DIY for Kids! Fun and Games at TAC Mini Camp

Q: What is more fun than playing games?

A: Learning how to make games, too!

And that is precisely what we did this past winter break at the Textile Arts Center. We decided to beat the winter blues by creating some games to play indoors. By the end of each day, felted balls were flying, beanbags were being tossed and dyed jump ropes were being swung. While all of the games we created were fun, what we really couldn’t stop playing was our felted ball throwing game. It was such a big hit that we’ve decided to share how we made it, so you can play it on a rainy day too!

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Supplies For Weaving:

  • Warped Hand-held Loom (This can be substituted with a tapestry loom, the results just may be shorter than using an actual loom)
  • 4 Velcro strips about 6” long
  • Thick yarns
  • Crepe paper streamers (Can be found at Party City or local dollar store)
  • 10” Dowel
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue

Supplies for Felting:

  • Roving
  • Warm water

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Instructions for Weaving:

Start weaving with your thick yarn – we only used plain weave for this project but feel free to vary lift plans depending on your child’s experience level.

Once you have about two inches, you can start varying your weft materials and weave in the streamers as well. The streamers are easiest to weave with if you cut off about an arm’s length to weave into your target board. Once you have pulled the streamer through the shaft, use the beater to crunch the streamer down. Continue doing this until you are ready to put in your first Velcro strip.

To put in the Velcro strip, weave in a piece of the streamer and crunch it down. This time, before you change your lift plan, hand weave only the ends of your Velcro strip into the sample, right on top of the streamer. Change numbers and then continue weaving with either your thick yarn or streamers.

Continue weaving the thick yarn and streamers, placing the remaining Velcro strips throughout your sample until you are happy with the length of your target area.

Cut your sample off of the loom.

With the warp strings hanging on both sides of your sample, take groups of 6 strings and either braid them or tie them in a double knot.

Take the strings from the top of your sample and tie them onto your dowel. To tie this knot, place the strings over your dowel and then bring them underneath, splitting it in two equal sections (3 strings in each.) Bring the sections on either sides of your yarns and then tie them together over the middle section that contains all 6 yarn strings.

Once finished, take a 10” piece of your thick yarn and tie it onto either end of your dowel so it can be hung.

Take your fifth piece of Velcro and cut it into squares. Use the hot glue to attach these squares to  dowel. This can be used later to keep your felted balls with the target.

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Next it’s time to make your felted balls!

 Take about a 6” piece of roving and place it on the table vertically.

Fold a little bit of the top over and then continue to roll it up into a ball-like shape.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith your hand, scoop up a little water to wet the roving and start rolling it around in the palms of your hands.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAContinue doing this, adding more water when needed, until the ball has felted. Sometimes the felting will develop a ‘tail.’ This can just be cut off once your ball has completely felted.

Let the balls sit until they dry.

Hang up your Velcro target and start throwing!

Join us for more fun and games during Spring Mini Camp! Happening Monday, April 25th – Friday, April 29th at both our Brooklyn and Manhattan studios. Seats are filling up quickly! Learn more + register.

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