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Tutorial of the month - How to make felted soaps and pebbles

Our September tutorial from Annie and Lyn at Rosiepink shows us how to make felted soaps and pebbles, which are perfect as a gentle exfoliator for your skin!

We would like to thank Annie & Lynn from Rosiepink for sending in this tutorial; you can also find these instructions on their website here.

Felted soap makes a pretty gift that will last much longer than an uncovered bar of soap.  The felt shrinks with the soap and at the end you’ll have a very handy ‘scrubby’. 

You will need the following:

  • Bar of soap – a rounded shape is easier to felt, available here from World of Wool
  • Piece of tutu net - approx 45cms x 45cms
  • Water spray bottle
  • Washing up liquid
  • Merino wool top – approx 5g wool per bar of soap depending on its size, you can purchase either natural or dyed wool from World of Wool.

What you need to do:

  1. Choose a suitable work surface that will tolerate water – such as a kitchen worktop or sink draining board.
  2. Half fill the water spray bottle with hot water and add a small dash of washing up liquid but do not shake the bottle otherwise you’ll get foam.
  3. Place the tutu net on the work surface and put the bar of soap on it - mentally divide the net in half and place the soap in the middle of one half because you will need to fold the net over the soap later on.
  4. Split a length of merino wool top, down the middle, lengthwise, to make two easy-to-use lengths.  From one of these lengths, pull a fine tuft of wool by holding a length 8-10cms from the end, and with your other hand, grip the end of the length between your fingertips and your palm, then pull gently – if you pull too hard the wool will resist you.

Step 1        

Place the first tuft of wool on the soap, as shown in photo 1.

Then place more fine tufts of wool, in a criss-cross fashion, until the bar of soap is lightly covered as shown.  It’s important not to make the layers too thick (photos 2 and 3).

Step 2

Fold the net over to cover the soap.  Spray water onto the soap, through the net, until it’s wet but not sopping.  Carefully press the wool onto the top of the soap, taking care not to move the fibres, then press the sides gently (photo 4).

Step 3

Turn the whole thing over, then carefully peel the net away from the top of the soap, releasing any trapped fibres.  Wrap the fringe of fibres up onto and over the top of the soap – don’t worry that it’s not covered completely by the wool (photo 5).

Step 4

Now cover this side of the soap with a fine layer of criss-cross tufts of wool the same as you did the other side.  Fold the net over to cover the soap.  Spray water onto the soap, through the net, until it’s wet but not sopping.  Carefully press the wool onto the top of the soap, taking care not to move the fibres, then press the sides gently (photo 6 and 7).

Step 5

Turn the whole thing over, and carefully peel the net away from the top of the soap, releasing any trapped fibres.  Wrap the fringe of fibres onto the top of the soap. You now have a layer of wool on both sides of the bar of soap (photo 8 and 9).

Step 6

Repeat steps 1-5 so that you have two layers of wool on each side of the bar of soap.  You can use plain or blended colours of merino wool. (photos 10, 11 and 12).

Step 7

Now that the bar of soap is neatly covered with two layers of wool, wrap it snugly in the net and gently rub with your fingertips, in delicate circles with very little pressure. Go all over the bar of soap for a couple of minutes, then peel the net off and re-wrap for another couple of minutes rubbing, gradually increasing the pressure. Continue until the fibres are stable i.e. they are no longer moving about. (photo 13).

Step 8

When the fibres no longer move about, remove the net and rub the soap, as if you were washing your hands, until the wool feels firm and snug around the soap.  Start gently and gradually increase the pressure. (photo 14)

Step 9

Give it a quick dip in a bowl of cold water, then put it to dry. You can place it on a sponge or you can make a drying rack by placing stiff, plastic mesh over a cake cooling tray. When it’s dry, wrap some pretty cord or ribbon around it (photo 15).

FELTED PEBBLES

You can cover pebbles in the same way as you cover soap.  Some white tussah silk (used sparingly) was added to give the impression of veins, but you can use dyed tussah silk or white merino wool could be used instead.  The felted pebbles make lovely paperweights or ornaments. (photo 16).

Thank you so much to Annie & Lynn from Rosiepink for sending in this tutorial for us to feature!

Let us know if you have created a felted soap or pebble using this tutorial and show us your pictures on Facebook and Twitter, we’d love to see them!

We are on the hunt for new and interesting tutorials to feature on our website and in our forthcoming newsletters, so If you have a tutorial that you would like us to highlight, please contact andy@worldofwool.co.uk

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