Free Tutorial: Wet Felting a Rainbow Kit with children

Visit my blog page above for updated version of this Rainbow Tutorial.

The Wet Felting a Rainbow kit for Kids comes with a selection of 7 vivid colours of Merino wool all cut to size and some white wispy wool for clouds or a dove.

A piece of white pre-felt on which to arrange your rainbow. It’s like a woolly piece of white paper, really.

2 sheets of bubble wrap cut to size.

Piece of netting to hold your design in place before wetting.

A photocopiable rainbow template showing the order of colours. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. (Acronym is ROY G BIV).

Illustrated step by step instructions to make the rainbow project. (This activity is suitable for age 3+ but does definitely requires some adult supervision and help.) Older children can add more details like a blue sky with clouds and bird, and flowers and grass.

Step 1

All the vivid multicoloured wools are such fun to work with!  

Before you start you need to prepare the area by placing an old towel down on the table, as the activity will get wet later (that’s why it’s called Wet felting!) 

Step 2

You also need to lay out the template and place the bubble wrap on top of that. You can then get started with the picture.

Step 3

Start by laying the green grass for the bottom of our rainbow scene. You need to pull some of the fibres from the green wool in your kit, rather than just placing the whole thing down at once. Imagine you are painting the grass with a brush as you carefully lay down some wisps of green wool.

Step 4

Work through the rest of the rainbow colours in turn, using the template as a reference. It gives you a great chance to talk about the colours of the rainbow and remember which colours come next in the sequence.

You can sing the song ” I can Sing a Rainbow” to help you lay the colours down in a beautiful arc shape.

Step 5

When placing the colours down onto the picture, you must let them overlap a little, and make sure the strips for the rainbow are not too thick. For ours, I think perhaps we should have overlapped the colours a little more but being our first time with wet felting, there was an element of trial and error.

Step 6

Step 7

The curly wool is used to add details like clouds in the sky. The example image had shown these also used to make flowers in the meadow at the bottom of the scene. You can try making a football to add at the bottom of the scene, using some of the left over coloured wool or you can add some flowers.

Once all your wool is laid out to make the picture and you are happy with it, then you wet it all with some warm soapy water, and cover over the top with the rest of the bubble wrap and pat it all down so that the water soaks into all of the wool.

Step 8

This should be done quite gently at first. Then you need to roll the whole picture up in the towel in a sausage shape and squeeze the rest of the water out of the picture which could take about 10 minutes.

Once that is done, you rinse it cold water and then hot water. Then leave it to dry again. As you can see with ours below, it would have been better to overlap the colours more especially at the edges as some gaps have come about and are emphasised more after all the rolling and squeezing we have done.

Step 9

Once the picture is dry, it should be robust enough to embellish with threads, beads, buttons or any extras you would like to add. You can see how it looks in a frame. I tried it in one of the Ribba frames from Ikea which have more depth than the average frame so can be used for putting crafts, kids artwork or any pictures with a 3d element.

Follow up activities

  1. Teach them about colors. Learn the fun mnemonic device: Roy G Biv. This character’s name is actually an acronym for all the colors of the rainbow in order.

The Rainbow is a symbol of hope and the Earth’s renewal in religious traditions. Here’s a link to simple cartoon story of Noah’s Ark.

With older children, you can go one step further and teach them why we see color the way we do and what causes a rainbow to appear.

Look at this… 👀

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