I mentioned in my blog post Lately, that my son and I have been spending two days a week at a fun school for homeschoolers. I spend some of my time there teaching the kids various fun crafts and recently someone wanted to learn how to felt beads. We had a massive amount of wool donated so I took in some soap and taught them what to do.
First I just pulled all sorts of wool out of our bin and made a big colorful pile. Once your hands get soapy it’s hard to get fresh wool without making a mess so I just put out small pieces in all sorts of colors and breeds. Since they were donated I wasn’t told on most of them what breed they are so I had to guess what would felt well. Then added a few just to test and see what happened because the color was so lovely. The kids are a very experimentory crowd.
I wanted to keep it simple so we just used our hands and rolled soapy wool into balls, snakes, a bean shape, and more. Some kids decided to try gardening gloves and see if it helped them. It did help with the felting, but it made the wool a lot harder to keep track off, harder to control. One girl had us laughing as she continually dropped her lump.
If you wanna try it just grab a lump of wool, ball it up a bit, then add some liquid soap to your hands. You want the soap watery, and you want a decent amount of it. Using some pressure just roll the lump in your hand similar to how you would roll clay into balls. Keep going and going and you’ll get a bead. To use it for jewelry you can just use a sharp needle and string through anywhere you want! You can use things like felting boards to speed up the process but we have a lot of kids so I wanted to keep supplies minimal.
We didn’t have as many finished beads as we hoped. Some kids struggled and gave up, some wools just didn’t felt very well, but we had fun and made a little assortment! There were more than pictured, some just weren’t photographed, some wandered off, and some went home.
See that black long snake? Well it became exactly that when the following week I found an awesome wooden barn toy and took it in to the group. The kids started needle-felting wool animals for the barn and immediately we heard “I found our snake!” (That awesome barn, I totally rescued it from the trash! It is REALLY well made and amazing! I can’t believe someone threw it out.) We’ll just have to wait and see what the remaining beads and baubles become.
Have you tried wet felting beads!?!? It’s fun!