Sometimes children’s crafts can feel redundant. Materials like poster paints, construction paper and glue sticks tend to lead to predictable results. For a kid-friendly project beyond the usual, try wet felting, which combines wool, water, soap and friction into a fun new material.
For your first project, start with felted balls.
Felted jewelry. Turn your felted balls into art you can wear. Decide whether you want to make a felted bracelet or necklace and cut the piece of string, cord or ribbon to the appropriate length. Thread a child-safe needle with the string, cord or ribbon and use the needle to pierce each ball onto the string. When you have the desired amount of felt balls on your string, tie the ends into a bow.
Felted acorns. Plan an autumn nature walk to gather up some fallen acorns. Carefully remove the tops of each acorn. Match up your acorn tops with similarly-sized felt balls. Dab a bit of craft glue into the inside of each acorn top and insert your felt ball into the top (or adults can use a hot glue gun). Let each acorn dry overnight. Gather several felted acorns in a bowl as a fall decoration or hang each acorn from a ribbon and use them as ornaments or gift tags.
Felted bird eggs. Use the same basic steps to create more challenging projects such as felted eggs to display in a bird's nest. Follow the basic felting instructions, with slight modifications. When trying to create different shapes (other than a simple ball or flat surface), use another item as the core to maintain the shape. To make felted bird eggs, use plastic or Styrofoam eggs. Wrap a piece of wool roving horizontally around the egg shape. Wrap a second length of wool roving around the egg vertically. Little hands will likely need some help with the wrapping. Follow the basic wet felting instructions to turn the wool roving into a continuous piece of felt around the egg shape. Display your felted eggs in a bird's nest as part of a seasonal nature table.
For more wet felting project ideas, consult Complete Feltmaking: Easy Techniques and 25 Great Projects by Gillian Harris.
Caitlin Murray Giles is a full-time mother of three and part-time freelance writer living in Wicker Park.
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