Are you ready to try something different with your kids? This craft involves lots of hands on work with materials, creating designs, thinking about sequencing and steps, and I think, a little bit of magic.
Wet felting with kids is fun and creates lovely, unique pieces. It feels a bit ominous at first, but once you do it one time, you get the hang of it, and it is actually quite enjoyable.
- Pieces of wool (called roving), in various colors.
- Squares of natural felt (you can get these at most craft stores) for the base
- Some sort of netting material
- A bar of natural soap
- bubble wrap
- Needle and foam to needle felt design first if desired.
There are many great tutorials on how to wet felt. I watched (and read) several and then got the general gist of it. Here two of my favorites:
- Snow Queen's picture tutorial
- Rosie Pink ( I love the designs featured here! You can learn how to make a whole piece without purchasing a backround piece of felt, like I did, and is pictured above. I even bought the ebook so I can do more "adult" wet felting at some imaginative later time in another universe..)
Essentially, I followed these steps:
1. Have your child lay out his or her design on pre-bought square of felt.
2. If you child is old enough (and you are comfortable with this!), you can have her needle felt a design loosely in place. Needle felting is basically poking the roving into the wool with a long needle, and into a foam backing. These are relatively inexpensive and needle felting all by itself is very addicting.
3. If you do this, closely supervise because those needles are sharp!
4. This is not necessary if you are creating more paint-like designs that don't need to be exact. We were making squares to hang up as decorations, but these could easily be made into purses, pencil holders, coasters, or add ons to other fabrics.
5. Lay the felted design on a towel and some bubble wrap.
6. Take some warm water mixed with a little liquid soap, and drizzle over your hand, all over the felt. You want it wet, not soaking. Pour on too much? Sop it up with a sponge, no problem.
7. Once it is good and wet, lay the netting down on top of it. Take a balled up piece of bubble wrap and have your child rub it evenly all over the piece. Do this for several minutes.
8. Rub on some bar soap (this acts as felt glue) evenly over the surface.
9. Be sure all the felt (even the edges) has had pressure and a little bar soap.
10. Then, put another piece of bubble wrap on top, and roll it up. You can secure this with rubber bands. If you have a sushi mat, use this to wrap over the bubble wrap felt sandwich to make it more firm. I didn't have this, and had to adjust my roll frequently.
11. Have your child roll the bubble wrap wand 100 times! Good counting practice.
12. Unroll it, and roll the fabric up in the other direction and repeat (I bet you will be doing it now!) by rolling another 100 times.
13. Check to see if the felt is connecting and shrinking into one piece. If not, keep rolling, or unroll and rub it again with the bubble wrap ball. You can use soap if any place is not sticking, then roll again.
14. After you are happy with it, rinse it off in the sink until the soap is out (move over the dirty dishes first!).
15. Set out on a towel to dry.
16. You can then hang it from a twig with ribbon, or use it to make something else. I sewed some embellishments on mine before hanging it. Here it is hanging on my daughter's wall.