The branches of the mighty oak still held onto their golden leaves – some of the only color left in the forest on the cold grey November afternoon. Our mittened hands brushed away leaves coating the forest floor. And then there were squeals. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a successful treasure hunt. We filled our pockets with our favorite acorn caps. Mission accomplished. Back inside, the water had come to a boil. We picked out pieces of wool roving, sat down, and started felting. The warm soapy water warmed our hands. Conversation meandered as our balls of wool felted more and more tightly into little balls. After a night of drying, felted balls were glued into acorn caps, and our special treasures were ready to go home. What a great fall project for our group – boys and girls from 4 to 10 years old (and the adults) all enjoyed this activity. And the acorns turned out great! What you need: – Wool (you can buy wool roving at a craft store, or you can ask anyone with a sheep for some raw to wash, card, and use)
– Boiling water
– Dish Soap
– Acorn Caps
1) Roll a small fluff of wool roving into a ball. It should be about three times larger than the acorn you’d like to make.
2) Pour boiling water into a bowl. Drop your ball into the hot water. Use your fork to push it under, and then lift it up, draining away the hot water (this first step is best done by adult when working with young children).
3) Drip a drop of soap onto your wool, and roll it gently between your palms. It won’t seem like a ball right away – keep on gently rolling. Roll it until it cools down, and then drop back into your hot water.
4) Repeat the process, using the fork to take the hot ball out of the water, rolling between your palms and rubbing with fingers, and adding more soap if the suds go away. The hot and cold temperatures and the friction of your hands will tighten the wool into a felted ball.
5) If your ball has unwanted cracks, add a thin layer of roving around the ball and repeat the felting process.
6) Wash in cold water, squeeze in a towel, and let dry.
7) Drip glue into the inside of your acorn cap and insert your felted ball. Voila – your acorn is complete!