Wet felt bags

Wet felt bags DEFAULT

How to Wet Felt a Shoulder Bag on a Ball

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials and techniques are as individual as she is—unique, experimental and always interesting.

About This Project

This charming shoulder bag was made by covering an inflatable Gertie Ball with woollen fibres. In this case, fibres from some Jacob's fleece were used along with a little decorative Merino Wool fibres. A tumble dryer was used to felt the wool.

Alternatively, the project could be bounced on a hard waterproof surface until the wool inside the tights felts firmly together.

An alternative might be to use Merino Wool fibres for the whole of this project. Merino wool will produce a firmer felt.

The plain brown shoulder bag shown below was made using one layer of Jacob's fleece and one layer of merino wool fibers. The finish from the Jacob's fleece has a little fluffy appearance. Merino wool will provide a smoother surface. I recommend that you use Merino wool roving, especially if this is your first felting project.

Things You Will Need to Complete This Project

  • Merino Wool Roving
  • A Gertie ball
  • A felting needle
  • Matching embroidery thread
  • A needle felting sponge (if decorating your bag with needle felting)
  • Hot, soapy water (Dishwashing liquid or Olive Oil soap, grated and dissolved)
  • 1 Recycled purse frame - alternatively you can use a new one which should measure about 20 cm
  • A large bowl similar to the stainless steel one below
  • A tumble dryer


Remove a purse frame from a suitable bag. I used an evening bag which I bought cheaply on eBay with a curved frame.

Gather the items required together and place them on a suitable waterproof surface. A small marble table was used here.

Jacob's Fleece and a Gertie Ball

A Note on Using Jacob's Fleece for This Project

I recommend that you use Merino Wool Roving for this Project. It is much harder wearing and a lot easier to felt. Jacob's Fleece tends to be difficult to felt and the end product is too soft for everyday use.

How to Start

Begin by flattening out the Merino wool fibers. The Jacob's fleece shown here were professionally done in preparation for spinning, rather than felting but you can easily flatten our your wool roving.

Wrap a piece around the ball and pull it off with just a little overlap as shown below. Needle felt the piece together with a felting needle. Don't let the needle touch the ball—use the needle sideways as shown below, just a few pricks of the needle should secure it enough to keep the wool together.

Needle Felting the First Piece Together as Shown

Needle Felting the Fibers Together

When you attach the fibers to the one another, take care not to overlap the layers too much. You don't want to create thick areas.

1st Layer - Needle Felting the Wool Together

Twice Around the Ball, Keeping the Layers Even

Fill in the Areas Which Were Left Exposed

After having wrapped the wool twice around the ball, fill in the gaps, overlapping the edges but not covering over the wool so that areas become too thick. The idea is to keep the layers completely even throughout this project.

Almost Covered in Wool

The First Layer

The first layer is now complete. Smooth it down with your hands, needle felt the odd pieces which stick out, and then cover the first layer with another layer in exactly the same way.

One Layer of Wool

The Second Layer

As can be seen here, the first layer has been completely covered with the Jacob's fleece. Remember to flatten out the wool as you go along. Make sure it covers the ball evenly. Putting the layers down evenly, determines the thickness or thinness of your layers—gaps mean that could end up with holes or thin spots on your bag.

Covering the First Layer With Jacobs's Fleece

The Completed Second Layer

Smooth down the wool. Needle felt the odd pieces which stick out and take care not to puncture the Gertie Ball.

The Second Layer Covering the Ball

Add a Little Color

Add a little color as desired. Alternatively make a little flower later and attach it to the shoulder bag once it is complete.

Alternatively, felt the purse in the tumble dryer until it is felted. Cut the opening as shown below. Remove the ball and needle felt as desired. . Remember to insert a piece of felting foam in the cavity before you start sticking the needle through. You don't want to needle felt your fingers.

Insert the Gertie Ball and inflate it whilst it is inside the felt bag but don't inflate it completely. Leave a space around the ball. Place it into the stocking, tie it up and put it back into the tumble dryer. The wool will shrink down to the required size around the ball.

Adding a Little Color/Or Alternatively, Keep It Plain

Another Way!

