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Flying Felties!

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

natural dishsoap

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!



Posted by Fiona Duthie on Aug 21, 2011 10:04 AM | 37 Comments

37 Responses to “Flying Felties!”

  1. Julie says:

    Love these! Can’t wait to make one!

  2. BC says:

    I think the elves might bring these to the Elves’ Faire this year…

  3. Melissa H says:

    So fun, my 5 yo was just saying she wanted to make a craft, gonna go find some eggs or balls :)

  4. Jen M says:

    What a great project – thank you! Our big summer project has been home-made hula hoops- also amazing summer fun. Search for Elizabeth Mitchell’s you tube video- or lots of other hula hoop making info. on-line. I think we’ll get right down to making one of these flying felties today!

  5. kimberly sion says:

    Thank you for your contributions Fiona ; ) Being a homeschooler I always appreciate new ideas that include children.

  6. Jamie says:

    Have you tried using sand or another medium that does not readily absorb water! My kids will love these!

  7. Petra says:

    My daughter will have her birthday this Friday. This is a great idea to keep the kids busy and have fun!
    Love the idea!

  8. Arwen says:

    These would be perfect to make with my P&T class!

  9. Lindsey says:

    My daughter would love these!

  10. Denise8 says:

    What fun! I see these as a great accessory to keep kids busy when you’re trying to photograph them. Distraction from the lens, color and animation added to your image.

  11. Kelly Paquet says:

    My grandchildren would love to make these and play with them! Great idea!

  12. ebknits says:

    amazing. I’m going to bring this lesson to my friend’s second grade class in a very low income neighborhood. What a fabulous idea. Thanks

  13. Lynn says:

    Thank you. I love it when a child as young as three can have success making a great toy.

  14. Bettina Groh says:

    I’ve seen similar balls done in solid needle felted wool with streamers as cat toys. My son’s cat loved it!!

  15. Sue says:

    Great fun to make as well as play with. Adorable pictures, especially the dimple!

  16. Andreia Gebrael Sobreira says:

    Wonderful!!! I am going to do some with my children when summer arrives here.

  17. dara says:

    Fantastic – we were just trying our hand at these and here are your great pictures! Thanks so much!!! Happy Sailing to all!

  18. cat macri says:

    Awesome think the children and I will make a few as birthday gifts.

  19. Melissa says:

    Thankyou so much. What a wonderful project!!!

  20. June Albright says:

    What a fun activity – making and playing with these. I want to try it with children soon.

  21. Christine says:

    what a fun project, my craft group will love this one………

  22. Nancy says:

    What a delightful project! This goes to the top of our to do list! Thank you.

  23. Amy says:

    Love this craft. Easy for the kids and fun for all seasons.

  24. Melissa says:

    Can’t wait to try these!! They look so fun!!!

  25. caryn says:

    Watch out! Your dog or cat may love them too!!

  26. these look great and simple to do with my children. thanks for the great idea!

  27. Jennifer says:

    This look great. I’ve been looking for more ideas for felting toys. Would it work if you filled a balloon with beans or rice, tied it up and then made the egg around that? I don’t have a wooden or plastic egg.

    • Fiona says:

      Hi Jennifer- I’m going to try this with a balloon filled with beans- I’ll let you know! You could definitely use anything that is round and can get wet…like an orange, an apple, a rubber ball, a potato….have fun!

    • Fiona says:

      I just tried filling a balloon with about 2 tablespoons of beans, then blowing it up just a little, so it’s about the size of a (small) tennis ball and knotted the balloon. Then I followed the instructions, and felted in the same way. What a fun ball! Great for tactile tossing and bean bag play, with just a little bounce. Once the felt was completely dry, I popped the balloon with a sewing needle, through the felt. The flying felties work best if you can grab and squeeze them a bit; if there is a bit of air inside around the beans, so they can move as they rise and fall. Works perfectly! These would make great bean bags! Hope this helps, warm wishes, Fiona

  28. Alison says:

    I love this variation!!! I’ve done rattles w/ different grains or nature treasures inside. Try 3-4 w/ different things inside for different sounds. Must put electrical tape over any holes in eggs and fill before felting. Can leave the egg empty(still tape holes) felt, and then hang ribbon and put all over Easter tree. We have also made them w/ large eggs, then cut open and wet/needle felt a little chic or bunny to go inside. Al ittle early for Easter ideas, but these awesome flyers reminded me of many options. The large bouncy balls are great to felt, then cut open, put flax and rice inside, and sew to make a hacky sac. Good teen kids project.

  29. luann says:

    looks like fun!

  30. Wendy says:

    I’m going to use this for a first project in the fall with my mixed age kindergarten.

  31. MollyBridget says:

    So glad to have found this before the summer’s end!
    What a lovely project!

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