I’ve received felted soap as a gift, and even purchased some for myself. They look really complicated, but I’ve found they are actually a simple DIY project!
What is Felted Soap?
Felted soap is simply a bar of soap wrapped in wool. This thin wool coat helps soap last longer, and makes slippery bars easier to hang on to. The wool is very gently exfoliating, and can replace a washcloth or bath pouf in the shower.
Wool is also naturally antimicrobial, so there is no problem with keeping the bar in a wet shower environment.
The simplicity of this project makes it perfect for doing with kids, and it makes a unique gift!
How to Felt Soap
The good news is, learning how to felt soap requires just three basic items:
How to Felt Soap: The Process
1. Position your roving wool so it’s at the end of the bar, and wrap tightly. You want to completely and evenly cover the bar of soap, so there is no soap showing through. Wrap lengthwise and widthwise, paying attention to covering corners as well. Roving should be at least ¼-inch thick to cover properly.
2. Cut your nylon stocking so it’s about 6-7 inches long. Place the bar of soap carefully into the toe of the nylon, making sure you don’t disturb the wool. Tie a knot at the open end, getting the knot very close to the bar of soap.
3. Fill a sink or a large bowl with hot water. Gently submerge the nylon-covered bar into the water, allowing water to soak into the bar. Very gently press and squeeze the bar under the water. The hot water will cause the wool to shrink and tighten around the bar. When you can tell the wool is tightening, begin washing your hands with the nylon-covered bar for about 10-15 minutes, being sure to rub all the sides and corners.
4. After the 10-15 minutes, take the bar out of the nylon and rinse it off in cold water. Check for proper felting by scratching a fingernail across a seam in the roving. If seams separate, wrap in the nylon and continue washing the bar in the hot water for a few more minutes.
5. Lay finished bar on a cloth to dry out. It will probably shrink a bit more as it dries, and it may take up to a few days to completely dry.
As you use this bar, the soap will lather nicely and act almost like a soft luffa. It will gradually shrink as the soap is used up. What you’ll have left will be a small ball of wool. String a few together to make a necklace or throw them on the floor for a cat toy. (My cat loves his!)
Now that you know how to felt soap, here are some things you can do to dress it up:
- Alternate colors of wool to make stripes.
- Position wool to make zig zags or other decorative designs.
- Purchase or make shapes like trees or the sun. Work this into your design.
- Add pure essential oils to the wool to make your bath or shower smell great.
- Add a strip of lace around the middle and work the wool over the edges to hold it in place.
Packaging Your Felted Soap
There are several things you can do to package these to give as gifts. Just be sure your soap is thoroughly dry or you could end up with a soggy mess.
- Tie up in a clear plastic bag with a bit of curling ribbon and a tag.
- Place in a square of linen, then tie a bow around it.
- Stamp onto butcher paper and use this to wrap your soap.
- Cut out a piece of fabric that’s wide enough to go around and about twice as long. Place the soap in the middle and tie each end like a piece of candy. Tie jute around the ends in bows.
- Package in organza bags.
- Place a few in a galvanized bucket with a bow on the handle.
Do you know how to felt soap? Tell us about your experiences!