Lately our little boy has been quite fascinated by chicken’s. So much so that his Lito (or Grandpa) actually got him two chicken’s of his very own to help take care of. He loves to give his chicken’s big hugs and even kisses. Oh how this boy needs a farm! Along with his obsession with chicken’s comes an interest in eggs. He just loves when we get to crack an egg when baking something yummy, unfortunately I never let him have a turn at breaking open the egg. I’m not quite ready for that mess just yet! So I thought it was time for him to get some little play eggs of his own for his play kitchen. I had seen some play eggs before online but made of wood. I thought that felted eggs would be just as great, maybe even better! All his other play food is already made of felt so I thought they would tie in very well together. In plus I love any excuse to felt some wool.
I decided that wet felting would be the best way to go for this project, pulled out my natural undyed wool and got to work. I tried my best to get Kai involved in the process, as I love the idea of him being able to help out to make his own toys and especially to be able to play with water and wool. However, it is quite hard for a two year old to understand or be able to have the fine motor skills to be able to shape an eggs out of a wet glob of wool. So I simply have him his own little ball of wool and let him do as he pleased with it. He enjoyed this very much. To make these felted eggs you will need the following.
- Natural, undyed wool
- A bowl of warm water
- Dish soap
- A small towel
- A felting needle (not nessasary but helpful)
- An empty carton of eggs (I cut a 12 dozen carton of eggs in half that I had in the crafting closet for this project)
To get started fill your bowl of water (warm water works best), have your dishsoap and other supplies nearby and now begin by pulling out some wool. To begin you must start shaping thin layers of wool into an oval (egg shape). The technique I like best is to take a thin strip of wool about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide and start by placing my index finger in the center of the wool strip then wrapping the wool around my finger then folding over the wool under my finger and continuing in till I achieve a tiny ball. I then take another thin strip of wool of the same size and wrap it around this ball. I continue this process in till I achieve the shape and size I desire. This is where a felting needle can come in handy. Poke the needle into your shape when peices of wool seem not to be staying together tightly enough or it can also help you achieve the specific shape you are going for. For example when making felted balls I never found I needed a needle but with the eggs I found since the shape was a bit harder to achieve the needle was of a lot of help.
Once you have got the shape and size you want (make sure it is larger than what you want the final product too look like as the wool will shrink when put through the wet felting process) hold your egg either between both hands or just one and submerge under water. You want to hold your wool securly enough that it retains its shape under water but not so tightly that you smooch it flat or into an unreconizable shape. You will see air bubbles emerging to the surface and once all the air bubbles have stopped you may lift the eggs out of the bowl of water slowly. Be very gentle here, as if holding a baby chick in your hands as you do not want your wool to become a big glob of nothing resembling an egg. Now add the dish soap to the wool and begin to rotate the egg between your hands gently. You will soon see lots of lather building up, this is a good thing. Continue this process till the egg becomes firm and as the egg gets firmer you can handle the eggs with a bit more vigorous touch. Once near the end of the process you may gently squeeze the egg between your hands to ride of some of the water inside the wool, however be very careful not to do this too early as it can cause you shape to become all wrinkly. Once the wool looks well felted and your shape is nice and firm you may let you egg out to dry on a towel. This can sometimes take up to 2-3 days. A good video tutorial I like about wet felting can be found here. It is how I learned to make felted wool balls and I find it very helpful.
The end product: a half dozen of life size felted eggs for my little boy to cook and bake with. Love, love, love!
With my very first craft fair quickly approaching I’ve been busy crafting and also busy learning some new skills. Needle felting in particular has been such a joy to learn. Actually I’m pretty sure I’m border line obsessed with this new craft. I do realize how dorky this may sound but I truly cannot get enough of needle felting. Felt all around is simply amazing but needle felting especially brings me a sense of peace, in the same sort of way that knitting does. Being busy with your hands is just so completely zen and satisfying to me. I’ve also gotten some more wet felted balls made. Also such a great sensory activity that I’ve fallen in love with. Hands down felting is my new love! Yes, you may call me a felt dork now, its official!
Felting is something I have wanted to do for some time now. Wool has always captivated me; its soft, fluffy touch, so pure and natural, brings me happiness and ignites bursts of creativity in me. I decided I’d start my adventures with felting by making some wet felted balls. Being a visual learning and a first time felter here is an instructional video that really helped me out.
First, using un-dyed 100% wool roving I rolled the wool into a ball about the size of a baseball, always keep in mind that your wool with shrink dramatically in the wet felting process.
Secondly, once I reached the desired shape I wanted I added on the dyed roving and wet felted it as well.
Lastly, once my ball was dry I needle felted some dyed roving to create a design.
The final product, a beautiful handcradted felt ball for my lil kaipie to play with. Of course I didn’t stop here, I couldn’t merely have just one lonely felt ball, so I’ve been working on making a whole bunch, more to come on that soon! Also this got me all excited about needle felting so expect more to come on that as well. Stay tuned and till then I hope this inspires you all to get out and get felting! Keep in mind this is a great activity to share with children. Water, bubbles, sensory exploration and in the end you get a ball to play with, what could be more fun?