Felt Painting Boards are the fifth project in a seasonal series of little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!
Painting with wool roving is such a warm, tactile and pleasing craft. Washes of color or detailed images- they all look lovely made with wool. And, most importantly, they can be changed at any time to become a whole new “painting”. These little kits make fantastic creative gifts, not only for children! Make the felt board on a log cut, as we have, or on a piece of finished wood, include a little pouch of colored wool, and the wool painting can start! We’ve included instructions below on making a simple tree image. It can be helpful to show children how to make an image first, to develop a hand and head understanding of how to use the materials….how to build up a picture, enjoy it, and then take it apart and make another!
a log slice or piece of finished wood, about 5 inches in diameter or a 5 inch square. Log slices can often be obtained from craft supply shops. If you are cutting your own, make sure the wood is dry.
5″ x 5″ piece of wool felt. A fluffy felt works especially well as a background to hold the paintings in place. A piece of felted blanket or sweater would work well, or National Non-Wovens wool felt in white dyed using this method. All felt will work for this though!
small amounts in a rainbow of wool roving/batting colors
Cut a piece of wool felt to fit on the wooden base. Cut to a size so there is a nice wooden frame left visible around the wool felt.
Apply glue well over the entire back of the wool felt piece. Glue onto the wooden base. You may want to weight down the wool felt while it dries to get the best adhesion to the wood.
To make the wool tree painting:
First we need to lay down some earth for the tree to put down it’s roots and grow…
This step sets up the basic painting with wool technique- Use only very small wisps of wool. Hold down one side and draw or paint the wool out, pulling it where you want it to be on your board.
Push your twig tree trunk a little way into the earth, and roll a little on the felt base to hold it in place.
Paint the branches on your tree. Hold the green woolly wisp at the top of the tree trunk and pull the wool out into boughs. Add a few on each side and down the trunk.
We can make some decorations for our tree by using just a few wool fibers and rolling them into a ball between thumb and forefinger. Drop them randomly onto the tree.
If it’s going to snow in your picture, pull out small white wool wisps of snow and have them fall in drifts across the ground and on a few boughs. When the snow melts and the holidays are over, the snow and decorations can be taken off the tree.
Or maybe the whole tree will come off and the wool and twig be made into something completely different. Here are some ideas:
These wool paintings can be hung on a wall, displayed on a table or mantlepiece, or hung on your tree. It can be changed through the day or the year to create new seasonal pictures. Ideal for travelling, during appointments, or family gatherings.
You can read more about painting with wool in Living Crafts- Fall 2008.
Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas, including wooden castle blocks, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.
National Non-Wovens has generously offered a wool felt assortment pack for the lucky winner! Their gift includes a collection of gorgeous colors in 100% wool felt sheets!
Please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, December 15 for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.
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.