Wet Felting for Kids With Jiffy Bags

Updated on March 12, 2020
sallybea profile image

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is — unique, experimental and always interesting.

Wet felting with a Jiffy bag. Detail on the little felted mat.
Wet felting with a Jiffy bag. Detail on the little felted mat. | Source

Jiffy Bag Wet Felting With Children

This simple felting project has been designed for children. This simple method of felting using Jiffy Bags is well-suited for little hands—perhaps not quite as young as the little helper I had, but with a little help and encouragement we were able to produce a charming gift for his mum on Mother’s Day.

Introducing crafts to your children at an early age is the one of the best ways to spend quality time with children or grandchildren. I hope this little craft module will be the first of many projects which you and your children will share together.

Things You Will Need

  • 1 pair of willing little hands
  • 1 Jiffy Bag. Choose the right size bag for your project. Shrinkage should be estimated to be around 30 – 40% so use a bag which is about twice as large as the desired size.
  • 2 sheets of soft, thin card or white paper. Cut the card or paper so that it fit neatly into your chosen Jiffy Bag with just a little room to spare.
  • Botany Lap Waste. These fibres are excellent value for your money and are simply perfect for working with children or adults. The fibres are usually a mix of Merino wool and some synthetics which are always useful for adding extra shine and interest to a project. We chose pink, green, yellow and blue fibres for this project.
  • A small plastic squeeze bottle filled with warm soapy water.
  • Dishwashing liquid (add a little of the soap liquid to the warm water)
  • A sushi or bamboo mat with to roll the project in.
  • White vinegar for adding to the rinsing water. Just a few teaspoons will do.

Merino Wool Roving (Botany Waste) and necessary Tools
Merino Wool Roving (Botany Waste) and necessary Tools | Source

1. Cover the White Card Stock with a Layer of Pink Fibre.

  • Cover the thin white board or card with a thin layer of pink fibre as is shown below.

Source

2. Remember to keep Little Hands Dry!

Keep little hands dry otherwise the fibres are sure to cling to their fingers.

'Look, this stuff sticks to my hands'!
'Look, this stuff sticks to my hands'! | Source

3. Creating the Background

  • Cover the card stock in an even layer of pink merino wool as shown.

Source

4. Putting the Fibres Down

  • Cover the card stock in an even layer of pink merino wool as shown.
  • Ensure that each layer is put down with the fibres running in the opposite direction.

First one way and the opposite way next time round.
First one way and the opposite way next time round. | Source

5. Making the Petals

  • Roll 10 softly formed little balls of wool in one colour (blue) and two more balls using yellow to create the centre for each flower.

Rolling the petals under the watchful eye of  Grandpa.
Rolling the petals under the watchful eye of Grandpa. | Source

6. Creating the Image

  • Create 2 flowers on the surface of the pink wool with the rolled balls of wool.
  • Use a few green strands of wool to create 2 stems and two leaves on each stem.
  • Place a few thin strands of wool over the top of the flowers, stems and leaves. This helps to embed the flowers into the background. (See images below)

Cover the leaves, petals and leaves with a few strands of wool.
Cover the leaves, petals and leaves with a few strands of wool. | Source

7. Cover the Image with a Piece of White Card

  • Put the second piece of white board on top of the pink background. Press the two pieces of card together, just enough to flatten the fibres between the two pieces of card.
  • Doing this will make it much easier to get the project safely inside the Jiffy Bag.
  • Lift the encased wool and place the contents gently into the Jiffy Bag.
  • Try not to disturb the flower image.
  • Gently extract the bottom board and the top board from the bag without disturbing the fibres.

The fibres covered by the two pieces of card.
The fibres covered by the two pieces of card. | Source

8. Insert the Project into the Jiffy Bag

  • The project inside the Jiffy bag, ready to wet with the warm soapy water.

Source

9. Wet the Fibres.

  • Wet the Project with the warm soapy water.
  • Try not to displace the fibres..
  • Use only enough water to wet the wool without soaking it.

Wet the fibres using the squeeze bottle.
Wet the fibres using the squeeze bottle. | Source

10. Seal the Jiffy Bag

  • Prepare to roll the project inside a bamboo mat or sushi roll.
  • Roll it first in one direction and then in another.
  • Keep on turning the project within the bamboo mat to roll it evenly from all directions. (See images below)

11. Remove any Excess Soap Suds

  • Open the bag and pat dry any excess soap which may appear during the rolling process.

