Alex’s Christmas Stocking

Alex’s Christmas Stocking

About welshfelters

Hello, my name is Lisa, and this is my son Alex, who has Down’s Syndrome. We live in Swansea, South Wales in the UK. We started learning to Wet Felt when Alex moved back home during the Covid 19 pandemic.

We were thinking about what to make for our first post, and decided (as it’s Christmas) we would have a go at making a Christmas stocking. Alex and I are really new to felting. We got into our new hobby quite literally because of the Covid 19 lockdown! Alex usually lives with a group of other young people, who have additional learning needs like himself, but because he has a lot of complex health issues, everyone decided it would be safer for him if he moved back home to live with his Mum. Since March 2020 when he returned home to live, we have tried lots of new activities, including gardening, art and felting! Alex really enjoys his new felting hobby, as it is something he can do on an equal footing to everyone else. It is giving him such a lot of pleasure, because he gains such a sense of achievement, and we have discovered that felting is something that is fun and it’s also something we can do together! The first thing we made was a sample! Not quite knowing how it would turn out, we decided just to play and have fun. That 12″ square of felt turned out pretty well and we were eager to try making something we could use. Alex loves colouring, and has amassed huge quantities of felt pens and other ‘tools’, so our next project was a pencil case. That turned out really well but it was large…larger than we planned! So it is now being used to hold his many small tubs of modelling dough instead! Having tried a few more projects, we have reached Christmas time! So, here is our latest project – Alex’s Christmas Stocking!

The resist…

First, we drew a template of a Christmas Stocking, which we then cut out to form the resist. I have drawn the dimensions of the template on the resist for you to see both in inches and cm.

The resist was quite large! I think Alex is very hopeful that Santa will fill it to the brim!!

The next stage was to start laying down some wool batt. We chose red and white wool for our project, as red is one of Alex’s favourite colours! I can’t tell you how much wool we used, because Alex likes to do things his own way! So we just went with the flow!!

Laying the first layer of wool!

We started to apply our wool, firstly around the edges and then filling in the middle…

That’s one side laid out!

We layered the wool vertically on the first layer and horizontally on the second layer. As you can see, we made a novice’s error here. We took the wool right up to the top of the resist!! We found that we had to insert another piece of resist in the top once we started felting, to make it longer and to ensure we didn’t end up felting the back of the stocking to the front! But Ho! Ho!; we’re only learning!!!

After we had finished layering our wool, we placed netting on top and applied our soapy water using a sponge. Then we gently rubbed the wool with our hands for while, gently agitating the fibres until they had started to felt together. Alex loves this part and gets really enthusiastic! Then, we turned the boot over to start the other side…

Time to start laying the wool on side 2

We repeated the layering, and after applying some net, we got started on the felting of side two.

Now we’re starting to get somewhere!

Alex can’t wait to start working with his palm sander, which was a beautiful gift to him from Robbin Firth at Heartfelt Silks https://heartfeltsilks.com/shop/
Alex loves to get stuck in!

Alex really enjoys this part of the activity because he can see things are starting to take shape!

Now the workout gets going!

I have to say, this is truly Alex’s favourite part of wet felting. He gets really stuck in with the rolling, and smiles like a Cheshire cat as he’s counting the number of rolls he does! He also knows we are nearly at the end, and he gets quite excited to see the finished project!

And after rolling, then fulling, this is how we ended up! We decided to decorate the stocking with a needle felted Snowman. Alex had his first go at needle felting, and he made the snowman and I did the fiddly bits!

Alex’s first attempt at needle felting!

And now, to see the final project! Alex is really pleased with his ‘oversized’ Christmas Stocking!!  I think there’s a definite bonus to the large Christmas stocking – it holds so much more!!!!!  We hope you like it as much as he does! And here it is on the fireplace, all ready for Santa to arrive!!!!! ‘Nadolig Llawen bawb’, Merry Christmas everyone, love from Alex and Lisa

36 thoughts on “Alex’s Christmas Stocking

  1. Well done Alex! Wet felting a stocking of that size isn’t an easy task. It’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing your photos of your felting process for us all to enjoy and learn from.

    Your stocking looks grand hanging in the fireplace and let’s hope that Santa’s elves are working hard because it’s a big stocking to fill.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi, thank you!!! Yes, it was larger than we expected but Alex is really happy with it 🙂

    2. What a heartwarming story….thank you for sharing it…. Merry Christmas from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, US

  2. Wow Alex, you are a natural. That’s one amazing stocking. You will have to try some smaller ones and make some slippers for yourself next. Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope that stocking was full.

