Rainy Day (Wool + Children)= FELT

September 6, 2008 at 5:52 pm 5 comments

The outer edge of tropical storm Hanna brough rain, rain rain to our area today, raining out ball practice and outdoor Saturday-type activities.  So this after noon, I got out the wool and had a felting party with the children.  We made beads, felted soaps, and a few wet-felted pictures.  Good clean fun.  Literally!

Here you see my middle son showing off a bead that he made.  The next picture shows my  older daughter preparing to felt a bar of soap, while the younger sprays water on the flower she is about to felt.  Two other pictures show soap and other items that we made today:

All three techiques are easy to do and fun for children.  To make beads, simply take a small bit of wool roving (not superwash, regular feltable wool) and roll it into a ball.  Soak it in soapy water for a minute, then roll it between the palms of your hands vigorously, but without squishing it, until it hardens into felt.  If you squish it, you get flat disks instead of balls… which can be fun too.  Make a bunch and they can be strung for jewelry, used as buttons, or sewn onto things/added to art yarn, etc.  Use more than one color in a ball for a marbled effect.

To do a felted soap, wrap a bar of soap loosely with the roving, making sure to cover the corners well.  Wrap feltable wool yarn around it hold in place, then put the assemblage into a quart-sized ziploc bag with a few tablespoons of water (it doesn’t take much).  Remove excess air and close the bag, then rub, rub, rub, rub until the wool felts tightly around the soap.  Doing it all in a ziploc bag keeps the mess to a minimum, and makes this a felting project that even preschoolers can handle, if their patience holds out long enough for the wool to felt (I had to finish the one my three-year old started, but at least he got to participate).  These soaps make nice grandparent/teacher gifts – or you can felt around styrofoam balls to make Christmas ornaments using the same technique.  Here’s how a soap looks as it’s being felted:

For the felt pictures, I took out my baker’s cooling rack (you could also use a washboard, bamboo matt or bubble wrap – something with texture) and covered it with plastic wrap.  I put a base of wool to form the background, then let the child add colored wool to make the design, and spray it all well with soapy water.  More plastic wrap goes on the top, then the child rub, rub, rubs the whole thing, turning it over occassionally, until the wool felts.  Additional details can be added later, once it’s dry, by glueing on details or needlefelting/sewing for those who are old enough.  Pieces of felt like these can be sewn into pillows, tote bags, pot holders, etc.  Another potential idea for gifts that your child could make.

Have fun with your children, and encourge their creativity – pull out the wool and play!


Entry filed under: OTHER FIBER FUN. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

9/4/08 – Lluscious Llovely Llama Yarn! Finer Spinning

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Meri  |  September 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    That looks like fun!

  • 2. micheled  |  September 7, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Love all the lovely colors, great blog very informative!!!

  • 3. Rhonda  |  September 8, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Those colors are STUNNING!!! Makes me want it!

  • 4. Jill  |  October 21, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    This is a great project. My daughter and I tried it out and will use it as a project at our distict Make It With Wool Contest. This may keep the girls busy (and clean) as they wait to be judged. Thanks for the great idea.

  • 5. sandrar  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.


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