Felting a bowl

There’s something about the winter that just makes me want to felt. I think it’s the warm snuggliness of it. It’s a nice way for Small to make his own Christmas presents too. Today we made bowls! 

What you’ll need

  • Wool tops (Wool that hasn’t been spun)
  • A bowl of warm water
  • Soap
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • A pen
  • Sticky back plastic
  • Towels


  1. Cut out a circle of card about an inch wider than you want your bowl to be. Cover it in sticky back plastic. This is your template.
  2. Cut off a length of wool just longer than your template and lay it over the top
  3. Drizzle some washing up liquid on to the wool and then splash a little bit of warm water on to it.
  4. Rub rub rub with the tips of your fingers until the wool starts to come together. This is the first layer.
  5. Flip the template over and fold in any escaped wool from the edges. Make a new wool layer on this side.
  6. Flip again and keep layering until you’re happy with the thickness. We went for four layers, two of each colour.
  7. Put the whole thing in a plastic bag and rub rub rub some more! It should be really soapy and slippy by now.
  8. Put your wool on to the edge of a towel and role up like a roulade. Keep rolling and unrolling, moving it round, until the template starts to buckle inside.
  9. When the wool seems really matted together cut your circle in half. Take the template out and use your fingers to open out the bowl shape.
  10. Go to the sink and rinse it all out. Really squish and squeeze it like you’re a washing machine trying to shrink a jumper.
  11. Alternate hot and cold water for rinses.
  12. Shape again and then leave it to dry. Vola! You have a bowl.


For Small learning to felt a bowl is much more about the process than the end result. There are a lot of steps involved and each one has it’s own required skill set. There are different sensations for each one too, the soft wool, the soapy plastic bags, the warm and cold water. We discovered what happened to the wool as it went through each stage. It was just so interesting!

Eventually I’m hoping that Small will remember how to Felt and be able to do it automatically. I’m hoping that we’ll add a lot of other processes to his repertoire too. One day he’ll be able to have abstract thoughts about things he’d like to create. I hope that he’ll also have the skills available to him to actually make what it is that he imagines.


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