Thursday, July 8, 2010

Felted Pouch for Kids

We have featured a few DIY projects aimed at kids in the lead-up to the school holidays, and now that the holidays are finally here we couldn't resist this simple tutorial for a felted wool pouch by Quince & Quire. Quince & Quire have done this with kids at Outdoor Art Day for two years now, and it is always a popular project.
What You Need:

• Wool roving
• A smooth, fairly flat rock
• Liquid soap or dish washing liquid
• Scissors
• Nylon pantyhose
• A basin for water
• A washboard or woven mat

• Choose a rock and select your first color of roving.

• Pull a long (8 to 12 inches is a good length to try), fairly thin piece of roving from the ball of wool. Wrap the rock up in your first color. 

• Choose another color, if desired (or continue with another piece of the same color). Wrap your rock so that the fibers of the second piece of roving are perpendicular to the first piece of roving. This creates a stronger fabric. Continue wrapping with another one or two lengths of roving.

• Snip off the toe of a pair of pantyhose. 

• Put your roving-wrapped rock inside and tie a knot in the hose. This helps keep everything together as you begin to felt the wool around the rock.

• Fill a basin with very warm water. Add some liquid soap. "Knead" your pantyhose-covered wool-wrapped rock in the water, rubbing it, turning it over, and using the water and soap to felt the fibers. (Two of the rocks in this picture have been taken out of their nylon covers already).

• When you start to feel the wool forming a cohesive fabric around the rock, take it out of the water and rub it over a rough surface, such as this vintage washboard.

• You can also rub your rock over a woven mat.

• When fibers start poking through the nylon stocking, it's time to carefully snip off the hose and remove the felted rock. It may need more felting--either in the warm water, or on a rough surface--in order to make a smooth felt. You will be able to tell if more felting is needed.

• When you are happy with the appearance and integrity of your felt, carefully take your scissors and snip around the top of the rock--go about 2/3 of the way.

• Remove the rock from the pouch. Rinse the pouch in clean water, shape it a bit if necessary, and let it air dry for a few days.

• We put a few of our favorite wee dolls inside the pouches, which all measure between three and four inches long by about two or three inches wide. My friend Katri made the pouch in the middle of the photo, and added a yarn necklace and sparkly button. My daughter made the two pouches in the bottom row. Mine are in the top row.

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