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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

felted dolls...and dragons

There is something so sweet about little cloth and wool dolls. Unlike their China-made plastic counterparts they are warm and cuddly and there is no freaky lead-in-the-paint issue to worry about. Little mouths are free to gum on wooly heads without worry.

They are also quite expensive. I like this company. And there are lots and lots on etsy.

So, what does a crafty mama do? One who happens to have access to sheep’s wool galore –for free – from her own mama’s farm?

Make her own of course.

I started back in November, making figures for little man’s recent obsession with all things knight.

So, a step back. These figures are felted which is just mashing together the wool fibers. You can do wet felting, rubbing soap and hot water over wool over and over until it felts, or pricking with special needles that are barbed at the end to mash down the fibers.

I let the kids participate in some initial wet felting of the figures which was fun. Big tub of water. Lots of bubbles. Even little miss got in on the act. We rolled some into oblong shapes to turn into figures and we made some flat pieces to cut up for clothes or to use as baby blankets.

Then mama took over.

I looked up various youtube videos on felting with needles, and bought a few needles at the local Waldorf-y toystore. For some reason felting and wool dolls are big in the Waldorf world. The needles can be used to poke down fibers, give the figure definition, and sculpt facial features.

Caution – these needles are SHARP. My recommendation – either be careful (not recommended late at night while watching TV and having a glass of wine) or wear a thimble. OUCH.

I used wool yarn to wrap around the figures to create clothes and hair and such.

Creations thus far: A knight (rather pathetic looking, the plastic guys I bought at target two days later are MUCH more popular) a king (not bad) and a dragon (a BIG hit, really great, with red beaded eyes!)

I also made a simple little baby doll for little miss, just right to fit into her pocket. And a blanket to wrap her in. Then little man asked for one too. OF COURSE! The little baby dolls are more popular than the knight figures right now. They play house, draping sheets all over, and put their teeny babies to sleep. Usually little man is decked out in his knight gear, as he rocks his babe to sleep. Better to protect everyone from attacking dragons.

God, I love my kids.

I am now making two figures, like the expensive ones above, with pipe cleaners as their base so they can be bendy – perfect for the super cute wooden dollhouse we purchased for Christmas last week! (I am SO excited to give it to them!)

Here are some pics.

Happy felting!!

Warning: It is addictive!

water felting

wool figures waiting to dry.

felting the body of the knight.
mr knight. rather pathetic i know.

mr. dragon

dying our dragon green (green food dye, vinegar, and boiling water)


fearsome dragon

little pocket babies

baby getting some love

making bendable structures to cover with wool/yarn and then felt

little dolls with bendable limbs for dollhouse play. i am not thrilled with
how they turned out (the boys head looks HUGE to me and reminds me of Andre the Giant)
but little girl will like them.


  1. how made us all smile here. the pictures of the kids are adorable!


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