Getting the Ball into Those Tights/The Easy Way

Pull the Tights onto the Chair and Push the Ball Right up into Them

Ball in the Tights, Unknotted at This Stage

Oh Dear! All Trussed up like a Chicken!

Knot the Loose Ends Together (Loosely)

Hot Soapy Water

Fill the bottom of a stainless steel bowl with hot soapy water and dunk the project in the water.

Press down on the fibers until the ball feels firm underneath your fingers. Tie the knots so that the project is now firmly placed into the tights.

A Stainless Steel Bowl and Some Dish-Washing Liquid

Dunk Project into the Hot Soapy Water

Open the Knots and Tie Again Firmly

When the wool is completely wet through, open the knots and allow the project to hang over the bowl, The ball will sink lower into the stocking, knot it firmly, and insert it into the tumble dryer.

Holding the Project over the Bowl Before Tying the Knots Again

Squeeze out Any Excess Water

Squeeze any excess water from the project and remove any excess water with a towel.

If you don't wish to use a tumble dryer, bounce on a waterproof surface until the fibers have felted together.

Children love bouncing the ball on a table-top but when they get bored and tired. The tumble dryer will felt the ball in no time at all.

Bounce on a Waterproof Surface or Put It into the Tumble Dryer

Find the Center for the Bag Opening

Use a tape measure and mark a distance of around 20 cm. Measure the curved distance on your recycled bag frame—this should give you about the correct distance.

Mark the Cutting Line

Measure the Cutting Line

It should be around 20 cm—the distance across your curved purse frame.

Mark the Cutting Line with a Tape Measure

Cut Through the 1st Layer

Cut carefully with a sharp pair of needles. Try to cut through the first layer without cutting through to the ball. The next step is to expose the ball without making a hole in it.

Cut Through with a Pair of Sharp Scissors

Wet the Ball in Hot and Cold Water

Once the ball is exposed, wet the ball with hot soapy water. Massage the cut edges until they begin to harden, rinse in hot and cold water. If you are not using the tumble dryer, hit the ball on a hard surface until it shrinks back and becomes smaller.

If using the tumble dryer, wet, massage the edges, insert the Gertie Ball, inflate the ball so that it sits quite loosely into the bag. Put the stocking on and put it back into the tumble dryer. It will soon shrink to the size of the ball and you will then be ready to sew on the metal purse frame.

The Gertie Ball Inserted, but Slightly Deflated

The Tumble Dryer

Once the deflated ball is inserted into the felt base, put into the stocking and inserted into the dryer, the wool will shrink back against the ball. Once this happens, you can deflate the ball, remove it, and complete the purse by sewing on the frame.

Two Wet Felted Shoulder Bags - Made Using a Gertie Balloon

Recycle a Purse Frame!

Remove the frame and sew it into the opening of the shoulder bag with matching or contrasting embroidery thread as desired.

Removing the Metal Frame from the Old Purse

Choosing the Right Type of Frame for the Purse

The purse frame should be one which has perforated holes through which one can sew on with thread. It should not be one which needs to be glued to the bag.

If you want to add a bag lining, please see the simple bag lining below which was removed from the bag.

Sewing on the Purse Frame

Fold the felt bag in half and draw around it to get the right shape for your lining. Sew around the fabric as shown, turn the lining inside out and sew a row of stitching on the right side so that the bottom edge is over-sewn for strength.

The Recycled Metal Purse Frame Removed

A View of the Holes

The metal holes through which the bag can be attached with a needle and embroidery thread.

Metal Shoulder Purse Finding (Close-Up) Stitching

Sours: https://feltmagnet.com

About the Course

This course teaches everything you need to create a beautiful wool felt handbag using an innovative Felt Bag on a Ball 3D resist wet felting technique. Join Natasha on this step-by-step video tutorial journey, packed with clear instruction and tips. Suitable for beginners as well as existing feltmakers who want to develop their wet felting skills by learning a new technique.

