Wet Felted Rainbow Cracked Egg tutorial by Jen from SewnNatural
Spring brings new babies throughout nature, and the magical, enchanting process of watching wee ones hatch from eggs. There’s a turtle sanctuary on an island near where we live, and my daughter loves discovering the beautiful white eggshells left behind. Here’s how to make a wet felted, rainbow wool egg for gentle play, your nature table and even spring celebrations like Easter and Passover.
• an egg to wet felt around (we use old marble eggs we have around, you can also use a plastic egg shape, or even a real egg, but I’ve never tried it with a real egg)
• wool roving and various bits of colored feltable wool (Corriedale is one of our favorites, but Merino and others work too)
• organic, non toxic soap
• 2 big bowls of water, or 1 bowl + kitchen sink
• towels to mop up the inevitable spills and to dry the egg afterwards
• a little elbow grease
My daughter says the most enjoyable part of the process is actually choosing the colors for her egg.
Next take your egg shape (we use a small-sized one for the kid projects) and wrap wool roving around it, placing narrow pieces of wool in different directions, wrapping it neither super tighthly, nor super loosely.
It’s far from an exact science, and the felting process will make the apparent “messiness” of the wrapping disappear.
The thicker the wool coat on the egg, the thicker and sturdier your final rainbow egg will be. You should not be able see the egg clearly through the wool (that would mean it’s best to add more wool).
Now hold the wrapped egg in one hand, and have your child (or your other hand) pour some liquid soap right onto it, turning the egg as the soap is applied. I’ve found this to be an easier method to felt the eggs.
I have yet to use too much soap in felting!
Now quickly immerse the egg in hot, hot water. Gently squeeze the soap egg, turning it in your hands (or your child’s hands). Keep the wooly coat on the egg warm by dipping it into the hot water every so often (the warm/hot water relaxes the fibres of the wool which allows for easier felting).
Keep gently squeezing and patting the wool, and as you work and the wool begins to felt you can work it more vigorously. This process take a little bit of time, but the results are well worth it!
Once you begin to feel the fibres felting around the egg, and solidifying somewhat, it’s time to add the “rainbow”. Your child can gently rip off small pieces of colored wool, and place them onto the egg in varying directions.
The wispier and more spread out the wool bits, the better (the more easily they will felt to the woolen egg).
Then pour some soap onto the egg, immerse gently in hot water, and gently squeeze the soapy egg to help felt the rainbow wisps together to the wool roving.
Keep squeezing and rubbing it vigorously in your hands.
You can also use something with texture to help felt the fibers of the wool. I use an old wire rack for this, and roll the egg around on the rack for a few minutes. Then I take it back into my hands, warming up the wool in hot water, and squeeze it some more.
Once you’re done, you can dip it into cold water to help strengthen the felting. The shock of the cold water tightens the fibres.
I wrap the egg in a dishcloth to remove some excess water, and place it near a vent to dry.
Once it’s dry (anywhere from a few hours to a day or so), you or your child can carefully cut the egg open, either in a straight line across the long part of the egg, or a cracked jagged line.
The cut need not extend the length of the egg, just enough to “birth” the egg from it’s woolen coat, so to speak.
You may also choose to blanket stitch the edge of the cracked part of the egg with embroidery thread, but my daughter prefers her “au naturel.”
You can find more how-to’s and eco living articles on our blog, the SewnNaturalstudio.