Touchstones

HandsOn-WetFeltedRockExampleKO

Create a rainbow of felted rocks with this simple wet felting technique.

Kids naturally gather rocks wherever they go, and this is a wonderful craft that will put their collection to good use. Wet felting improves fine motor skills, is very tactile, and leaves hands and fingernails squeaky clean. What’s not to love? Kids will enjoy counting their rocks, arranging them in rainbow order, and using them in tossing games.

Wool roving comes in many colors and can be purchased locally at Collage, Gossamer and the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store.

What You’ll Need:

  • A bowl
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • A towel
  • Wool roving
  • Roundish rocks

Directions:

1. Fill a bowl with warm water, and have your soap and towel close by.

2. Take a length of wool roving about twice as long as your rock, and roll your rock up inside the roving going one direction around the rock. Take a second piece and wrap the other direction, so that the rock is fully covered by roving, and no rock is poking through. Hold tight, the roving likes to unwind at this point! Parents may need to help smaller children do this first step.

3. If you would like your rock to have a stripe, take a skinny piece of roving in an alternate color and wrap it around the width of your rock. Colors can be blended when rolling up the roving over the rock, or different stripes can be added.

4. Fill your bowl with warm water. Dip your hands in the water, and squirt a little bit of dish soap in your hands and work into a lather.

Take the rock in your soapy wet hands, and gently squeeze the rock back and forth between your hands. If the roving is sticking to your hands, use more soap and water.

5. Wool shrinks as it is washed, so slowly the wool will start clinging to the rock and to itself, creating a little “sleeping bag” for the rock. At this point you can begin rolling the roving-covered rock in your hands as if you were making a ball out of clay. It usually takes about 10 minutes for the roving to shrink all the way around the rock and become firm.

6. Once the roving is tight around the rock, rinse the felted rock under cool water, and set on a towel to dry in the sunshine. Now make a few more — it’s always nice to have a colorful collection of felted rocks.

 

Art camps for kids at the Oregon College of Art and Craft start at age 4 and go through high school. Young artists can sculpt, paint, stitch, build, felt and print, while elementary school-aged children get an introduction to four different art mediums. Middle school students can participate in two in-depth art workshops: one in a 2-D medium and the other in a 3-D medium. Visit ocac.edu/register for more information.

Suki Allen

Suki Allen

Suki Allen is an art instructor who teaches at Bird’s Eye View studio and Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Suki Allen

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  • Sandra Dvergsdal

    This looks like fun. My grandson will like doing this. Thanks for the idea and directions.