Wet Felting with 4th and 5th Graders – Challenging but worth it!

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My first experience with wet felted vessels was during the MAEA Convention in North Adams last fall.  I took a workshop with Carolann Tebbetts and was immediately hooked. I wasn’t sure how to break the process down for elementary students, so I went home and started practicing… first with friends, then with family over the holidays.  I couldn’t help it, but every vessel I made ended up with eyes and hair and something stuffed into its mouth like candy, erasers, paperclips, etc.  My students were going crazy over the sample projects in my classroom, so I finally decided to give it a try.

If you are lucky enough to have hour long classes, most students could finish the process in one class period.  Since I only have 45 minutes, we had to break it down into two:

During the first class, students watched the following video while I set up their supplies:

I posted the following guides on each table on Day 1:

wet felting steps 1 wet felting 2 0f 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these on Day 2:

wet felting 3 of 4wet felting 4 of 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not yet comfortable using felting needles with large elementary classes, so at the end of Day 2, I set up an embellishing station with tacky glue and googly eyes, buttons, wool scraps, etc.  It didn’t seem to matter that the projects were still damp.

SUPPLIES:

If you are a first timer, there are many nice kits to get you started.  This is the one that I used: http://amzn.to/1VzkoWO

For 60 students (20 per class) using a 5″ round foam resist, I needed the following supplies.  I am including more affiliate links for your convenience:

4 lb. wool roving (you can buy colors, or dye it with Kool-Aid – post coming soon)

20 sushi matts

20 pieces of 8″ x 16″ bubble wrap

20 pieces of 8″ mesh/tulle (I bought mine at a local fabric store)

box of rubber bands

fun foam cut into 5ish” circles (I had enough scraps lying around)

spray bottles (mine came from the dollar store)

A bag of plastic grocery store bags for stuffing your forms (4 per student).  I asked students to bring these in.

JUST FOR FUN:

Here are some of the beautiful and permanent colors you can make by dying wool with Kool-Aid. Just add about 2 cups boiling water to a packet of Kool-Aid and add wool. Enjoy!

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