Learn how to:

  • Wet felt with a 3D ball resist to create a seamless hollow felt bag form.
  • Work with wool batt fibre and a variety of surface design embellishment materials.
  • Design your own bag completely, from colours and pattern to the final shape.
  • Create felted-in strap tabs and an internal phone pocket.
  • Give your bag a professional finish with a hand-sewn clasp.
  • Make an alternative bag with a flap closure.

The course includes:

  • Online self-paced learning.
  • Clear instructional videos showing every step of the process.
  • Downloadable and printable PDFs on equipment/materials/suppliers plus a quick course reference guide with key measurements.
  • Tips and advice to avoid common mistakes and make your feltmaking a success.
  • Creative community and support via a private Facebook group.
  • Unlimited access to the course.

This course is for you if:

  • You’re a feltmaker who has always wanted to learn how to work with a 3D ball resist.
  • You’d like to expand your existing wet felting skills to work with different wool fibres and embellishment materials.
  • You’re new to wet felting but you’d love to learn by making a really great end product.
  • You’d like to design and create your own shaped wool felt handbag.


  • How much does the course cost?

    The course costs £75, which is a one-time payment for instant, unlimited access. You can make payment either by credit card or PayPal.

  • Where can I buy a felting ball?

    If you're based in the US, you can purchase a ball directly from US supplier Living Felt (www.livingfelt.com). If you're in the UK or Europe, you can purchase a ball from my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/NatashaSmartTextiles). For all other locations, please choose whichever is likely to be easiest/quickest delivery for you (I deliver the balls worldwide apart from to the US).

  • Can I use any wool fibre to make the bag?

    Yes and No. You can use any breed of sheep wool fibre but it is essential for the felting on a ball process to work that you use your main wool fibre in batt form (rather than tops or roving). However, you can use a small amount of wool fibres in any form (including tops or roving) as part of the surface design embellishment for your bag.

  • Do I need any other specialist equipment?

    Not specialist but repurposed! You'll need tights/pantyhose and a couple of plastic washing-up bowls or similar.

  • How long is the course?

    The course is divided into 22 separate videos, each ranging in length from 5 to 25 minutes. Total video instruction time is just over 5.5 hours. You can watch at your own pace and repeat or revisit videos as much as you like.

  • How long will it take to make a bag?

    It varies, but you will need at least 7 hours or one day to wet felt your bag. However you can split this into stages, so you can make your bag over several days if you prefer.

Course Curriculum

  • 1
    • Welcome and Introduction to the Course

    • Felt Bag on a Ball Handout 1 - Equipment, Materials and Stockists

    • Felt Bag on a Ball Handout 2 - Course Reference Guide and Measurements

  • 2
    • 1 Preparing the Felting Ball

    • 2 Assembling and Preparing Your Equipment

    • 3 Choosing and Preparing Your Materials

  • 3
    • Layout 1 Adding Your Design

    • Layout 2 Adding Wool Fibre

    • Layout 3 Adding Side Tabs

  • 4
    • Felting 1 Rubbing and Pushing the Ball

    • Felting 2 Bouncing the Ball

    • Felting 3 Removing the Ball

    • Fulling 1 Throwing and Shaping

    • Fulling 2 Rinsing and Final Shaping

  • 5
  • 6
    • Alternate Bag 1 Nuno Design Layout

    • Alternate Bag 2 Art Batt Design Layout

    • Alternate Bag 3 Fulling and Shaping

    • Alternate Bag 4 The Finished Bag

  • 7
    • Final Thoughts and Next Steps

  • 8
    • Flap Bag 2 Flap and Fibre Layout

    • Flap Bag 3 Felting and Fulling

    • Flap Bag 4 Finishing the Bag

Meet Your Teacher

Natasha Smart

Hello, I’m Natasha Smart, I’m a wet felting artist and teacher based on the UK south coast in Devon. I’ve been wet felting for over 15 years and running in-person felting workshops for the last 12. My passion is for creating structural and practical wool felted products, like bags, bowls and lampshades, embellished with my signature seascape-inspired textural patterns. I've developed much of my work using an innovative 3D ball resist felting method, which I regularly teach on my workshops. I love creating new wet felted designs and sharing my felting skills and knowledge with others to help them create beautiful felt items too. I also enjoy developing my own wet felting skills and have been a member of the International Feltmakers Association since 2008.

