Handier than soap on a rope--and prettier too! Felted soap is soap covered in wool roving and then gently wet felted and made into a spa chic exfoliating soap. Like soap and a washcloth all in one.
Step 1: What You'll Need
Wool Roving--3 colors (you can use more but it can get a little tacky looking)
Soap--Find something you think smells pretty. Rounded edges will be easier to felt.
Bubble wrap--a nice way to recycle.
Small spray bottle
Dish washing liquid (like Dawn, Palmolive)
Fill the spray bottle with warm water and add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid.
Look for wool roving in bulk at your local yarn store--much cheaper than purchasing on line or at Jo-Ann's.
Step 2: Spread Out
Starting with your base color (I use the un-dyed roving for a base because it is cheaper) spread out your roving to a cobweb like consistency. Alternate back and forth until the soap is totally covered.
Step 3: Wrap It Up
Wrap the cobwebs of roving around the soap, first in one direction, and then in the opposite. Alternate back and forth until the soap is entirely covered. Use most of your roving on this base layer--make sure the corners are covered up.
Step 4: Yeah, It Looks Like a Tribble
Add your accent colors--I suggest spreading the colors thin on your first attempt (for a marbled effect)--it felts more easily.
Keep the faith, this will, indeed, all felt down into a nice compact soap like the photo.
Step 5: Spritz Spritz
Place your Tribble soap on the bubble wrap and lightly spritz both sides with the water soap mixture. Go easy on the water to start--too much water and you'll get a crazy, sudsy mess (although it will still work)--but very clean hands.
Step 6: Get Felting!
Gently wrap the bubble wrap around the soap and roving. Start by lightly squeezing the wrapped soap--applying pressure to all sides. As you begin to apply pressure the roving will start to felt. Once you've squeezed for a minute, unwrap and see if you need to spray a little more water (you should see a few suds, not too dry, not too wet). The roving will look pretty shaggy and loose at this point--keep the faith! It will come together. Now re-wrap and begin to more vigorously agitate the roving/soap ball--don't pop the bubble wrap, but give it a good old scrub.
Keep at it. Stop to peek every so often, add water as needed. Work on any areas that don't seem to be shrinking.
Go on, keep working on it. Beauty takes time.
Once the now felted roving is tight to the soap you are finished.
Step 7: They Sell These Babies for $14 at Anthropologie
Magic. A beautiful felt soap thing. You can use this in the bath, it is not just for show. Make sure you let it dry out between uses. If you can't stand to use it--go ahead and put it in your sock drawer once it has dried completely--makes a nice sachet substitute, also.
Check out altlibrary.com for other fun projects you could make in a library or at home.