Just what do you do with all those wool scraps you end up with between harvests? If you have sheep, alpacas, angora rabbits, or goats, you know what I’m talking about. Those short trimmings and brush clumps from grooming can be put to good use… by felting them! The simplicity of wet felting lends itself to being a great project for kids.
For this project, you can use any wool scraps, sheared or plucked, as long as they are at least one inch long. First, you will need a few supplies: a big handful of wool scraps from any wool producing animal, water, dish soap, and cookie cutters of any shape.
With your cookie cutter laying flat, take a clump of wool and shove it into the center of your cookie cutter. Stuff the center of the cookie cutter full of wool. Wet the wool down and try to fit a little more wool in. Next add a drop or two of dish soap. If you are working with small children, watch out, because as we all know-- kids like to use more dish soap than they really need.
Now all you do next is poke it. You heard me right folks. Poke. It. I know, it seems like it should be more difficult, but what you are doing is you're creating friction. Friction makes wet wool felt. You can’t really over-do this step. Keep poking and squishing the wet wool until the soap is well distributed and and the wool feels like it has matted up. If you’re careful, you can even flip the wool piece over and back into your cookie cutter so that you can felt the other side. Just be sure to tuck in the edges if you do so.
When you feel that you’re done, carefully rinse the soap out and squish the wool flat to squeeze out the excess water. Try your best not to crumple it. Let the wool thoroughly dry and you’re finished! Feel free to do a little embroidery or add a ribbon to hang it from. The sky is the limit here.
The great thing about a simple project like this is that anyone can do it and you are using up scraps that may have otherwise been thrown away. Good luck, happy creating, and get messy!
Sarah lives with her husband and young daughter in an old Californian gold-rush town and is learning to be more self-reliant though gardening, animal husbandry, and by making things from scratch. Join her journey from the very beginning and learn along with her on her family’s farm blog, Frühlingskabine Micro-Farm.