Spring is officially here (although it seems as though some parts of the country haven’t gotten the message?) and Easter is just around the corner, so some girlfriends and I tried our hands at a new craft: wet felted eggs. If you’re looking for a fun, hands-on project you can do with the kiddos to celebrate spring, read on!
We followed a video tutorial posted by Sarah at Bella Luna Toys, an online treasure-trove of simple, beautiful, imaginative toys associated with Waldorf and Montessori schooling. The method we used involves wet felting by hand, but if you’re in a rush, you can also try the quick-and-easy method in which your washing machine does most of the work for you. Just follow the first few steps, but instead of rubbing the egg between your hands to felt it, tie it in a length of pantyhose (securely knotted on either end of your egg) and throw it in the washing machine on a hot/cold cycle.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Wool Roving in a variety of colors (available at your local craft store or yarn shop)
- Two buckets or basins
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Liquid dish soap (not Dawn; it cuts the natural oils in the wool too much)
- An old pair of pantyhose (for the quick-and-easy washing machine version)
- Needle felting tool (optional)
We used plastic Easter eggs as a base shape for our felted eggs. You can also use wool roving (this is wool before it’s been spun into yarn) as a base shape, but it requires a bit more effort to keep that nice rounded egg shape. With a two-year-old running around the house, I am all for keeping things simple, so I was more than happy to use plastic eggs.
We filled one bucket with hot, soapy water (I used Seventh Generation, but any dish liquid besides Dawn should work well) and another bucket with ice cold water. Making one egg at a time, we wrapped lengths of beautifully-dyed wool roving around the long and short perimeters of the egg. We double-wrapped it as Sarah suggests in the video, and then gently submerged the egg into the hot, soapy water. Slowly but surely, the wool fibers started to tighten around the egg. We added a few extra drops of dish soap to our eggs for good measure, and the felting process continued.
We probably rubbed those eggs for about 8 minutes each, then it was time to add scraps of wool roving for decoration. A few more minutes of felting, and it was time to shock the wool by dipping it into the cold water. We went back and forth between hot and cold buckets and rinsed the soap out of the egg, and voila! our felted eggs were ready to dry in the sun.
Depending on the age of your little helper, you can start the felting process (gently felt it for a few minutes until the fibers are starting to stick) then pass the egg off to your child to continue felting and rubbing. Or for an older child (let’s say 4+), they can easily make an egg from start to finish on their own. I hoped my two-year-old would get into the felting process, but he was more interested in dunking the plastic egg shells in the water and pouring them out. He’s a Pisces all the way and obsessed with water play.
If you end up with any odd ends sticking out of your felted eggs, you can gently poke the loose ends or decorations into the egg with a needle felting tool (adults only! Felting needles are barbed and very sharp).
When your eggs are done and have dried completely, you can either use sharp scissors to cut 3/4 of the way around it (leave a hinge on the back side) to make an egg that can open and house a tiny little treasure. Or leave them as is and use them to decorate around the house, in an Easter basket, or in your little one’s play kitchen. They are sure to be a hit!