April 4, 2011

Felting Over Styrofoam - Eggs and Wreath

Wet-felting over styrofoam
Just like felting over soap, you can felt over styrofoam. Just like my felted soap tutorial, I'm using the plastic sandwich bag for felting over the eggs. At the time, I only had the smooth styrofoam. I wanted to experiment again. I'd totally needlefelted wool Christmas ornaments and found the styrofoam needed to be the pourous rough styrofoam. This time I wanted to wet felt the initial wool layer to the egg - so much faster. In fact, once blotted in a towel, you can needle your design details with the still wet wool ... if you need to, which I did need to when I did another tea crafting party ... but that's another post ...

So start with the coarse styrofoam for balls, eggs, wreaths, whatever shape ... when you want to needlefelt. The only way I could get design details on the smooth styrofoam wet felted eggs was to needle the flowers on sideways catching the designs into the wool - so don't even mess with the smooth styrofoam. I order most of my wool from HalcyonYarns.com. The Babooshka Soup bag has lots of wool strings and other fun fibers that make for decorating ornaments and eggs very easy. I love the Peace Fleece fiber and the Harrisville wools.

Tightly cover the styrofaom with thin layers of wool. Carefully squish into a corner of a plastic sandwich bag, put a drop of dishsoap on the wool, let the water get hot and put a bit in the bag. Squeeze the bag around the egg and then start slowly rubbing the plastic around (I still have not tried doing this in a nylon stocking). Then rub the plastic more and more all over the egg so the fibers can migrate and tangle together tightly. The soap will disperse all thruout the wool. You'll eventually need to squeeze out the excess soapy water and rub some more. At this point I'll often rinse the wool, squeezing out excess, but a bar of soap over it and then rub over bubble wrap for another form of agitation. I don't do this for long because needling on a design will tighten things up more. This whole process probably amounts to just a few minutes per egg. Rinse them well and blot in a towel.

Then needle on your design details. I didn't take a picture of the finished eggs ... I'll have to do that and post.
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