Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Handfelted Eastereggs - a tutorial

The last two years we always handfelted Eastereggs. I didn´t realize it became sort of a tradition by now until Eva went downstairs to get the wool, because "we´ve still got to do that this year." Want to join us?The technique we´re using is wetfelting, and if you don´t know it by now, don´t be afraid to try, it´s really not that hard and lots of fun. You´ll need wool, of course, like this:
That´s not the wool you use for knitting, but one that hasn´t been spun yet. I get mine at my local craft store, it feels nice and comes in tons of beautiful colors. For the core I use styrofoam eggs, you could also use plastic eggs, but then you wont be able to apply those needlefelted patterns afterwards, like the dots or the yellow swirls in the pink one. And you need water, and some soap. There are different opinions on which soap does best, but I think it doesn´t really matter and take cheap olive soap that has a nice smell. I grate it into the warm water, while my girls start preparing the wool... (I don´t know why she layed paper under, that´s completly useless, it will only get wet. Better take a towel :-) )
Then you tear the wool into many small... well... feathers? Parts? When you gently tear, it almost comes apart on its own, and it feels beautiful. You can take one single color and add another by needle felting, or you can use different colors in this process, too, and create a not-so-accurate, more natural pattern, like the red/white egg above. When you have a whole bunch...you can start wrapping the single wool-feathers around your styrofoam egg and bath them, ever so gently, in the warm soapy water: This way the wool attaches to the egg. You continue adding wool, dipping it, adding wool, all the way around the egg, criss-cross, trying to avoid to get an irregular density or holes. Never apply too much pressure in this stage, or your wool won´t felt the way you want it to! I always tell my children to imagine there´s a little bird inside the egg, so they are gentle and tender. When you feel the wool tighten around your egg, it´s time to rub it in soap, for about five to ten minutes: Now you can rock your egg, meaning, you stop being gentle, forget the baby bird and apply some pressure. That´s the fun part.
And then... well, you rinse off the soap in clear water, and you´re done! You can apply patterns by needle-felting, but I´ll show this to you in another tutorial.

Last year, we did a whole box of those for my grandma and Ronjas godfather, I wish I had taken a picture.

While we did this, we listened to this: Yeah, allright, it´s a christmas carol. Not quite appropriate. But I´ve always loved Alison Krauss, and last year I developed sort of a crush for Cellos, and Eva loves the violin, and I loved how the earthly, traditional sound of this music went with the earthly, traditional craft of felting wool. And I loved to sing along, so... whatever :-)

And there´ll be another Potter-Party post, soon, I´m not resting on this issue :-) See you then, ladies!

Oh, and I´m linking this to Creative Jewish Mom,
That´s a great site with tons of nice ideas, definately worth a visit.

5 comments:

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave.com in the Tutorials category today [10 Mar 09:38pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

creativejewishmom.com said...

Great project! Thanks so much for being the party early bird. And for the nice words about my blog! all the best, Sara

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Thanks so much for the comment that led me here Helen- I love this project! Your eggs are gorgeous. I'll be linking in the next Easter Roundup.

Sweeter Hours said...

Wonderful. I think I shall make some tonight!

The Frugal Designer said...

This is such an amazing project & I would love to include a link to it in my PROJECT: LIBRARY. I hope you will join me...please send me an email: rayanturner@gmail.com.