Today, inspired by our desire to do a larger felt project, Kaleena's wish for a little mat to set the scene for her fairy to play with the frogs by the pond, and finally by a tutorial over on Morning Sun Rea on how to actually make such a mat, we set about creating these precious little mats, well in Kaleena's case not so little.
We used wool roving, the beautiful greenish wool in the bag is from Spinning Awesome Good, I have had it laying around for a while waiting for a special project to use it, and what better project than a meadow surrounding a pond.
Right, besides wool roving we used hot dish soapy water, and bubble wrap.
We laid out the bubble wrap and started layering the wool, spreading the wool into very thin pieces, criss crossing them to make a thick layer of wool upon wool, until we had something looking like this
(in retrospect, we should have added more and made it thicker, especially where the meadow and pond met, Rae did mention this in her tutorial, click the link above to see her tutorial, I thought we had it covered but not quite)
Then we squirted hot soapy water over the mat to make it quite wet
(a jar would work well, my soap was almost out so we
used that container but it had to be refilled several times)
then we folded the extra bubble wrap over the mat, and started felting the wool, by pressing and smashing and squishing the wool between the wrap.
(we had made Kaleena's mat too big, so the wool came out around the edges, once you start felting, the wool thins and spreads, so leave space around the edges for the mat to spread out)
Keenan loved this part, he was smashing his mat happily for a long time
then we rolled it up into a sausage shape and rolled it and rolled it felting it further
Keenan unrolled his and smashed some more, soap spraying everywhere:)
This is what Kaleena's looked like after all the rolling and squishing.
I then brought it to the sink, and rinsed it in first cold water then hot, and then cold again, and then put it in the dryer for a few minutes, and then left it in the sun to dry completely.
(Rae said to put tennis 2 balls in with the mat, yet I did not have any, so I put in a pair of little person shoes, don't do that! the mat got all kinds of bumps on it, they gave it texture though and it still came out lovely)
Here is Keenan's mat all dried and set up to play
And here is Kaleena's, don't you just love the different shades of the meadow.
Kaleena added some wooden blocks we made for her years and years ago, well 4 years at least:) we never even got around to protect them with beeswax or oil, and they are still perfect. We do need to make some more of those.
And here is her sweet fairy feeling right at home sitting on crystals by the little pond.
Keenan added some blocks and some of his cars and little animals to his little scenery.
It was such a lovely project, the children really enjoyed it, and I am sure we will be making more of these open ended toys. Gotta love it!!!
~Happy creating, and thanks for looking in~