wool soaps

I recently came across several tutorials for felting wool onto soap and had to try it!  Along with being beautiful and useful (use them like a loofah), they are simple and quick to make!  I am a fan of instant craft-i-fication . . . No, I haven’t finished Henry’s quilt yet (thanks for asking) . . .  but I made these in under an hour:

Here’s What You Need:

wool roving (raw wool which has been cleaned, carded and sometimes dyed)

soap in any shape you like (I didn’t have egg soaps, so I shaved a bar of soap into little bits, added some water and molded it like clay into eggs)

hot water

Here’s What  You Do:

Cover the soap with wool roving.  Use about twice as much as you think you’ll need, because the felting process causes the wool to shrink.  Then, dribble hot water onto the wool and soap with your hands.  Don’t dunk it in the water or the wool will slip off.  Dribble and press, dribble and press.  It will begin to stick together.  Here is a photo tutorial for you visual learners.  Don’t worry that you’re working up a lather in the process — the soap actually helps the wool to felt.  Once it’s beginning to stick together, start rubbing.  Some people use felting mats, but I don’t have any so I just used my hands.  Be sure to rub all sides.  If the lather is taking over, dribble more water to rinse it and then keep rubbing!  The wool is felted when you pull on it with your fingers and it doesn’t pull away.  Let them dry, take some photos, post them to your blog, give them as gifts, or stick them in an Easter basket (you don’t have to tell anyone how easy they were)!

Needle Felting

Ahhh, the blog neglect has begun.  I knew it would happen . . . but just look at my good excuse!  My free time has been claimed by a new discovery (of a very old craft): needle felting!  If you’re not familiar with the method (I wasn’t), it is done by stabbing wool roving (raw wool that has been cleaned, carded and sometimes dyed) with a special barbed needle until you reach the desired shape.  I love it for its simplicity, for the colors and for its ability to satisfy the fickle and impatient crafter in me!

I started with rattles, inspired by little Henry’s newfound shaking skills which could leave him bruised by other toys.  Then I moved on to the matryoshka dolls, which I haven’t finished but still couldn’t wait to post here:

Once I felt more confident in creating little wool sculptures, I made this, um, woolidermy . . .

I’d love to hear your thoughts!