On our quest to make handmade Christmas gifts this year, we made our girl cousins Flower Fairies the other day. Today, we made our boy cousins wonderfully colorful woolen balls.
We used my wool scraps and wet felted them to make the balls. All we needed was wool roving (found online), liquid dish washing detergent, warm soapy water and elbow grease. Kids love wet felting projects… its cathartic to work with the wool and the warm soapy water. I find that the beginning of wet felting is often frustrating for children so I always start off and then hand the project over to my kids when the wool has somewhat bound.
Roll it gently in your hands to round it. Put a little dish washing liquid into the palm of your hand and smooth it gently over the wool blob. Keep ‘smoothing’ it as if you were smoothing a clay ball. Add a little warm water to the ball and smooth again.
Soon, the wool will soap up and you will continue rolling it between your hands… very gently at first as if you were rolling a delicate glass ball. Keep adding a few drips of warm water. After a few minutes, you will feel the wool ball firm up. When this happens, you can apply greater pressure in your rolling. Roll it around and around in your hands, firmer and firmer.
Voila! We have made this ball for our little cousin, Spencer, who is 1. It is just the right size for little hands to grasp. The texture is wonderful too and I’m sure he’ll mouth it with delight. We have made one for our other cousin, Finley, too. We know that Finley, who is 3, will love his too. It’s a super firmness for a young child to learn to play catch with… it’s just right for throwing and will not hurt if Fin if he misses catching it and it bonks him in the face.