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Just in time for Easter…

03.31.2010

There will be two posts today ( I know, exciting right?!). So stop by later this afternoon for a special Rhythm of the Home magazine announcement!

First though, we are happy to welcome Angela Mobley.

Angela Mobley is a handwork teacher, mother of 4, and devotee of the creative life. Her first knitting pattern was just published in Living Crafts magazine, and somewhere between trips to lacrosse practice and cooking and carpooling and changing diapers she actually finds time to complete a project. She has big ideas and more plans than she has time for.

Angela has been kind enough to share her adorable tutorial on making wet felted chicks.

Just in time for Easter.

These sweet little chicks fit perfectly into one of the Root children wool eggs from this issue of Rhythm of the Home and would be the perfect addition to a nature table or an Easter Basket.

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Little chicks are a nice seasonal craft, and a good way to try your hand at wet-felting, if you have not done so. Children love baby animals, and will delight in holding or hiding these baby chicks. They can help make them as well.

You will need:
-a 10″ piece of yellow merino wool roving
-a large soup pot filled with hot water
-olive oil soap such as (I use leftover soap slivers)
-Brown and orange embroidery floss or thick thread
Before you begin, place the soap slivers in the warm water

Begin by dividing the roving lengthwise into 3 strips.


Starting at one end, begin to tightly roll the strip, and fold the sides in as you go.
Keep going until you have rolled the whole strip and have a rough ball shape.

Take this ball shape and put it in your hand. Now, the chick has to hide for awhile. Keep the chick “hidden” in your hand and dunk it into the warm water. Keep it hidden until you feel the bubbles have stopped and the chick is soaked. Don’t squeeze!

Gently open your hand. The chick needs some soap for his bath now. Take one of the soap slivers from the bottom of the pan (they should be softened by now) and very gently glide the soap over the surface of the chick. You are trying to put a thin layer of soap on the outside of the chick.


Now, begin to gently and slowly glide your fingers over the surface of the chick. Start slowly at first, and then, as you feel the wool form a “skin”, increase pressure. It is important that you go slow. The wool expanded upon getting wet, and a slow coaxing it into the shape you want is called for. Add soap as necessary to help your hands glide, or, if it feels too slippery, rinse the chick.


As the ball becomes firm, you can begin rolling it in the palms of your hands. When the chick is firm, like the tip of your nose, you can begin shaping it. Wool will shrink in the direction you rub it. Place one end of the chick between your fingers and roll it to form a “head”.  Rinse the chick, really squeezing the soap out, and re-form the head.


Repeat with the other two strips, and set aside to dry. I also made a bigger chick.


When your chicks have dried overnight, embroider eyes and beaks onto them with your thread. For the eyes, I begin by hiding the tail of the thread in the chick, and then pass the thread through to the other side, back and forth, until the eyes are drawn in a little bit. I then place knots where the eyes are.

Embroider the beak in the same way, placing it between and slightly below the eyes.

There you have it!

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Thank you Angela for sharing such a quick and sweet project.

For more information on Angela stop by her blog theartistthemom where she explores the roles of being a mother and a creative being.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 03.31.2010 5:29 am

    what a lovely way to spend some creative time this Easter! I have only one child and am inspired to see the mother of 4 children making life so creative. thanks for the great pictures, too!

  2. lynn permalink
    03.31.2010 5:45 am

    what a great project and so well explained!

  3. Erica permalink
    03.31.2010 6:44 am

    Absolutely adorable. Can’t wait to make some sweet little peepers!

  4. bluegg permalink
    03.31.2010 7:13 am

    These are so perfectly adorable! Thank you for a wonderful project idea for a quick handmade Easter basket gift. I will be felting some chicks this morning!

  5. 03.31.2010 8:19 am

    Thanks for the lovely spring activity! We look forward to felting fun!

  6. 04.6.2010 8:21 am

    i love this project, and the way you describe the back and forth while working with the wool is so lovely as well!

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