how to make a needle and wet felted waldorf mouse

Thursday, December 31, 2009 – Filed under: crafting,crafts,felting,handmade,mice,natural,nature,table,toys ::

This sweet mouse is quite easy to do, even for a curious, beginner needle and wet felter.

It is moulded around your finger, so it ends up with a hold inside for gentle, finger puppet play or use in waldorf story telling. A wonderful, soft, kid-friendly toy for a nature table too. Because of the small pieces, please do not give this mouse to young children who still put toys in their mouths. As with all playthings, it’s best to use your parental discretion and supervision.

First wrap some carded wool quite tightly around your pointer finger, laying some pieces down in different directions as you go along. When it’s quite thick, you can wet felt it.

Use a small bowl full of hot water, and some soap (I use Seventh Generation dishwashing soap), and wet the wool still on your finger, and work it vigorously with your other hand. Light twisting, pressing, squishing… all of this helps the fibres to felt together. It need not be perfectly smooth on the outside – you can fix this later with needle felting. You can always add smaller pieces of carded wool on top as you wet felt to fix really significant folds/ridges. Once you’re done, rinse the wool piece (still on your finger) in cold water, squeezing out the excess, and take it off your hand to dry standing up (open side down) overnight.

Now you can needle felt the outside and inside the bottom rim to smooth it and make it even stronger (more heavily felted).

Next use scissors to cut off a narrow strip along the bottom: this not only makes the bottom edge straight, but gives you a narrow piece you’ll use for making the tail, and ears.

Using most of the piece you’ve just cut off, needle felt a long skinny tail, and then attach it well (using needle felting) just inside the rim at the base of the mouse. Then take the remaining piece, divide it in half or so and fold up each smaller piece to make a sort of rounded ear. Needle felt those discs separately, then use the needle to attach to the top of the mouse’s head. You can use tiny wisps of black or darker brown (or even white) wool to needle in the eyes and nose tip.

And you have a mouse! And what a sweet mouse she or he is. When learning a new skill or undertaking a new project, I always try to remember: “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”