By Brookelynn Morris
Warm and soft, lamb’s wool is the perfect material for a spring time craft. These sweet felted Easter egg vignettes are precious, and make wonderful and lasting gifts. Wet felting is easy and quick and with a bit of patience, even cutting the shell is not very difficult.
I first made a felted egg in 2007. I crudely cut the shell with a razor blade, then covered it with needle felted purple wool. For the final touch, I added a mah jong tile with the letter “e” carved on it. I became instantly enamored. You can let your creativity guide your color choices and your imagination can inspire the scene inside each egg. No matter what you find, the egg will be cherished as a fragile and beautiful piece of springtime art.
Extra large jumbo eggs
Tiny sharp scissors
Hot soapy water*
Miniature treasures and surprises
*I use about 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap in a large salad bowl of water.
Step 1: Use the tip of your tiny scissors to puncture a hole in the egg. This step might take some practice; my technique was to hold the scissors open and to firmly punch a tiny hole in the shell with the tip of one blade.
Step 2: After you have the hole punched in the egg, cut a large oval in the shell. It seems impossible, but it’s surprisingly effective. Just gently clip with light and even pressure. Remove the oval, drain the yolk, and rinse the empty shell clean.
Step 3: Lay out a towel on your work surface, lay the bubble wrap out over the towel, and then the tulle netting next. When making wet felt, I use the bubble wrap to agitate the wool, and the tulle netting to hold the fibers in place. For this project, the bubble wrap also provides a cushy surface to help keep the eggs from getting broken.
Step 4: Tease fluffy pinches of wool from your roving. I use a flick card to pull loose fibers into light airy pinches. You can use your fingers for this, or a pet brush will work well too. Make 3 layers of pinched roving, and lay them on top of each other in alternating layers. Less is more with this at first, so start with a fairly small pile of wool. It should be large enough that the fibers can wrap all around the egg.
Step 5: Center the egg on the pile of roving. Use the spoon to sprinkle a few drops of the hot soapy water on the egg and wool. Gently lift the shell and the wool and spread the fibers with your fingers so that they loosely wrap around the egg. Use your fingers to scoot the long hairs into an edge around the opening of the egg. Resist the urge to work the wool too much at this point.
Step 6: Add a bit more of the soapy bubbles to the wool and lightly tap it all over with the tips of your fingers. I can’t stress how crucial it is to use very very gentle pressure, not just because of the fragile shell, but because the felt will form best if you work very slowly and carefully.
Step 7: Keep tapping the wool while it shrinks up around the egg. Move your fingertips all around the egg, trying to evenly cover the whole thing. You want all the fibers to shrink up at the same rate to prevent burrs in the final surface. Keep tapping for at least 5 minutes. Check your progress with the pinch test: if you can pinch fibers up from the egg, its not done.
Step 8: I found that the tapping process was very efficent, but this step is good form for any felt making project. After the wool has closed around your egg, begin to rub the surface in small circles with your fingers. Use the tulle netting and the bubble wrap for more action, and go over the whole shell for at least 2 minutes.
Step 9: Once the surface of the wool is dense and smooth, rinse the soap suds from the egg with the coldest water you can get from your tap. Rinse it a second time with extra hot tap water, and then one final rinse with cold water. The hot and cold rinsing will help the fibers shrink up even more around the egg. Set the egg on a towel to air dry.
Step 10: When it’s dried thoroughly, you can fill the inside with little treasures and surprises. Fill the shell with a contrasting color of roving, or lichens or moss. Then add a tiny flower, a little shell, a dried mushroom, or anything sweet that you love.
Tutorial for CRAFT by Brookelynn Morris