Many years ago, my children and I made our first wet felted eggs. Our eggs turned out thick and wobbly but despite their imperfections they have been much loved over the years. Now that we’ve learned a thing or two about wet felting I want to share a tutorial for making these adorable felt eggs. They aren’t difficult to make, but they do require some time and patience. If you and your child are new to wet felting, this is a great beginners project.
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Materials (for one egg)
The materials listed below are to make one wet felted egg. To make more, we often make three or four at a time, adjust the materials accordingly. Also, I provided a link for plastic eggs but they can be found at most dollar stores, crafts stores and occasionally at thrift stores.
- Large plastic egg (3.5 – 4 inches tall)
- Wool roving (8 grams/0.28 oz) (a variety of colours)
- A piece of cheesecloth or old panty hose (big enough to wrap around the egg)
- Elastic band
- Bin of warm water (or a bathroom/kitchen sink)
- Liquid dish soap
- Waterproof tablecloth or tarp (optional)
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
What kind of wool should you use?
For this project choose wool that works well for wet felting. For this project wool roving or wool batting will work but I prefer wool roving. Just make sure the wool hasn’t been processed in some way that will prevent it from felting.
Wool roving: Long pieces of wool that are usually about two to three inches thick.
Wool batting: Large pieces of wool that are made up of multiple layers of fiber like a blanket, sizes may vary.
You can purchase wool roving and batting at local knitting shops, craft shops or online. I highly recommend looking for locally sourced wool as it is often much better quality and more affordably priced.
- Set up: Start by gathering your materials and setting up a work space. Cover your work surface with a waterproof table cloth or tarp and place the bin of warm soapy water and dish soap in the middle. Alternatively, fill a sink with warm soapy water.
- The first layer: The first layer of wool that covers the plastic egg will be what you see when the egg opens up, if you choose to cut the egg open. There is no right or wrong colour for the inside, but I like to choose a lighter colour. Take a short piece of wool roving and gently pull it apart. Wrap the plastic egg with one piece of wool roving top to bottom. Then wrap the next piece of roving going surround the middle. Continue wrapping the egg in short pieces of wool, alternating the directions, until you cannot see the plastic egg.
- The second layer: The second layer of wool is what you will see on the outside of the egg. Repeat the same steps in step 2 until all the first later of wool is covered. It’s alright is some of the first layer is poking through if that’s the look you prefer.
- Secure the wool: Gently wrap the egg in a piece of cheesecloth or old panty house and secure it with an elastic band. Be careful not to “pinch” the wool between the cheesecloth as you wrap the egg or you will end up with funny lumps on your egg. If this does happen simply cut them off later. This step secures the wool in place and makes the first stage of wet felting so much easier for children.
- Time for wet felting! Don’t dip the egg directly into water. I know it’s very tempting but the wool will get soggy and droopy. Instead dip your hands into the warm water and pat the wool with wet hands. Add dish soap to your hands and pat onto the jar. Dip, pat, dip and press.
- Felt for 10 minutes: Continue to pat and press the wool around the egg, adding water and soap as needed. As the wool begins to felt and it will become sturdier and tighten around the egg. Continue patting and pressing for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the cheesecloth: Once the wool looks like it’s beginning to come together and felt carefully remove the cheesecloth. The wool will look lumpy, but that’s normal. It’s not done being felted yet.
- Felt for 15 more minutes: Add a few drops of soap onto the wool and start rubbing it gently. Wet felting takes time and patience. The more time you spend patting, rubbing and massaging the wool the better the wool will felt. Continue felting for at least fifteen more minutes.
- Pinch test: When the wool fibers look dense, smooth and tight around the egg it is done. If you aren’t sure if it’s ready try the pinch test. If you cannot pinch the wool off the egg because it’s too tight then the egg is felted. If you can pinch the wool, keep felting.
- Rinse and dry: When the wool is fully felted, gently rinse the egg under a tap and then squeeze the water water out using a dry towel. Leave the egg in a warm place to fully dry.
You can leave the egg as is and that’s lovely! However, if you want to cut the egg so that can open and close, follow these last couple steps.
- Cut the egg: Once the felt has fully dried, use scissors with a sharp tip to cut a slit into the middle of the egg. Do not cut all the way around! Leave a section of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) so that the top and bottom of the egg stay connected.
- Embroider the raw edges: Use a blanket stitch embroider the raw edges. This will help keep the wool from separating at the cut edge and adds a nice finishing touch.
What will should I put inside the egg?
Not sure what to put inside the egg, here are some ideas: