We’ve been having so much fun making and using these flying felties with our young visitors this summer. I think they are better than fireworks and just as beautiful as they fall from the sky! Children from the age of three can make them, with some assistance, and both children and adults have fun tossing, flying and chasing them!
1 wooden or plastic egg 2.5-3.0 inches (6.5-7.5cm) long
0.3 ounces (8 grams) wool roving or batting in assorted colors
5 x 30 inch (75cm) lengths of ribbon in assorted colors
1/2 cup beans, rice or lentils ( we used black turtle beans)
bowl filled with warm water
small piece of bubble wrap
sewing needle and thread
Tip: sometimes we’ve used the felted pouches that remain once we’ve finished using a felted soap scrub- perfect for flying felties, or little felt treasure necklaces!
Open up the wool fibers by gently stretching them, keeping the wool in long strands. Wrap the egg completely with the wool, turning and wrapping like winding a ball of yarn. The egg should have about three layers of wool wrapped around it. Play with alternating colors. Feel for any thin spots and add more wool with an extra wind covering that spot.
Cup the wool egg in your hands, add a drop of dishsoap, and dip into the bowl of warm water.
Lift the wool egg out gently and start squeezing it between your hands, turning occasionally. Do this for a couple of minutes until the wool develops a felted skin. Start rolling the wool egg in your hands. Rolling…rolling…rolling….Roll the wool egg under your hand on the bubble wrap.
Bowls of soapy water and bubble wrap hold lots of potential for play!
To finish felting, roll the wool egg in the bubble wrap and roll for a few minutes.
Squeeze out any excess water and leave the wool eggs to dry.
Cut open the bottom of the wool egg in a cross. Squeeze out the egg. Fill with beans or rice.
Sew up the opening at the bottom of the feltie, leaving a small opening to insert the ribbons. Tie your selected ribbons together in a knot at one end, insert the knot into the opening in the feltie, then finish sewing up. Be sure to stitches are tight so no beans will fall out and to secure the ribbons well!
Ready for flying!
Hold the feltie by the ends of the ribbon, wind up and toss and watch the feltie fall to the ground, ribbons flying brightly behind. Make a chalk target on the ground and see if you can get your flying feltie to land inside. Toss and juggle with a friend….Hours of summertime flying fun!
Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.
In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.