Yesterday was kind of a mandatory indoor day here. We had a lovely Thanksgiving, but I did manage to cut my forehead open with the blade from the food processor (If you are surprised that this is possible then you clearly don't know me well enough yet) and this meant that I wasn't super keen to go out and show off my taped together eyebrow in public. Embarrassing.
Anyway, Mariam decided to spend the morning felting some of the rocks that we picked up on our last trip to the beach. Weirdly satisfying and super fun. I definitely recommend this for a quiet moment of crafting with yourself or your small people. Read on for a how-to and some good, (very) clean fun.
Not too long ago, our family discovered a wonderful local beach. Rather than sand, it is covered with beautiful, smooth stones. Of course, a number of these rocks have found their way back to our house, and in fact, these days our seasonal nature table seems to have become a collection of beach rocks, acorns and not a whole lot else. Anyway, I thought that felting some of the rocks would be fun, and indeed, it turned out to be an easy and satisfying project. The result is a pile of lovely, fuzzy little rocks that look great on display and would make a fun gift, perhaps paired with pictures of your family collecting the rocks or a children's story about the trip to gather them.
Rocks of your choosing
Bowl of hot water
Bowl of cold water
To start, mix a few tablespoons of dish soap into the bowl of hot water. The water should be about as hot as you can stand it and really, really soapy. For children, you can make the water less hot, but expect that you might have to occasionally dip their rock into your really hot water to get it felting again. This worked fine for us, and Mariam's rock turned out nicely. Also set out a bowl of cold water without soap. This is helpful for when your rock gets really soapy but you want to assess how far along you are in the felting process.
Take another piece of roving and lay it down so that the fiber runs the opposite direction of the first piece. Put the rock on top and wrap the roving around it.
Dip the rock into your hot, soapy water and begin using your hands to rub the roving together around the rock. Be gentle at first, dipping the rock and rubbing it between your palms to flatten the roving and begin felting it.
As the roving begins to change texture and become more like felt, you can start to handle it more firmly. Press the rock in between your palms and use considerable pressure to really rub the roving around and flatten it against the rock. Focus on working out any bumps or loose spots and work the roving around to cover any bits of rock poking out. Keep dipping the rock into the hot water and then rubbing it between your hands. Dip in the cold water occasionally to rinse some of the bubbles and see how far along you are in the felting process.
Your rock is done when the entire thing feels as though it is covered in a tight little pocket of felt. There shouldn't be any loose spots. Squeeze out the soap a bit and dry the rock somewhat by wrapping it in a towel and applying some pressure to soak up excess water and soap. Set aside to dry completely.