Outdoor Art: Felting Stones

10 September 2011 · 5 comments

in Art & Music Outdoors, Early Years Outdoors

Felting stones is a really simple activity to do outside. It requires very little wool and gets quick results.

First, find your stone. It should fit comfortably in your hand. I chose mine from my stash in a glass jar.

Place your pebble on a layer of fleece on top of bubble wrap. I’ve used a piece of carded Jacob’s wool.

Roll up your pebble in the fleece, ensuring that the ends are smooth and tucked in.

Choose another colour of wool and gently open up the fibres to make them fine so that you can see through them. This time I added shop-bought merino wool top. Wrap this at right angles to the previous layer of wool.

Next, get a bowl of hand hot soapy water. Use real soap not detergent. Add a little soapy hot water to the stone to make it wet but not soaking. Wrap the bubble wrap around the stone, allowing the water to drip out. This is why it works better outside where the water can spill and more children can undertake the activity at any given time.

Whilst the stone is wrapped in the bubble wrap, squeeze and turn the parcel. Do this for five minutes. Use a timer if necessary. Sing songs! After 5 minutes have a look at your stone to see if the wool has felted. If the fibres are still a bit loose or the stone is rattling around inside, then you need to wrap up the stone in bubble wrap and keep squeezing and turning. The motion is a bit like making a snowball.

Once the felt feels firmer around the stone, remove the bubble wrap and press and rub the stone. Rinse the stone under hot running water. Then let it dry. This is what my specimens looked like:

When other pebbles are added, it makes for a rather fetching mix and adds to the sensory experience.

I think these are a great child-made resource in any classroom or pre-school. Larger pebbles make lovely presents at Christmas time or for fund raisers. Buy the merino wool online as you will get the best deals. It’s also possible to felt a block of soap in the same way. The soap can be used as normal. The more it is used, the more the felt shrinks around it.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry and Donna September 12, 2011 at 06:53

Awwwww Juliet I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS IDEA! Straight to the top of the to-do-list this goes!
Donna 🙂 🙂


Christie - Childhood 101 September 12, 2011 at 10:52

As a big rock devotee I love this idea. I have never tried felting and this could be just the project a beginner like me needs 🙂


Juliet Robertson September 12, 2011 at 18:46

Yes – this really is a simple, fabulous activity and ideal for beginners – and cheap as only a little wool is needed. If you make a mistake, just add more wool!


kristin September 14, 2011 at 02:36

thank you for sharing Juliet! I’ve never used bubble wrap to do this and i imagine how much better my hands would feel if they were protected like this! I just may have to do this with my preschoolers too.

(nice to “meet” you…i come here via Let the Children Play)


Juliet Robertson September 14, 2011 at 19:07

Thanks Kristin – I think you’ll have success. I see Jenny has a lovely felting post too..a new craze has hit the pre-school blogging world!


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