How to Wet Felt a Hat on a Ball
Hat on a Ball - Learning to make a Hat on a Ball
Learning from your Peers.
The attention span of children can be very short. This does sometimes require us to think of new ways to hold their attention so when one of my young friends asked me to teach her how to make a felt hat I tried to think out of the box
First, I decided to sit her down in front of my laptop where I could show her the YouTuve video below. In it, a young child teaches the public that felting is fun and not that difficult either.
Meg was utterly entranced by the video as was I when I first saw it. She was captivated right from the start. I knew then that I was more than halfway to teaching her how to make a hat on a ball.
Before I played the video, I explained to her, that it was very important for her to try to remember the steps the little girl would use to make her hat. I asked to memorize the items that we would need to re-create her own hat and I told her I would need her help to remind me of how to do it.
How to make a Hat on a Ball
Time to watch the video now.
- 1 Child
- 1 sheet of plastic
- 1 Old Towel
- 1 9 Inch () The Gertie Ball is perfect for this project. Not only is it soft and squishy when it is blown up but it can easily be inserted into a Tumble Dryer for quick felting should the child grow weary of the actual felting process. Gertie Ball
- 1 Small Bowl
- 1 Squeeze Bottle filled with hot Soapy Water
- A quantity of Wool Roving - in Bright Colors
- 1 or two pairs of Ladies Tights
- A Sheet of Bubble wrap
Hot and cold water
Cover the table with plastic sheeting or Bubble wrap.
Place two bowls of water side by side on the table. One should be half filled with very hot water This should be hot enough to handle without burning your hands.
Alternatively, you could do this in a double kitchen sink..
The second bowl should be half filled with cold water.
Inflate the Ball
Inflate the Ball and Insert the inflation plug into it
Place the Ball into the Bowl with the vent facing downwards
Spread a small amount of dish-washing liquid all over the ball.
A tumble dryer is invaluable when wet felting, especially when working with small children. If a child is unable to supply the necessary friction required to felt the wool, a tumble dryer will really certainly speed up the process.
It will also give them and their Instructor a well-deserved break, away from the Project.
Add Liquid Soap
Draping the Wool Roving
Measure lengths of Wool Roving and ensure that those which are placed over the ball touch the table on all sides.
Begin by draping the fibers over the ball one at a time. (See Images) If you can still see the ball, add more fiber until you can no longer see the surface below. Smaller strips will fill any gaps.
Starting at the top of the ball, place some long strips around the width of the ball. Lay them in a spiral around the ball. This will help the wool to knit together and will also keep the layers together.
By adding the Wool Roving in a spiral around the ball you can ensure that the fibers are more easily able to attach themselves to one another and also help to keep the downwards placed roving in place.
How to place the Wool Roving
Spray with hot soapy water
Spray the Project
Spray the project with some hot soapy water and then insert it into the Tights.
You may need some help with this!
Put the whole project into a pair of tights. You may need some help or use a chair! I use the back of a metal dining chair. I stand the the Ball in the bowl on the Chair. I pull the tights out towards me with one hand and then I push the ball up into the tights with the other hand. I then take the project off the chair and turn the ball over. Remove the bowl and tie the ends into a knot.
You may need some help getting the ball into the tights. I use the back of a metal dining chair. I stand the the Ball in the bowl on the Chair. I pull the tights out towards me with one hand and then I push the ball up into the tights with the other hand. I then take take the project off the chair and turn the ball over. Remove the bowl and tie the ends into a knot.
Use the back of a chair to assist you!
Cut off the legs of the tights.
Cut off the legs of the stockings and knot the ends of the body. They will form a little bag in which you can insert your ball into.
Leave the vent exposed
Turn the project over and tuck in the extra wool. The vent should be left exposed so that you can easily extract the ball later.
1 or 2 Pairs!
Add one or two pairs of stockings to ensure the fibers are securely held.
The hotter the water, the quicker the felting process will go.
Hot then cold
Put the ball into the bowl of hot water. It should be as hot as your hands can handle.
Once completely wet, take the ball out and dunk it in cold water.
Repeat the hot and cold water process three times. Finish off with hot water and then place the project an old towel. Dab to remove any excess water.
Bounce the ball!
Cover the work surface with Bubble Wrap.... Remember to place the Bubble-Wrap with the bubbles facing up.
Bounce on the Bubble Wrap for three minutes. This is even more fun with more than one child present!
After three minutes of bouncing, check to see if the fibers below have begun to felt together. If not, retie the knots and keep on bouncing the ball on the Bubble Wrap until they do. You could put it into a Tumble Drier for three minutes.
The fibers will become bonded to one another.
Carefully extract the tights from the ball.
Remove the inflation needle
Carefully extract the ball from the tights and then remove the inflation needle from the ball.
Remove the Gertie ball
Remove the Gertie ball.
Dunk the ball in warm water and gradually stretch the opening so that you can get the ball out.
Rinse in hot and then cold water until the water runs clear. Finish off with hot water.
Slap It around a bit!
Once you have stretched the bottom edge, squeeze out most of the water. Slap the project down hard against the surface of the sink or a table. Get rough with it. You will soon feel the fibers harden and shrink back.
Once the wool has hardened, you will be able to shape it. You can either mold it over the child’s head or stretch it over a hat block.
Pace it on a cake rack where the air can circulate around it. I sometimes use a radiator or leave it on a polystyrene head to dry or on a wooden hat block.
Hat Blocks and other Useful Items!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Try and Try Again!
Your first hat may not be perfect the first time around. If the bottom edge is not quite straight or you have uneven edges, cut them off and roll the cut edges between your fingers.
If you have holes in your work, use a needle felt tool to add more fibers.
Work with what you have, practice makes perfect!
Felting for Children
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© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen