Friday, October 23, 2009

Hidden treasures

Looking for ideas for our spring nature table display, i came across the idea of felt geodes!

so with lexi's help, we picked out some spring-ish colours - various shades of green & assorted blossomy colours-
(we stayed away from whites & yellow/red fleeces because they're more winter-autumn to us)

and taking a little hunk of each we formed our geode like this-

you need-
a little bit of carded wool fleece in various colours (i get most of mine from Forest Folk - it's 20g/1m for $1NZ, and 1m goes a long way when you're not spinning it!)
lots of hot soapy water, the hotter the better, within reason.
more soap, i find liquid soap is the easiest for this
a towel
rubber gloves are nice if you're a bit delicate like me ;-) or if your kids are helping with the felting

-starting with a small tuft of your first colour, form a little ball in your hands, then *very gently* holding it between your palms, dunk it into the hot soapy water... DON'T squeeze!!

- now pretending that it is a tiny fluffy animal of your choice, very very gently start to move it around in your hands, very very gently massaging it between your hands... remember not to crush that poor little baby bunny or whatnot that is in your hands! (the dunking it in hot water is another issue entirely)

- gradually increase the amount of agitation as the fibres begin to knit together.. if the fibres stick to your hands a bit, smear a little soap onto your hands & that should help

- once your first little ball is holding it's shape, dry your hands on the towel & wrap a layer of different coloured fleece around your ball, then repeat the previous process, remembering each time you add new fleece that you have to handle it very very very gently!

- keep repeating, adding more layers until you have a decent size geode-
- once the outer layers are fairly firm you can begin to give the whole thing a good, hard squeeze to compact the fibres throughout the geode, and felt them up thoroughly

- once you are happy that you have a nice firm ball, give it a good rinse under cold water, a gentle squeeze out & pat dry with a towel, then leave to dry for a few days in a warm place, like a hot water cylinder cupboard.
- once you think it should be dry, or just can't wait any longer, chop it in half!! i've heard electric knives do the job, but we don't have one, so i just gradually cut round & round it with my sewing scissors!

ta da!!

(as with any of my tutorials, please let me know if any of it doesn't make sense!)


applepip said...

O I love it. I want to make felted buttons by similar process. Now you have spurred me on! Thanks :)

Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

They are gorgeous Nova. Love 'em.

nova_j said...

thanks! mine is a bit goofy as far as colours go, but there are actually some rather stylish ones out there.. apparently they make nice pincushions too! ;)

Jo's Place said...

These are so cool, must add them to my 'To do' list :)

kristin said...

these are so pretty and I imagine quite a delight for the children to "open" them and discover what's inside