Eds: Multimedia: An audio slideshow with step-by-step instructions on how to make felted wool Easter eggs is in the –lifestyles/felt–eggs folder.

Who can forget the Cadbury commercials of the 1980s, with that adorable bunny hopping off a nest to reveal foil-wrapped creme eggs?

Here’s what you might get if a sheep instead of a rabbit were doing the clucking: fuzzy, felted eggs that can be used as Easter decorations or cut open to insert tiny treats.

Making them is easy, if a bit messy. But unlike dyeing real eggs, there’s no chance of staining your hands or clothing purple or green. Small bits of colorful wool roving are wrapped around inexpensive plastic eggs, dunked in water and agitated until the fibers shrink around the shape, producing a soft covering of felt.

A washing machine can be used to make a dozen at once, or tactile types can make them one-by-one by hand. And unlike chocolate eggs, these will still be around after Easter.



– plastic eggs

– duct tape or masking tape

– wool roving in assorted colors, a handful is plenty for one egg

– a large bowl of hot water

– liquid soap



– a bamboo mat, bubble wrap or metal cooling rack

– washing machine

– old pantyhose


The hands-on method is the most basic. The alternative uses pantyhose to hold the wool roving together for the initial felting stage, and may be easier for children to handle. The third method uses a washing machine and is a good way to felt a larger batch of eggs.



1) Fill the bowl with hot water and add a squirt or two of soap.

2) Cover an egg with tape to seal the opening and give the wool a slightly textured surface to grab onto.

3) Unwind a bit of wool roving and pull off a tuft. Lay it flat in front of you, teasing the fibers apart to make a thin, rectangular layer that measures approximately 5 by 7 inches.

4) Add another layer on top of the first, alternating the direction of the fibers.

5) Repeat until you have four layers. Using different colors for each layer will create a marbled effect.

6) Place the egg on top of the rectangle of wool and wrap the wool around it, as if you were rolling a burrito: fold the top and bottom inward over the narrow ends of the egg, then wrap the roving around the middle of the egg.


7) With your hands cupped around the egg, dip it in the bowl of hot water.

8) Very gently, and keeping your hands cupped around the egg, move it back and forth between your hands. Resist the urge to squeeze. Continue lightly patting and rolling the egg in your hands for 2-3 minutes until you start to feel the wool shrinking to the shape of the egg. Initially, it will feel like a soggy mass of fibers, then a wrinkled mess, but eventually it will shrink.

9) Once the wool has shrunk, apply more pressure and roll the egg between your palms, as if you were rolling a ball of clay or dough. If the surface gets too soapy, rinse the egg in cool water. You can rub the egg on a bamboo mat, sheet of bubble wrap or metal cooling rack to add more friction. Continue until the egg feels firm, approximately 5 minutes.

10) Rinse egg under cold water to remove soap.

11) Allow eggs to dry for 1-2 days.

12) If desired, use small, sharp scissors to cut through the felt and remove the plastic eggs.



1) Follow steps 1-6 above.

2) Cut a 6-inch tube from a pantyhose leg and tie a knot in one end.

3) Carefully insert the wool-wrapped egg into the tube and tie another knot at the open end.

4) Continue with step 7 above. After a few minutes, when you see some of the fibers poking through the mesh pantyhose, remove the egg and continue felting by hand, following steps 9-12.



1) Follow steps 1-6 above.

2) Cut one leg off a pair of pantyhose.

3) Carefully insert one wool-wrapped egg into the toe of the pantyhose and tie a knot.

4) Continue adding wool-wrapped eggs, tying a knot between each one.

5) Throw the bundle of eggs in the washing machine with a little bit of laundry detergent. A lingerie bag or pillowcase is helpful for containing lint. Run through a hot-water cycle.

6) Carefully remove the eggs from the hose and allow to dry.


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