accidentally put through the dryer, or look for wool remnants at the fabric store)

:: A strip of sew-in (not adhesive) velcro one inch wide and 18 inches long (I used black, but white might work best for lighter colored wool)

:: A wooden dowel 36 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter (you can find dowels at the hardware store or some craft stores—look for a quality, hardwood one)

:: A sewing machine threaded with coordinating thread

:: Hot glue

Cut your wool in strips 8 inches long and about a 1/4 inch wide. You could use a rotary cutter and make quick work of it, or just cut them by hand. Your strips do not have to be perfectly uniform, some variation is fine. Use a mix of colors like I did or it keep it simple and solid.

Separate your velcro and set the prickly side with the teeth aside. Take the other half of the velcro, and arrange a small clump of overlapping wool scraps (8-10) at the end of the backside of your velcro piece.

Tuck your velcro and wool under the foot of your sewing machine and begin to stitch slowly, securing the wool to the velcro. Pause just before reaching the end of your scrap bundle, and tuck in a new bundle and begin stitching again.

Continue along this way until you reach the end of the velcro. Secure your stitching with a back stitch and trim threads.

Take the other half of the velcro (the sticky side with teeth) and find its mid-point. Secure the very end of the dowel to the mid-point of the backside with hot glue. Fold over each side and continue gluing in place so that both sides of the end of the dowel are covered with the sticky-side of the velcro.

Adhere your wool strips to the dowel by matching up and attaching the velcro strips to each other. You’re done! To wash, separate the velcro and throw the wool in the washer with wool wash and hang to dry. The more you wash it, the more the wool felts and improves its dust-catching!

(Don’t worry, the windows are on my spring-clean list.)

I like the long handle for reaching all our high picture rail and other mouldings (it’s also great for catching dust bunnies under sofas or beds on our hardware floors—I am going to try to engineer a dust mop next), but you could use a shorter dowel for easier storage and control.

Happy spring cleaning!