We spent a few hours making felted soap recently (one of the days we didn’t have torrential rain, that is)
This has to be among the top three favourite things to do with my children: they LOVE it. Everyone can get involved, get wet and sudsy and very clean in the process! Even our smallest has her hands in the basin. They take ten or fifteen minutes to make, and at the end, each child has a unique, beautiful and useful thing in their hands. These make really super presents and are incredibly economical and much less messy to use than conventional bars of soap or liquid soap. We have been making soaps to store away for Christmas presents- but more on that nearer the time!
This craft is simplicity itself and teaches so much about felt-making in the process. It can even be done in the bath- in fact, why waste all that hot water and soap in the sink or a basin?
All you need is:
a bar of soap (we sometimes cut a bar in half or quarters, or use small bars like we did here that we had made previously)
a basin, sink or bath (a water receptacle basically!!)
about 10 inches of a piece of tights (enough to cover the bar of soap and tie a knot either end)
Wrap the bar in fleece until it is covered- we usually cover it in a base colour then add the other strands of colour. (note: we had to pull the fleece tighter on this one as it was clumping at one end- check before it gets wrapped in the tights that it is wrapped around the bar regularly on all sides)
Tie a knot in one end of the tights,
carefully put your fleece wrapped soap in,
knot the other end,
then into a basin of hand hot water,
wash the soap, rubbing it and rubbing it, dipping frequently into the hot water
(we keep topping it up with water from the kettle especially when outside and the water cools quickly) Every so often we wash in cold water and back into the hot.
Felt is created when the fleece fibres are “shocked” from the hot and cold water, combined with soapy suds, and they shrink together and form felt.
While we were at it, we decided to make felt balls to hang up for the kittens to play with.
Make in the hot soapy water,
we rolled a ball of fleece back and forward between our palms.
We added a bit more soap to it and kept rolling between our palm until it had shrunk and was a firm tight ball of fleece.
These are our soaps and felted balls, aren’t they gorgeous?
And here are a few more I made in the past few days-
I must say, I could spend the rest of my life making these…
it’s like a 10 minute meditation in the middle of the day- I stand in a daze at the kitchen sink, with my hands in the hot soapy water, squidgying around a bar of soap staring out the window at the ivy-covered shed (a henhouse in a former life) and treehouse and changing leaves and the odd chicken or child who makes a dash past…
(and ignore the pile of washing and all the other pressing chores…!!)
Felted Soap kits will be available in our shop in the coming weeks
(I’m linking up to Lush Friday-go check it out!!)
this is such a nice idea to do with kids! i have a few nephews and nieces who would be so excited to try this! thank you for the idea and all of the step by step pics!
Hiya Emily! I linked to your webpage/blog from Erin Fishers blog. Our family are HEN members who live in County Wexford!
I love your felted soaps they are so pretty! Especially love the creamy coloured one with what looks like rosebuds and leaves on! We gave wet felting a go a little while back…haven’t really done an awful lot since…though we do needle-felt quite a bit.
Great to see you have a shop space on Etsy…I love it, we get our wool for drop spinning there as well as our wool roving for needle felting!
Wishing you the very best of luck with your endeavours!
Such a fab idea. Gotta try it. Thanks
they are all so so pretty and cheerful. Looks like they were fun to make too.
Found your lovely site through Teawagon Tales 🙂 I love your felted soaps! Ironically I saw felted soaps for the first time yesterday while reading a farming magazine article on alpacas. The owner dry felted soap using her alpaca fleece in natural colors and her needle felting kit! I’m seeing this as a sign I’m to try this activity with my son! Thanks for sharing!
wow wow wee!! How cool do they look! Well done, great job. Love the colours and your photos are brill. It’s great to see the little hands helping out!
Those are really cute – I thought felted soaps were just for decoration – I had no idea they’re actually usable! It looks like everyone had a great time making them, lol!
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I really want to make these w/the boys as Xmas gifts for people. How time consuming is it? Thank you for posting the exact steps needed to make it. It’s hard to find inexpensive soaps, near me, that aren’t full of junk. I saw liquid Castile soap in one of the pics. Could I use that? I can get that at our local health food shop.
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How were you able to make it look like rosebuds?
I just put little blobs of fleece on the base fleece, pressed and rubbed them down gently until they held their shape, then covered it with the tights. There are LOADS of great Youtube tutorials on this 🙂
Thank you so much. You also sell these, right?
I did, not now: I wrote that post eight years ago 🙂 But now you have reminded me, I really must make them again. Good luck if you try these, they are such fun!
I have tried this and LOVE the outcome!
Is there a trick for getting the wool NOT to bleed color when you use
it to wash your hands? It also has stained my soap dish……
HI.You say that you need fleece. Which is wool yes? Which do I get as lots for sale say that they are for needle felting or the different breeds that they come from…but I don’t know the differences. Please help!
Eileen, this never happened to me! Perhaps try a different brand of wool? The dye mustn’t have been “fixed” properly. Hope this helps 🙂
Brenda, I find sheepswool (rather than, say, alpaca) fleece the best (just the most common stuff). Anything that works for needle-felting will work here.
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