I started my new position as Makerspace coordinator 21 days ago, well 16 due to a holiday weekend, and only 12 of those days have actually been work days, but you get the picture, new job. I have been working to take stock, organize and learn about all the stuff in the space I have moved into.

In the last week I have been learning about felting, and thought I would share my emerging understanding of how this powerful creative skill can be used in makerspace and STEAM learning in PreK-6th grade.

Here is what I understand so far:

Felting is an additive 3D fabrication in which individual fibers are combined and compressed to create a solid shape our piece of material. If this is the first you have heard of felting, browse YouTube for a wide range of Felting tutorials describing 3 main ways to felt (needle felting, wet felting, and nuno felting).

Full disclosure: I have 4 llamas, and I am super excited to have something useful to do with their fiber!

So far I have tried my hand at needle felting as well as wet felting. The examples in this video are needle felted:

What can you do with needle felting in education?

  1. Light up landscapes, make interactive 2/3D art with felting and circuits (check out this video on felting conductive buttons) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_nrZX5ng3o
  2. Stop Motion Animation Figures
  3. Puppet and model construction

1StopMotion

#felting so I made a posable llama, out of llama! This is going to be awesome for so many things. #elemaker #stopmotion

A video posted by Sam Patterson (@mypaperlessclassroom) on

2Puppet

Turning a blue dog into a fuzzy brown one by felting llama fiber onto it.
A photo posted by Sam Patterson (@mypaperlessclassroom) on

3
WetFelting


Do you use felting or other crafts to give students hands-on learning experiences? Share your work and your challenges!

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