Wet felted Easter eggs is a fun and easy project to do with your kids–or group of moms for Easter.
Each year for our Waldorfaire, the 2nd grade class is in charge of the “Toy Shoppe”–a shop filled with Waldorf inspired handcrafted items. The 2nd grade parents have been busily working to make handmade toys to fill the shop and the 2nd grade students also wanted to help…With a handful of 8th graders as extra “assistants”, we made 24 beautifully felted Easter eggs for the Faire. Here’s how we did it.
Start with simple plastic eggs of any size. We put a few bells inside of ours, but it’s not necessary. We also put scotch tape around the seam of the egg to help it stay together during the felting process.
If you’re working with a group of kids, it’s a good idea to have the wool separated into squares just large enough to cover your eggs. (squares that are too large might create lumpy seams on the eggs) You can also have wool yarn pieces or wool felt pieces precut to add as decorations for the eggs.
The first step is to cover the egg with one square of wool roving. Pull the wool gently if necessary to try to completely cover the egg. Take a 2nd piece of wool and put it in the opposite direction around the egg. As always in wet felting–cross hatch! The 2 pieces of wool can be the same color of course, but it’s fun to use 2 different colors. Most kids will pick 2 different colors.
The second step is to cup the egg (surrounded by the cross hatched dry wool) in your hand and gently emerse it into warm, slightly soapy water. It takes a while to fully wet the wool–a slow count to 10. Still cupping the egg, carefully take it out of the water.
At this point you might be tempted to start rubbing the wool around the egg, but don’t do it! The idea is to first get the wool moving IN towards the egg. So…hold the egg in one hand and with the other hand lubricated with “soap glue” (see previous post), start PATTING wool into the egg. After about 25 pats, (the kids have a lot of fun counting) turn the egg and pat again. Repeat until you have gone around the egg. Now turn the egg and do 25 pats on the top of the egg and 25 pats on the bottom of the egg.
The wool is now slightly forming together around the egg. This is the time to wind some wool yarn around for decoration, or incorporate wool felt pieces. Wool yarn felts in fairly easily while commercially made wool felt takes much more work to get it to felt into the wool. With kids, wool yarn (untwist if you can) is the way to go.
Once you have the yarn wound around your egg, do another round of PATTING the egg. Again, you want the yarn and wool to first start moving inward towards the egg.
Now comes the part the kids really love. With a dab of soap glue, cup the egg in one hand and start rubbing with the other. Keep the water fairly warm and dunk the egg in from time to time in the rubbing process. This is important because they love to use LOTS of soap which can hinder the felting process.
This is the part where our 8th grade helpers really came in handy. They would take a turn in helping to rub the eggs to give the 2nd graders a break. The rubbing process is fairly quick though. It shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.
A word of caution…If you rub/squeeze the eggs to hard, the plastic egg inside will open, the egg will collapse and you will be left with a slightly round, misshaped egg. I have never been able to put the egg together again without cutting it open. You can either add another layer of wool and wet felt over the cut, or you can sew/embroider it as part of the design.
As the kids left, I heard several of them say, “that was FUN!”. They were proud of what they created and will be the first in line to buy “their” egg in the Waldorfaire Toy Shoppe!