I was the manager and buyer for our Waldorf school store a couple years ago and a very popular item in the store was a “real” geode. On the outside, the geode was a very plain and dull looking rock. On the inside however, there were layers of different crystals. The children would delight in cracking open the geodes to reveal the surprise within.
Children have that same delight when they make and “crack open” their own wet felted geodes. Sheila, a Waldorf homeschooling Mom from “Sure as the World” asked me how to make them because she is considering making wet felted geodes with her boys as part of her mineral block. Wet felted geodes are EASY and FUN to make. Here’s how to make Wet Felted Geodes with Kids…
* assorted wool roving scraps (each golf ball sized geodes takes approximately 1/4 ounce of wool)
* liquid soap (for this simple project, any hand or dish soap will do–or if you want, make soap “glue” that is perfect for wet felting)
* warm water in a large bowl
1) Start with a small scrap of wool and roll it into a ball–making it as tight as you can.
2) Take a different color wool and wrap it around that first ball. Again, roll it as tightly around as you can making sure to cover the previous color completely. Hold onto the wool tightly so that it doesn’t unravel.
It is helpful (especially with younger children) to have the roving fanned out (or carded) into even pieces ready to make the next layer.
3) Repeat step 2 and layer more colors of wool on top of each other. (A total of 5 or more layers is good for older kids, but keep ball small and simple–maybe 3 layers–for younger kids) Keep the ball as tightly wound together as you can and make some layers of wool thicker than the others for contrast. Try not to think too much about what colors to put together and let the children just use the colors that call to them–they are natural “masters” of color!
The last layer of wool should be on the thicker side to completely cover the ball. For older kids, a grapefruit size ball will produce a finished geode the size of a golf ball.
4) Holding the finished ball of roving with two hands, gently lower and submerge into hot-as-you-can-stand soapy water. Hold under water for at least 15 seconds to make sure that wool is saturated.
5) Gently take the wool ball out of the water and gently squeeze out excess. Squirt a few drops of liquid soap on each hand start to pat the wool inward. If the wool seems very sticky , it might not be wet enough. Dunk in water again and put soap on hands again. Pat for at least 30 seconds.
6) Now you’re ready to start forming the wool into a ball. Cupping your hands, roll the wool between your hands like you were making a meatball or round ball of play dough. While you are rolling the wool between your hands, apply pressure inward. This takes a lot of will and strength!
7) After about a minute of rolling, dunk into VERY hot water again and add more soap to your hands. Heat felts wool and friction felts wool. The reason why you are adding soap to your hands is so that the ball rolls easily between your hands and a lot of friction is created. Too much soap hinders the felting process.
8) Continue rolling and applying pressure inward and dunking in HOT water (adding more soap to hands if needed) until a round, FIRM geode is formed. This can take 10-15 minutes. Take a break if you need to!
9) Rinse the geode with warm water.
10) Now the fun part…Take a large pair of sharp scissors and cut in half. Your children will be surprised and delighted with the beautiful inside that they have created!
One of my favorite things to do with these geodes is to use them as pincushions. Smaller geodes cut in half can be made into earrings and if you’re able to cut them into equal slices, they can be sewn together to form a necklace or even a trivet or coaster. Or you can just use them as a simple decoration and enjoy the beautiful colors that you created!
Linking to: Katherine’s Corner