    1. Thank you, yes, slippers are definitely on his list (once we have had some more practice!!)

  3. This is really wonderful to see Alex making such a lovely Xmas sock🎄🎄🎄🧑‍🎄🧑‍🎄🙌🙌🙌 great job!!!

  4. What a fabulous Christmas stocking! Also I love all the detail with the snowman. Well done Alex. You are very creative. Can’t wait to see your next project. Happy Christmas 🎅🌲

  5. You and Alex have done a fabulous job with this stocking. You comment that the pencil case turned out large. The stocking also doesn’t look like it has shrunk much. Since you are new to felting are you aware that the wool should shrink approximately 30-40%? I’m wondering if you know about the fulling stage? You can read more information on it but after felting if you crumple, lift and drop the item over and over it encourages the fibers to tighten together. This can also be achieved in really hot water or letting it have a tumble in your drier on no heat. (Your item must be wet and warm. Soap can help too!) Enjoy learning and playing with felt. Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Jill, yes you’re right, I think we could have shrunk it more as it only shrunk 3″ in each direction. It’s something to look out for next time, thank you. Merry Christmas to you and your family too 🙂

    1. Thank you, yes, it was great fun to do together! Felting is making some very special memories!! 🙂

  6. Wow, well done Alex! The stocking looks great and I’m sure all that hard work will be rewarded when it gets opened in the morning! Hope you both have a lovely Christmas and looking forward to following your felting journey.

    1. Thanks Karen, wishing you a lovely Christmas too. We’re looking forward to contributing more in 2021 🙂

  7. Welcome Lisa and Alex! What a great first post. The stocking is a perfect subject for Christmas Eve. I hope Santa is very generous and fills it to overflowing. I really enjoyed seeing Alex’s excitement for the felting process. I’m looking forward to following your felting journey together. Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you Ruth, he’s chuffed with all the lovely comments too!! He’s looking forward to seeing if full to the brim tomorrow morning!!!!!!! We’re looking forward to doing our next felting project 🙂

  8. Well done Alex and Lisa. You did a fabulous job on that stocking. Your enthusiasm reminds all of us why we love feltmaking so much and how happy we can feel when we make something fun. How lovely that you both have a felting partner too. Alex – you dd a great job making all your lovely wooly felt things and Lisa – you did a great job in doing the fiddly bits and sharing your makes with us.

    Cant think of a better way of expressing the Christmas spirit. Wishing you all a soft and cuddly Christmas / holiday.

    1. Thank you Lindsay, we had so much fun making the stocking!! It was great teamwork too! Alex is really enjoying his new hobby!!! Wishing you and your family a lovely Christmas 🙂

  9. A fabulous job! Well done. After Christmas you can still wet it again and full it. We use a large ribbed rubber mat in our workshops. I have missed felting this year and hope that you might join us on a workshop when it is safe to do so again. Am based in Swansea too! Small world. We stock Maori wool which is beautiful for wet felting and needle felting. Enjoy Christmas x

    1. Hi Rachel, thank you!!! Wow, it is a small world!!! We’d love to join you in your workshops, hopefully we can do that soon!!! Alex and I getting into felting has definitely been a positive, silver lining to our current situation. We haven’t tried Maori wool, be interesting to learn more. Have a lovely Christmas, look forward to meeting you soon 🙂

  10. Terrific job! Love the stocking and I really like how you marked out the measurements for us on your resist. So smart!

  11. Thank you! We thought it would be easier than trying to explain where we had measured! Glad you like the stocking. Merry Christmas, Lisa and Alex 🙂

  12. I hope you and Alex have a wonderful Christmas and Santa fills that lovely stocking right to the brim

  13. Lisa, it really shows you and Alex had fun with this project. I’m slightly envious of Alex’s strategy of getting a really big stocking, I should have done the same to see if the number of gifts would increase 😀
    Happy holidays!

    1. Thanks Leonor, we really did have fun! That stocking certainly held a lot of presents! Happy New year from us both.

  14. Great job Alex (and Lisa)! I have a feeling this is the first of many project we’ll see. I loved teaching my grandsons to felt. This would have been the year to teach my granddaughter and grandson in CA. I hope to be able to do it this year? Happy New Year!

  15. Than you, we are looking forward to making many more projects. Hopefully, 2021 will be a great year. Happy New Year!

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