Sours: https://natasha-smart-textiles-felting-courses.thinkific.com/courses/felt-bag-on-a-ball
  1. Pharaoh tattoo
  2. Rev 109 wheels
  3. Free printable vintage christmas cards
  4. Stacking basket bins

How to Make a Wet Felted Spiral Bag

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials and techniques are as individual as she is—unique, experimental and always interesting.

Creativity Comes at a Price

All creativity comes with a price, which can be a major factor when deciding what to make, whether it be for the craft market or your own personal use. Pricing is something that deserves some discussion. When you factor in how long it takes to make an item, the reality is that, even at the minimum wage, you may not be able to cover your costs. This is when you start to realise how important it is to get your supplies at the right price.

The Shetland wool used in this project was gifted to me by a friend, and, as such, it came free, but the wool still had to be washed and then carded using a Drum Carder. Now, that really is an expensive item which, when you add this to the cost, will need to be used many times in order to pay for itself. A much cheaper option would be to use a pair of hand carders!

Botany Waste Yarn Is a Bargain

Factor in the time and the soap which is used to wash and process the wool and you will start to realise that the 500 grammes of glorious coloured Botany Waste Yarn purchased from World of Wool for only £12.00 was a bargain and a great alternative—unless, of course, you have your own sheep, but even those will need to be fed.

A Note of Caution!

Botany Waste does not always consist of wool only. What you receive can sometimes be potluck. Some of the fibre you receive may be superwashed and this might take a long time to felt on its own. Some may not felt at all but combined with merino or shetland this should not be a problem. Use the tumble dryer for a little assistance.

Things Needed

  • Three wool batts (Shetland wool) raw wool washed and carded on a drum carder
  • Botany Waste wool, which is available from World of Wool or Amazon. This can be used for the entire bag, if desired.
  • A heavy-duty bamboo blind
  • Curtain netting
  • Bubble wrap
  • A bag template which can be made from floor underlay or bubble wrap
  • Dish washing liquid or grated olive oil soap diluted in warm water with a squeeze bottle
  • A marker pen
  • A ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing thread and a needle

Step 1: Make the Template

  • Trace the bag template onto bubble wrap or plastic floor underlay. The plastic template consists of 2 parts, the main body of the bag and 1 bag flap.
  • Cut the 2 pieces out and tape them together as shown.

Allow for Shrinkage

The actual templates size should be made with the understanding that they will need to be drawn 30 to 40 percent larger than the size of the bag you intend creating to allow for shrinkage.

Step 2: Cover Side One With One Wool Batt

  • Cover the lower bag section of the template with 1 wool Batt.
  • The wool should reach to the yellow tape line shown in the image.

Step 3: Cover With Curtain Netting

Add warm soapy water to the surface of the netting.

Step 4: Rub Gently

  • Press down on the surface and push the water out towards the edges.
  • Rub gently.

Step 5: Remove the Net Curtain

When the fibres are flat, rub them gently for a little while and then remove the curtain netting carefully being careful not to dislodge the fibres below.

Step 6: Neaten the Top Edge

Fold over the top edge to form a neat straight line which will become the bag opening.

Step 7: Check the Bottom Half of the Template

The bottom half of the template is now covered with wool and is ready to be turned over.

Step 8: Turn the Template Over

The loose fibres are now ready to be folded over the edge of the template

Step 9: Neaten the Edges

  • Turn the loose fibres over the edges of the template.
  • Use hot soapy water to make the process easier.

Step 10: Cover the Second Side With Wool

Use the 2nd wool batt to cover the lower half of the template with wool.

Step 11: Cover With Netting

Cover the lower half with the curtain netting.

Step 12: Cover the Bag Flap With Wool

Use the 3rd Batt to cover the flap with wool taking care to shape those areas which need to be shaped.

Step 13: Cover With Netting

  • Cover and wet the wool as before.

Step 14: Turn the Project Over

  • Turn the project over and shape the edges as shown.
  • Keep a loose piece of wool dry in the area shown.

