Every year I have to come up with a classroom project for my students to bring home as a gift for their family. I keep it non-denominational and inexpensive(surprise!) I want it to be somewhat of a keepsake for the child’s parents and family. My dad still has the green deopauged valet I crafted for him in third grade. It is wonderful for the students to be able to present a gift that they are proud to give.
This year I brainstormed some ideas to put some of my felted wool to use. Years ago, I was bitten by the felted wool bug and made a ton of garlands for our tree from thrifted, felted sweaters. I had acquired a wool blanket with a hole in it for 3.00 at a garage sale and thought it could make a good background. I managed to wrangle a few sweaters from my awesome assistant at school and with the other scraps I had saved we had enough to each child to make a pennant.
The subject matter was simple–a tree, a heart or a peace sign. I cut out the shapes and had the kids choose both their shape and backdrop. The combinations surprised and delighted me…they really took some risks with color combinations. They used felt glue to secure the shape to the background and we let them dry overnight. Then came the fun—sewing!! We used tapestry needles and wool yarn(about 3.00 at Goodwill) to sew a simple stitch around the shape. I had a parent helper to speed the process. I sewed a channel for the sticks on my sewing machine at home, although you could easily use glue for this, as well.
I was so thrilled to see how much the students enjoyed sewing! It is such a great exercise in concentration. It completely silenced my talkers for a good 15 minutes. Many of the boys expressed how much they enjoyed it and that they were going to ask for a sewing kit for Christmas!!
Felting wool yourself is easy…Just wash and dry a 100% wool sweater a time or two. The wool is nice and thick and easy to cut without fraying. You might even have some wool sweaters hiding somewhere in your house!