i’ve always loved felt products, the texture and colours they hold are beautiful. this holiday season i’ve decided to make lovely felt bowls from roving wool. last year i made felted soaps, which were my first efforts working with roving wool. i immediately fell in love. there is something so simple about felt, but the surprise colour combinations and patterns you get from wet felting is wonderful.
you don’t need any special supplies except for the roving wool. i found mine in packages with 4 different colours for $14.99 from michael’s craft stores, which fits in perfectly with the budget of $25 or less for a homemade holiday event i joined. see details at the bottom of this post on that!
WHAT YOU NEED:
panty hose (any colour)
hot water source
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
1. blow up your balloon. if this is your first time working with roving wool i recommend starting smaller. my balloon was about 20 cm’s in diameter.
2. choose which colours of roving wool you want to work with.
3. in a bucket or kitchen sink cover your balloon with warm water and dish soap. make sure you lather up the rounded side and not the knotted end. the soap makes it easier to get the felted wool off of your balloon. once lathered set in your bowl or cup with the knotted end down.
4. this is where the fun starts! start layering the roving wool on to your balloon. whatever colours you lay on first will be the inside of your bowl. i recommend using different thickness’s and lengths of the wool, and make sure you lay it all directions…. horizontal, diagonal, wavy, vertical. this ensures beautiful textures, colour combinations and better coverage.
5. the roving wool will be loose and resemble a fro, so it’s a bit confusing to imagine how it will shrink into a gorgeous bowl! but, it WILL! you will want to layer more rather than less, so just keep at it!
6. once you are satisfied with your layering, take your panty hose cut a section from the waste area wide enough to fit over your balloon. tie a know at one end super tight, then stretch the hose over your wooly balloon, trying not to move the layers. this part is tricky, so if you can get an assistant then do it! you want your balloon to look like the photo below. *
7. now, place your panty hose covered balloon in your kitchen sink, gently add hot water and lather with mild dish soap. rub your hands all over the balloon to create gereat lather. do this for a long time. the friction is what causes the felting. you can turn the water off so as not to scold your hands. i found a rhythm… water, soap, rubbing, water off…. water, soap, rubbing… again, it’s better to felt longer, because then it will create a tighter bind. * in the above picture the roving wool left a loose edge to the bowl, so i just pushed it down while rubbing to create a more defined edge.
8. remove panty hose (undo knot or cut off). then roll ot off your bowl. do this very slowly and gently. i found that my wool and entwined into the hose, but with gentle pulling it came apart. pop the balloon to remove from felted bowl. now you want to rinse your bowl very well in cold water to ensure all of the soap is rinsed out and to finish the felting action.
9. gently squeeze dry and use a hair dryer to get it mostly dry. let sit over night before gifting.
after making three bowls i still have some roving left over and i have a few ideas of what to make with it.
these beautiful bowls are a great homemade gift, with such minimal cost, but with HUGE impact…THEY’RE GORGEOUS!
they are made with love, consideration and creativity.
these sweet bowls can be used as flower pots, for example, or just as decorative pieces.
i just love the way the felted bowls turned out! one of my best projects if i do dare brag a little!
follow this hashtag >>> #CDNHandmadeHoliday <<< and find other awesome homemade gift ideas for under $25! i can guarantee that the projects will be AWESOME as they are from super creative, super smart and SUPER AWESOME CANADIAN BLOGGERS!