So many of my favorite toys and decorations are made of wool felt. It's not always easy
to find nice felt in your local store, but it is not hard to make
yourself. By making it yourself you can get exactly the color, or colors you want.
It's a fun and soapy (and sometimes soggy!) activity that
your kids might want in on too. You need only a few simple things to
get started: wool roving-a fine wool like merino is best (NOT
superwash), a sheet of bubble wrap, a piece of tulle or netting, soap
and water. Two rubber bands and a towel to soak up extra water are a
good idea to have on hand as well.1.
Lay the bubble wrap bubbles side down. Pull thin wisps of wool off the
and begin laying it on the bubble wrap with the fibers running
at one side of the bubble wrap, but keep roving 2
inches from the top and bottom
and 4 inches from the side opposite the
Make another layer of wool with fibers running perpendicular to the
These fibers should be running vertically. Continue
layering wool, alternating the
direction of each layer of fibers, until
you have 5 to 8 even, thin layers.
Place netting on top of wool. Add a few drops of dish soap to a bottle
water. Sprinkle some soapy water over the netting, pressing
down and making sure
all the wool is wet.
Get hands wet with soapy water and rub one hand vigorously across the
the netting for 15-20 seconds, while holding the netting in
place with the other hand.
Put a little extra soap on your hands to
help it slip.
Starting at the edge the wool is even with, tightly roll up the bubble
the netting on top of the wool...like a plastic and wool
burrito. Keep it rolled up by
putting two rubber bands around it. Begin
quickly rolling the bubble wrap bundle back
and forth on a counter or
table, exerting a little pressure.
you have rolled for a minute, unroll the plastic and check your felt.
the netting and carefully flip the felt over and rotate it 90
degrees so you will next be
rolling it in a different direction.
Stretch out any wrinkles, add more soapy water if it
is dry. Tightly
roll up the bubble wrap again, leaving the netting out this time.
with elastic and roll for another minute or two.
Unroll the bubble wrap and check the fiber by pinching across the top
of the fabric.
The fibers should be sticking to each other and you
should be able to pull up the whole
fabric without separating the
layers. If this is not the case you must re-roll the wool until
so. If the fabric passes the pinch test you are ready to get rough with
Rinse the felt with hot water, sprinkle with more soapy water and rub
back and forth across the rough side of the bubble wrap.
Really rub vigorously,
changing direction and flipping felt over
frequently. You will feel the wool getting
thicker the more you agitate
When the fabric is at the thickness you desire (1/16 -1/8 inch), rinse
in cold water
and throw the felt against a hard surface a few times.
This is fulling and should make
dimples appear in the surface of the
wool. Rinse wool again, roll in a towel to get out
excess water and set
it out to dry. What kinds of decorations or toys will you make?