Our Wombles enthusiasm started when I told my kids about the Wombles stories I knew from my childhood and how my Mum had made my eldest a ‘Womble bag’ for collecting. The Wombles actually have ‘Tidy bags’, but my youngest were more interested in having a bag they could use to collect things they find on a walk. They were made from bits we had lying around – of course.
The Wombling bags led to a Womble themed birthday so I began to make small wombles as cake decorations for the birthday cake.
Needle felting with what you have
We wanted 8 characters (for an eighth birthday) but I only had a small amount of wool roving that I have ‘inherited’ and I quickly realised that I didn’t have enough to make solid figures. I improvised by using old (but clean) dish sponges cut up to save wool in the centre of the bodies and the heads. I divided up the only orange I had and used that sparingly to cover the faces. The white I used to build the shapes with and the grey on the surface were carefully rationed out.
To help them stand I made each base heavier by adding a couple of washers or old coins.
I didn’t have any black wool so I made do by mixing brown and dark blue together.
The kids helped to choose colours and decide on clothes, and had a quick go without stabbing themselves.
Clutched in grubby hands, these first three are cherished already.
They made it onto a Wimbledon Common cake, and it was a good job I didn’t finish all eight in time because they wouldn’t have fitted! And would you believe? Great Uncle Bulgaria fell in the icing!
This project finally got finished in 2022 which you can read about here.
If you’ve not come across the Wombles stories before, they’re characters in a series of storybooks by British author Elisabeth Beresford that she started writing in the 1960’s (plus TV & music that followed). The stories are about creatures who live in a burrow on Wimbledon Common, London.