Saturday, June 18, 2011

Teacher Gift--Story Apron Tutorial

School ended last week. I am still decompressing a bit, with a few reports left to write, but I did manage to pull off some pretty sweet gifts for A's teacher and teacher's assistant. We all worked together to make the gift for her teacher, which I think made it extra-special. We began the gift of a home made story apron by wet-felting wool. This was a great outdoor project, as it tends to get water everywhere, particularly when a five-year-old is heavily involved.

We started with a piece of wool batting that would fit into a large ziplock bag (this can certainly be done on a small scale as well, in a smaller bag), and covered it with whisps of colored roving (the thinner, the better, I have found). Then, we carefully put it into the plastic bag, added some hot water (as hot as little hands can stand) and a squirt of dishsoap, and sealed the bag, letting as much air escape as possible. Then, squish the bag as much as you can stand! It takes quite a bit of work to get the wool to felt.
 After the wool has felted (open the bag to check and see that the wool is all "stuck" together before you pull it out), take it out of the bag and place it in a tub of cold water. It is important that it is cold, as this will "shock" the wool and further felt the fibers together.
 This step also gets the suds out...
After your piece is thoroughly rinsed, you may wish to wring out excess water. I use this bamboo placemat that I found in the "as is" area of Ikea.
There were a few wool stragglers that I felted into the piece with a needle after it was dry.

We used the felted piece for the bib part of the story apron. I bought some lovely green silk to use as the dress of the apron, as I had the idea of the bib being the sky and the skirt being the grass when her teacher was sitting to tell stories. I had leftover blue satin from another project that I used for the neck strap. Stitched them all together, and...
A story apron gift is complete.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing how you made the felted wool for the apron. My sister felts wool, but she lives really far away from me and I have never seen the process, just some of her completed projects.