This week Mr Z and I have tried out a new craft which we had not even heard of before. We were sent a Rainbow Wet Felting kit from Elsie and Fleur, which was an ideal after school activity while the younger two children were having a nap.
The kit comes with a selection of Merino wool and curly corriedale fleece, plus bubble wrap, template and instructions which will help you to make the project. This activity suitable for age 3+ but does definitely require some adult supervision and help. Mr Z who completed the project with me is 5 years old.
Seeing all the multicoloured wool, Mr Z was eager to get started. Before you start you need to prepare the area by placing an old towel down on the table, as the activity will get wet later (that’s why it’s called Wet felting!) You also need to lay out the template and place the bubble wrap on top of that. You can then get started with the picture.
We started by laying the green grass for the bottom of our rainbow scene. You need to pull some of the fibres from the green wool which has been given, rather than just placing the whole thing.
We then went through the rest of the colours needed for the picture, using the template as a reference. It gives you a great chance to talk about the colours of the rainbow and remember which colours come next in the sequence.
All of the vibrant colours are a lot of fun to work with!
When placing the colours down onto the picture, you must let them overlap a little, and make sure the strips for the rainbow are not too thick. For ours, I think perhaps we should have overlapped the colours a little more but being our first time with wet felting, there was an element of trial and error.
The curly wool is used to add details like clouds in the sky. The example image had shown these also used to make flowers in the meadow at the bottom of the scene but Mr Z said he didn’t want to add that. He did try making a football to add at the bottom of the scene, using some of the left over coloured wool but in the end he decided not to include that into the finished picture.
Once all your wool is laid out to make the picture and you are happy with it, then you wet it all with some warm soapy water, and cover over the top with the rest of the bubble wrap and pat it all down so that the water soaks into all of the wool.
This should be done quite gently at first. Then you need to roll the whole picture up in the towel in a sausage shape and squeeze the rest of the water out of the picture which could take about 10 minutes.
Once that is done, you rinse it cold water and then hot water. Then leave it to dry again. As you can see with ours below, it would have been better to overlap the colours more especially at the edges as some gaps have come about and are emphasised more after all the rolling and squeezing we have done.
Below is the wet picture drying out after rinsing:
I do think the resulting felt was supposed to be bonded together a lot better than ours and easier to pick up and handle. With ours some of the colours were still coming away from each other. As I mentioned, we should have overlapped more and it was our first time trying this type of craft. Once the picture is dry, it should be robust enough to embellish with threads, beads, buttons or any extras you would like to add. That wasn’t the case for ours so I decided to see how it looked in a frame. I tried it in one of the Ribba frames from Ikea which have more depth than the average frame so can be used for putting crafts, kids artwork or any pictures with a 3d element.
It is a little squashed, but the vibrant colour and the effect of the woolly textures still comes through.
I would definitely like to try something like this again with Mr Z to see if we could improve on our results a second time round and it was fun for us both to experiment with a new medium.
If you would like to try the same activity, these kits are available for £15.00 from Elsie and Fleur and have been designed by Dawn Wesley.
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