Friday, October 14, 2011

How to: Heart Felt Soaps...

Lovely Lady Leanne from Feel At Home brought me over some of her New Zealand olive & avocado oil handmade soaps (with sea salt and infused with essential oils of sweet fennel & Roman chamomile) to felt.

So I thought I would document the process as I notice I haven't blogged about anything for a year or so, which is very slack of me...

1. Choose your soap and some colourful wool roving (merino felts nice and easily).


2. Using a block of foam & felting needles, very lightly needle felt some wool into squares large enough to wrap around the bar of soap.  Two thin layers of wool works well - one ontop of the other, fibers lying in perpendicular directions.




3. Wrap the square of lightly felted wool around the soap and wet it, so that all the fibers are dampened, using the hottest water you can stand (rubber gloves will help)!


4. Using a thin sheet of plastic (eg. cut up shopping bag) - wrap this around the hot, wet, woolly soap so that it makes a parcel.  Then rub this parcel on all sides ontop a bamboo mat or non-slip piece of plastic mat. The roughness makes the warm, wet wool fibers felt together when rubbed.


5. When the wool has started to felt together and feels a little secure around the bar of soap, take it out of the plastic wrapping, get it nice and damp again with really hot water and then get back to rubbing it directly on the uneven surface.  Keep this up for around 15 mins until the wool has completely felted on all sides and fits snuggly around the bar of soap.











5. Rinse off the excess soapy suds under the cold tap and leave to dry on a wire cake wrack. First layer is done!


6. After a few days, when the outer layer is dry, but the soap is still a little moist underneath, it is time to needle felt some designs onto the base layer.  I use a size 38 felting needle.  Careful with your fingers or you will leave blood marks on the felt....







7. Finished!
 

13 comments:

Bobbie Pene said...

Wow what a process! They look just gorgeous and I'm sure kids would have fun with them without even realising they are washing themselves :)

Janice said...

These are almost as awesome as you are!!!! Good to see a post from you! LOVE the extra decorations you felted on to these -- really turns them into art.

Leanne from Feel at Home said...

Wonderful! You are amazing - i LOOOOOOOOOVE them! Thanks V!

Pam said...

Wow that is amazing! Thanks for sharing the process, they look fantastic you are so talented.

Ginga Squid said...

Thank you guys!

karen lee said...

Wonderful blog - makes up for your 1 year absence! Inspires me to have another go using your method. You make it look so easy - but then, you are the Master!

Ginga Squid said...

Thanks Karen but no (!), I do it this way as it really is much easier - needle felting the wool a little to start and also starting the agitating with a thin layer of plastic around the soap makes it all 'hang together' more succesfully! If I try and do it without, the process seems much longer and I find the wool slips around annoyingly...

luciebeebee said...

great way to create sharp cut and protruding embellishments: thanks for the tutorial!

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