These felted pebbles are totally AWESOME!
They have such a great texture and weight and look wonderful in a wooden bowl on a shelf or your dining room table. You can match the color of the wool you use to work with the other colors in you home.
The best part is that they are super fun and easy to make. And, kids LOVE working with the warm soapy water too.
*Â Â Wool roving in chosen colors
*Â Â Â White wool pencil roving
*Â Â A felting needle
*Â Â A felting board
*Â Â Dish detergent
*Â Â Warm soapy water
Wool roving looks like cotton candy. When the sheep is sheered, the fleece is washed and dried and then it is ‘carded’ – brushed so that all the knots and clumps are brushed out and the fibers of the wool all run the same way. It is then dyed… any wonderful color under the sun.Â This roving can then be spun into yarn (for knitting) or it can be felted.
The protective foam board is not absolutely necessary but it is definitely recommended when you are learning to needle felt. The needle is very sharp and if you don’t have a board upon which to steady your work, you will find yourself painfully stabbed more than once.
The felting needle is about 3 inches long. As I said before, it is very sharp. The tip of the needle has a number of small barbs and it is these barbs that felt the wool. It works because the outer surface of each fiber of wool has tiny, microscopic scales on it. When the fiber is agitated, the scales hook into one another, forming a tighter and tighter mass. The needle works because the barbs of the needle ‘grab’ the fibers as you stab it into the wool, depositing the fibers deeper into the wool. The little scales on the fibers lock together, ensuring that the fibers stay in their new place. By stabbing the wool hundreds of times with your needle, you have control over the form of your wool and can shape it as you wish. You can see the barbs if you look closely at the tip of your needle.Â
Wet felting – have you ever washed your favorite wool sweater on the hot cycle by mistake? If you have, you would have been utterly disappointed to find that the hot water and detergent had shrunk your sweater… that is, the hot water, detergent and agitation of the washing machine would have acted exactly like the felting needle, interlocking the little scales on each wool fiber into tighter and tighter felt. In essence, you would have wet felted your sweater.
We start the project by wrapping the pebble in the wool. Make sure you have two pieces of the same colored wool for each rock. Lay one piece of wool flat and set the rock in the middle of it. Wrap the wool around the rock as if you were wrapping a baby in a blanket. Do not worry that the edges of the rock are still showing.
Use your needle to secure the wool in place around the rock by gently poking your needle into the wool where the folds overlap. Poke gently, at an angle that allows the needle to slide over the stone underneath.
Lay the other strip of wool flat. Place your partially wrapped stone on this strip, in the opposite direction to last time you wrapped it. Tightly fold the wool over the pebble, covering the ends of the stone that were exposed.
Secure the wool in place by needle felting it with your needle as before.
Needle felt all around your pebble, making sure that no part of your pebble is exposed. If it is, gently pull the wool over the exposed section and needle felt it into place.
Now for the ‘vein’ on you pebble. Using the white ‘pencil roving’ that is in your kit,Â gently pull the fibers apart so that you separate the the ‘pencil’ into two strips. Divide again so that you have 4 strips of white wool.
Roll a strip between your hands, so that you have one long thread of white… this will be the ‘vein’.
Place the white wool thread you have just made onto your wool covered rock and secure it in place by needle felting in into the wool. Wrap it around the pebble and secure it all in place by roughly needle felting it all around.
Your pebble is now ready to be wet felted. For this stage of the project you will need dishwashing detergent and warm water.
Put a generous blog of detergent into the palm of your hand and spread it over the whole surface of both of your hands by rubbing them together. Now, gently roll the wool covered rock in your hands, thus covering it in the detergent too. Wet your hands in the warm water and gently roll the rock in your wet hands. It will start to foam up.
Tip: don’t let your pebble get too wet at first… introduce the warm water slowly by wetting your hands and rolling the pebble in your wet hands. Once it has become nice and foamy, you will be able to wet your pebble completely. Keep rolling… gentle pressure at first but getting firmer and firmer as the wool felts.
After about 5 minutes of agitating your rock by rolling it in your hands, you will feel that the wool has tightened firmly around your rock. This usually takes about 5 minutes. Rinse the felted pebble in cool water.
Voila! What a beautifully felted rock you have made – Bravo!
I hope you have enjoyed this needle felting project.
I have other felting kits available in my shop if you wish to try something new… felted pumpkins, felted balls, felted soap, felted toadstools as well as kits of lovely colored wool for you to make whatever your heart desires. Find them here – Needle Felting Kits.
Happy felting and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about needle felting.
Blessings and magic,