DIY Tutorial :: Felt Ball and Pine Cone Christmas Tree
Note : If you don’t have all of these materials on hand, you can order this craft kit from my shop.
In our family, we are deeply inspired by Mother Nature and all of the beautiful treasures she bestows upon us. My children and I craft often, using natural materials as much as we can. Natural goodies are beautiful… have you ever been simply awe struck by the perfection of a tiny acorn or the amazing symmetry of a pine cone? I have! There is something magical that happens when we work with natural elements. Our creative energy connects with the energy of the earthy treasure we are holding in our hands and, like magic, we find ourselves truly inspired by the possibilities of Nature’s beauty. As adults, this creative process can be strong but, in children, it is truly tangible. Having recently come from the wellspring that is Earth’s energy, children feel this energy as a living part of who they are… it flows through them so freely that they are quite unaware of how lucky they are to be conducting it. This energy connects them to Mother Earth, calming and nourishing them as they create. When you work with your children in this way, you will feel this beautiful energy radiating from them, you will see it in the sparkle in their eye and feel it in the warmth of their touch. This magic is a gift you share with each other… it is precious.
As the holiday season is approaching, we are working more and more with the enchanting Winter and Christmas themes. We love the bright colors and the warm and cozy crafting opportunities… the smell of spicy orange tea and the crackling sound of the nearby fire as we fill our home with the color of a handmade Christmas. Today, we will craft a Pine Cone Christmas Tree using colorful felted balls from dyed sheep’s wool, a large pine cone and a little glue.
We make the colorful felt balls using the wet felting technique. You can purchase felted balls HERE if you would rather skip this step but my children love the process of using warm soapy water to turn fluffy wool into perfect little round balls.
Wet felting requires wool, warm water and dish detergent. Spread a large towel on the ground and set a bowl full of warm water in the middle of the towel. Have your kids pull up there sleeves and ready themselves for some warm water fun.
We start with a piece of wool roving about the length of the palm of your hand and the thickness of your forefinger. Wool roving can be purchased online (www.etsy.com).
Get your children to roll the wool between their hands as they would roll a piece of dough to make a long snake. This rolling will warm the wool and make it easier to work with.
At first, I think it’s best for you to prepare the wool for your children and get the ball to a certain stage before handing it over to them to complete.
Roll the wool into a tight spiral. Holding on tightly to the spiral with your thumb and forefinger, use the thumb and forefinger of your other hand to loosen the edges of your spiral just a little so that it can be gently pulled over to hide it as we don’t want to see the spiral in the finished ball.
Still holding tightly onto the spiral with your thumb and forefinger, put a pea-sized amount of dish detergent into the palm of your hand and begin rolling the ball in the detergent. Dip one hand into the warm water and continue to roll the ball between your warm, wet hands… a little elbow grease is required.
Once you feel the wool has tightened into somewhat of a ball shape, hand it over to your children to complete. Let them roll and squeeze the ball between their wet and soapy hands, dipping it into the warm water now and then, until it has firmed up into a perfectly hard little ball.
Set it out in a warm, dry place to dry completely. You will need to make about 20 colorful felt balls for your Pine Cone Christmas Tree.
When the felt balls are dry, select a nice big pine cone with wide open tines. Let your children stick the colorful felt balls into the slots of the pine cone. Any glue will do but we like to use extra adhesive glue dots (found at your local craft store) as they make for a wonderfully mess-free gluing experience.
Press a felt ball onto the glue dot, quickly peel the glue and the ball off the plastic sheet and stick it onto the pine cone.
Teddy loved working with such colorful felt balls.
Our pretty Pine Cone Christmas Tree sits in pride of place on our mantlepiece at Christmas time and we admire it daily. It fills my children with such creative confidence to know that this lovely ornament came from their very own hands. Experts say that the vast majority of jobs our children will fill in the future will be in fields that haven’t even been created yet… imagination and creativity will be valued gits for them to take into this future.
I have put together a kit, available in The Magic Onions Shop, that will come with EVERYTHING you need to complete this project.
If you LOVE this Christmas Tree but are not the crafting type, you can purchase something similar in The Magic Onions Shop… HERE.
Looking for more crafting ideas? You can find awesome needle felting directions on my Needle Felting Tutorials page, including this gorgeous Pine Cone Garland.
Here are some of my other fall and Christmas crafts.
And here are all of my crafting tutorials.
Blessings and magic,
Thank you Donni! I could NEVER get my wool balls perfect and this technique will help so much.
Yay, Lisa… let me know how you get on :-)