Activity cards

Felt making

Memories in felt making

Using raw wool fibres called fleece wool tops, to make engaging, colourful, sensory and tactile designs.  These can be images for a theme based around favourite places with a focus to thinking about stimulating memory and the senses with a visit to – garden/ beach/ funfair / vineyard/ farm / holiday/ zoo etc

This doesn’t have to be literal; you could purely focus on colours which would make for a beautiful collage of patterned abstract designs. Look at artists such as Renoir & Monet Water Lilies, Van Goch Starry Night, paintings.  Choose to work with only two or three colours.  Consider the process and handling of the materials, thick and thin or soft and fuzziness of the materials involved with the felt-making process.

Props- photographs / pictures/ stories / music / fragrance- scented items  

to think about these places with the help of –

Props – hats/ feathers/ balloons/ grapes / candy floss / flowers / tools / clothes/ coat of arms/ medals

Or focus on colour, create rainbows,  

Using wool as a material often opens conversations around knitting garments/ dress making/ army uniform/ sheep farmers

Materials Required:

  • Wool fleece in various colours
  • Bubble wrap
  • Soapy water
  • Towel
  • Scissors
  • Water spray

Step by Step Guide:

  1. Using two small pieces of bubble wrap, base layer and top.
  2. place fleece onto bubble wrap selecting colours for creating design – flower/ butterfly/ bee / snake/ snail/ bird / ladybird / dragonfly/ insects / bats / owl/ lion / bird box /nest etc. *You can begin with white to make a plain background and add colours for design, or just add colours to make your design
  3. gently trickle /pour warm soapy water to the wool fibres, then cover with top piece of bubble wrap, press down so everything inside is wetted down.
    *Be careful to not flood with water – a towel underneath will catch drips, but make it wet enough so all the wool fibres are wet through
  4. with wet hands press down top layer of bubble wrap and massage the surface, creating a gentle lather and a firm pressured rubbing motion.
    *As you rub the fleece will tangle and bond together and form a fabric, keep hands wet and soapy makes for easy motion
  5. After rubbing for a short while, take one side of the bubble wrap and roll up firmly, keeping the fleece bundle inside
  6. Keep tight and roll to the count of 40 times.  Unroll reposition, then return to the right and repeat the same on that side
    *you will have rolled from all four sides of the bubble wrap bundle; these bonds fibres tighter
  7. Remove top layer of bubble wrap and place hands in contact with felt design adding a little more soap water and massage
  8. Enjoy the feel of the materials and the warm soapy water on your hands, you will notice the fibres feel firm and bonded together, you’ve made a piece of felt fabric
  9. Rinse out soap, squeeze out tightly, gently stretch out and leave to dry. 

Ideas for Further Activities with This Idea:

Using a backdrop of coloured fabric these individual items can be attached to make up a collective art piece, such as a Magical Sensory Garden/ Night Garden / Fantasy Bird Zoo /.  Decorate and embellish further with seed heads, rose hips, acorns, honesty, love in the mist, elder cones, mossy twigs.

Items can either be displayed inside or outside, obviously items will weather eventually, sometimes birds may take for making their nests. Some could be attached to a colourful umbrella and hung from upside down.

-make conversation pieces – a flowers for a vase, beehive, bat box, toolbox, tea cup and spoon

Family can also join in with this activity making the designs engaging and more special. 


Ways to adapt for less able residents:  

Encourage residents to play, explore and handle fibres, select colours, make shapes, twist, knot, plait, or roll.

If residents are happy, add a little spray of soapy warm water on their hands, the fibres can bond just by gentle contact, pressing or rolling in fingers making free form shapes or patterns.  

Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa: 

Ask others to guess what they can see, abstract designs or folds of colourful fleece are perfect for this, as we all see things differently.



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