Over 10,000 years ago, wool became one of humanity’s greatest products. Rugs, blankets, and nearly every type of clothing can be made with sheep’s wool. Winter hats and mittens are made using wool because of how dense and warm it can be. Wool can grow to be so thick, farmers need to shear their sheep once or twice per year. And a sheep’s wool never stops growing. Over 10 years, a single sheep can grow enough wool to create 300 shirts or 120 thick winter sweaters. That’s a whole lot of shirts!
Other than making shirts, wool can be used for a number of fun arts & crafts activities. This project will be an introduction to wet felting wool roving. Felting is what happens when a raw material (wool) is molded into a different form without having to use strong chemicals or machines. Wet felting is an easy type of felting that students of all ages can enjoy. Let’s learn how to get creative with wool.
How to Make Wool Acorns by Felting Wool Roving
- Many different colors of wool
- Mixing bowl
- Warm water
- Dishwashing soap
- Acorn caps
- Go outside to find some acorns, and safely pop the caps off. You only need to use the caps, but you can always save the acorn for another future craft activity!
- Fill a mixing bowl with a few cups of warm water, and add a few drops of dishwashing soap. Stir the water lightly.
- Take any colors of wool that you want, and combine them into a baseball-sized clump.
- Lightly pull on all sides of the wool, so it’s still a ball but looks more like a cloud.
- Take the wool cloud, and dunk it into the water. Hold it underwater for just a few seconds, but make sure it all gets wet.
- Pull the wool out, and squeeze it with both hands to try and get any extra water out.
- It should look like the same cloud, but just a little damp all over. No dripping water should be left.
- Begin lightly rolling the wool between your palms in a circular motion. Make sure you roll it evenly, so it stays round.
- As the wool gets smaller, start rolling it with a bit more force.
- Stop rolling when the wool ball is about the same size as the cap-less acorns.
- If you did it right, it should be difficult to pull any stray wool out of the ball. It works like velcro, where the wool sticks to itself.
- Let the wool dry. As it dries, the wool should stay at the same size as when you rolled it.
- When the wool is dry, put some glue on the underside of the acorn cap, and attach it to the wool ball.
- Wait for the glue to harden, and….ta-da!
Make as many as you want to, and try out some different color combinations. Use your felted acorns as decorations, give them as a gift, or just make them for fun.
Use this method to felt wool into any shape you want. Starting with a simple ball was easy enough, right? Explore your creativity. Can you shape the wool into a cube? With the help of a few simple tools, you can turn wool into any creation you can think of.