These step-by-step directions include a lot of pictures, so
please be patient while they download.
The pictures were taken about a minute apart, so the whole
process only takes about 15 - 20 minutes from start to finish.
The "hands" in the photos belong to Amy, and
the words are Andrea's.
First of all, gather the materials you will
need together in one place: a bar of soap, carded wool, a towel
and a dish of hot water. We also got the dish soap out, out of
habit, but you don't need it when you are felting onto a bar of
soap. An optional item is a felting board or wash board.
It's nice to have, but you don't NEED it to felt over a bar of soap.
Now, you will want to wrap wool around the bar
Wrap the wool around it both length-wise and
width-wise, so all the surfaces are covered.
You can add additional colors of wool for
Now, start to wet the bar of soap, by dribbling
the hot water on it. You don't want to put a lot of water on it
all at once (or dunk it in the water) at this point, or the wool will
Continue to dribble water on it, and pat it, to
make sure the wool is getting wet all the way through.
When the wool is pretty wet, you can start to
squeeze it, continuing to dribble water on it periodically.
The wool will start to make a wrinkly skin
around the bar of soap.
Keep squeezing it, shifting it around in your
hands as you do so. It will start to lather up.
Add more water every so often to keep your
hands "lubricated" .
It is starting to felt and lose the wrinkles
Your can rub your hands over the surface of the
bar now, and the wool won't slip off. It is also making a lot of
This is a good time to start rubbing it on the
felting board or wash board if you have one. Otherwise, just
continue to rub it and squeeze it in your hands. Rub back and
forth, and in circular motions.
Make sure you rub all the sides!
Flipping and turning it in your hands is a good
way to felt the sides.
You can see that it is REALLY lathering
now. Keep rubbing it...
on all sides.
Dunk it in the dish of water to see if it has
felted down to make a fairly snug casing around the bar of soap.
If it seems a little fluffy, yet, rub it some more.
When it is snug around the bar of soap, run it
under cold water, to tighten up the wool, and to rinse off more of the
Gently squeeze out the excess water. A
few suds will creep back out. Don't worry about them.
Pat dry on a towel.
There you have it! Your own
"felted" bar of soap to use in the bath or shower!
It's so fun, you'll want to do more than one!
Andrea and Amy
P.S. Since posting these directions, we've had a lot of
questions about felted soap. To answer some of the more frequent ones:
Wet felting only works with wool or other protein fibers
(such as llama or angora). Some wools felt better than others.