Saturday, July 10, 2010

Felted play mat

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~


  1. yay!! thanks for sharing! i love how they turned out. that is one happy fairy! ;)

  2. stunnning. absolutely beautiful.

  3. Like the little one Sasha made a while back. We also made the cards for Papa's birthday using the same method. So much fun.. Kaleena's turned out beautiful. We'll have to make one for moose.. If I have any wool left, the boys have been having fun with it lately.

  4. These turned out beautifully! my son made a small mat a while back and uses it to display crystals and treasures on the nature table.

  5. Their play mats look so much fun. All the better for them making them. Looks like they have turned out being a good focus for play. What a great toy.

    We've started using bubble wrap when we felt. I've found it much easier with children than netting and bamboo mats. Weirdly, they seem to ignore the popping quality of bubble wrap.

  6. Those look so cool! I've been thinking about making a felted play mat like this, but I kept deciding our playsilks were fine for the same play purpose. But now I just have to make one - they look like so much fun!

  7. These turned out so wonderfully. Looks like both children will use alot.

  8. Hi, came over from Childhood magic - love the mat. next time a pair of jeans or an old towel in the dryer can be used - you can also iron it with steam to remove the bumps if you want, however like you say it adds texture.
    Looking forward to seeing more creative ideas. Ali, New Zealand.

  9. Beautiful!!! taking notes! kisses

  10. We did this today in class for our Kapok tree stories. Blessings to you. Thank you for your pictures.


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