Yaaaaayyyyy I finally did it!
I watched a bunch of videos and read a slew of tutorials before making this, but in the end it comes down to one principle: rub it, rub it, rub it.
All you need to make felted soap is: wool roving, hot water, and soap. There are a couple things that might make the process easier, but don’t let anyone tell you you need them. Craft stores will sell “felting boards” for about $30, but you can use any rough or bumpy surface: a washboard, a dish draining mat, or even a sheet of bubble wrap. (I used a piece of corrugated cardboard, which I put in a trashbag so it wouldn’t lose its shape if it got wet.)
But honestly, you don’t even need a board; if you’re willing, you could just use your fingers.
I used one other tool to help me: the foot of a clean nylon stocking. Because it was my first time, I put the soap in the stocking before I started felting because it kept all the pieces in place.
Ultimately, here’s all you need to do:
- Take a bar of soap and wrap it tightly with wool roving, one way and then the other. If you want, make a design with another color of roving.
- Pour hot water over it (the hotter the water, the faster it felts) and start rubbing. You’ll work up a good froth from the soap on the inside.
- Rub every side for a long, long time (you’re probably going to need about 15 minutes of ruthless friction), pouring more hot water as needed, until you can’t pinch any strands of wool off.
- Dunk it in the hot water, gently towel off the excess moisture and soap lather, and let it dry.
Voila! A fabulous little gift. For those of you who don’t know about felted soap: you can use this in the shower as is; get it wet and the felt acts like a washcloth, working up a lather using soap from the inside. Use it over and over until the soap is gone; then you can slit it open and slip a new bar of soap inside.
I found a tutorial for making a little felted rope which you attach to one side of the bar so you can hang it up in the shower to dry; pretty excited to try that one out!