Wipe any excess soap and water with a cloth if it gets too soapy.
Wipe any excess soap and water with a cloth if it gets too soapy. | Source

12. Change the Direction of the Roll

  • Keep on changing the direction of the roll by turning the Jiffy bag in different directions. This will help the felting process and shrink the felt evenly from all sides.

Source

13. Rolling

  • Keep on changing the direction in which the project is rolled.
  • Roll until the mat inside begins to harden and shrink.
  • The edges of the mat will start to curl when this happens.

Source

14. Secure the Mat with an Elastic Band

  • Seal the bamboo mat with an elastic band to make it easier for little hands to roll the project.

Source

15. Perform a ‘Pinch Test’

  • Open the bag and check to see if the fibres have felted together!
  • Use two fingers to pinch the wool to see if the fibres have fused together.
  • If they still need more rolling, seal the bag again and roll until fibres no longer move.

Source

16. Shrink the Fibres

  • Shock with hot and then cold water.
  • Repeat twice more and give a final rinse in a solution of cold water which a dash of white vinegar added.


Shock with hot Water
Shock with hot Water | Source

17. Hot and Cold Water

  • Put the project into a small dish or bowl and add a little boiling water and then plunge into shock cold water.

Cold water
Cold water | Source

18. Shape and Dry

  • Press and shape the completed project.
  • Press with a warm iron and leave to dry in a warm spot.

The Completed Project

Mother's Day Mat
Mother's Day Mat | Source

Handy Hints!

  • You may find it easier to use a larger Jiffy bag than the one which was used in the pictures.
  • It will not matter if the wool does not reach into the corners! It will certainly make it a lot easier to get the project into the bag without disturbing the fibres.
  • Try to ensure that the layers of wool are always evenly put down as uneven layers will always result in thin spots or even holes in the finished project.!
  • You can always create a lovely little needle book from the little mat. Simply add a piece of matching store bought felt or fabric for the centre of the book (or make your own)
  • Sew a line of stitches down the middle-fold and pin a selection of needles to the needle book.

Enjoy! There is nothing more precious than time spent with a little one learning a new craft.

© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments

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    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Try Wingham Wool, they are great and will send any items you want within a couple of days. Try using bags of different sizee. Make sure you look for felting wool - Tops or Roving work equally well.

      Thanks for your visit and your comments, happy felting.

    • Louise Lately profile image

      Louise Lately 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Hi sallybea! Great hub! I had no idea that it could be that straightforward to create shapes with felt. If I can get hold of the material here in London then I will definitely try it out!

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      CMakmom, I think you may even have more success if you use a larger bag than you need. I have not tried it myself yet but do think the larger the jiffy bag you use, the more success you will have and the larger the project you can do. I intend placing my fibers onto some kitchen wrap next time, fold it up like a flat sandwich and then insert it into the bag instead of the board. The sandwich wrap makes no difference at all to the felting process. I have used it with great success making 3D Flowers. As soon as the fibers are stable enough you will be able to remove the wrap. With felting, there is no right way. If it works for you that is the most important thing. Let me know how it goes. Best wishes Sally

    • profile image

      CMAKmom 

      7 years ago

      I like how you use the cardboard to keep the design in place as you put it into the bag. I had trouble doing this with a different tutorial which did not use that hint. I will retry using this method. Thanks!

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Sallybea, this is such a neat idea. I'm always looking for new things for my kids to do. They will love this! Thank you for sharing.

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Jamie Brock, So glad you liked it! Thank you for your visit.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      7 years ago from Texas

      What a neat little project! Thank you for sharing :)

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Thanks rebeccamealey, glad you enjoyed the hub. Felting is addictive and can be as creative as you would like it to be. So glad you stopped by.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      7 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Looks like fun, and really pretty results. I have never heard of this craft.I vote VERY interesting!

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Yes, we had lots of fun.

    • profile image

      summerberrie 

      7 years ago

      Looks like loads of fun!

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello MsDora, My little pair of 'willing hands' was the most important ingredient. I could not have done it without him! Thank you so much for your vote and also the comment. It is much appreciated.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Glad you include "willing hands" in the ingredients. It's also a qualifier. Very clear instructions. Voted Up and Useful.

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Natashalh, glad you liked it. It is nice way of entertaining the children for half an hour and making a little hand made present for Mother's day. I will appreciate the pin once you get your computer! Thank you.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 

      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Great, easy to follow instructions! I'll be pinning this once I get to a computer.

    • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      7 years ago from Norfolk

      Thank you Wonder wool, nice that you could stop by.

    • Wonder wool profile image

      Priyanka Estambale 

      7 years ago from United States

      Easy and Fun. Kids will enjoy for sure :)

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