Step 15: Remove the Template

  • Shape the dry wool as shown. It will be used to add more fibre to create the spiral.
  • The template should be pushed down onto the wet wool to create a mark which can be followed in order to shape the rest of the flap when it is removed.

Step 16: Strengthen the Bag Flap

  • Add a line of wool across the lower edge of the flap.
  • This additional wool should be added to strengthen the bag opening.

Step 17: Smooth Down the Fibres

  • Wet the fibres and smooth the surface as before.
  • Turn over the edges.

Step 18: Check the Strap Attachment Area

  • Cover the bag handle area with wool but do not felt this area properly until the bag strap can be attached.
  • Alternately, of course, you may wish to add a leather or metal handle to complete the bag in which case you can felt this area along with the whole of the bag.

Step 19: Lift the Template

  • Expose the bag opening and you can see the straightened edge.
  • You can add another thin strip to strengthen the edge or add one later using botany waste wool as I did.

Step 20: Turn the Template Over and Add Botany Waste Fibres

  • Turn the template over and begin covering the surface as desired with the botany waste fibres as shown.
  • The wool roving can be opened out and put down in long strips in order to retain the design of the dyed wool
  • This final fairly thick even layer will become the surface design of the bag.

Step 21: Start at the Flap

  • Leave a length of roving long enough to make the spiral and start at the pointed end of the bag flap.
  • This length of roving should be attached to the loose fibres which were left over from the brown layer as shown below.

Step 22—Shape the Spiral

Continue adding the decorative fibres to the surface of the bag.

Step 23: Smooth and Roll the Flap and Spiral

  • Cover the flap with decorative fibres and form the spiral.
  • Add warm soapy water and smooth out the coloured fibres.
  • Roll the spiral piece gently between your hands.
  • Once formed you should roll it on the bubble wrap and work this area until the fibres are stable.

Step 24: Neaten the Interior

  • Allow the wool to extend a little way down into the top edge of the bag for a neat look. Alternatively, work up and until the edge and finish the bag off by adding a lining to the inside once it is completed.
  • Only add a fine layer of fibres to the underside of the flap as this will end up being much thicker than the rest of the bag if you don't.

Step 25: Neaten the Edges

  • Fold the wool roving over and under the opening.
  • Add a further layer to the top edge of the bag to strengthen the opening.
  • Alternatively you may wish to add the wool to the underside of the opening.

Step 26: Rub Well

  • Rub the project until the fibres no longer move beneath your fingers.
  • Roll the project inside a bamboo mat or roll it up within itself roll and roll on the surface of a bamboo blind or a sheet of bubble wrap.

Step 27: Make the Strap

  • Put down a line of Shetland wool.
  • The length should be 30 to 40 percent longer than the desired finished length.

Step 28: Open Out the Bag Attachment Area

  • Attach the loose fibres to one another in the bag attachment area.
  • Wet and cover with bubble wrap.
  • Rub both sides of the join until the fibres no longer move.
Sours: https://feltmagnet.com
3D Wet Felting Tutorial : How to Felt a 3D Bag by Gillian Harris from Gilliangladrag

This small purse is a good project for beginners to learn how to make felt and how to make seamless felted items with a resist. Don’t worry too much about how your first attempt turns out, because with any new craft your first piece may be a bit wobbly, but you’ll learn a lot about making felt, so just have a go and have fun! 

Blue bag tutorial main photo

Materials and equipment needed:

  • 100g merino wool top in the main colour – you choose!
  • Few wisps of merino wool in accent colours for decoration - optional
  • 2 pieces small-bubble, bubble-wrap approx 70cm x 70cm 
  • 1 piece of small-bubble, bubble-wrap approx 20cm x 20cm
  • 2 pieces of tutu net approx 60cm x 60cm
  • Piece of thin plastic, 27cm x 34cm – laminate floor underlay is good, but any smooth plastic can be used to make a resist (template that is used to form the bag)
  • Bamboo rolling mat – 61cms wide – we use a cheap window blinds with the fittings removed
  • Clean, plastic 1 litre milk container with holes punched in the lid
  • Bar of soap – olive oil soap is the best, but any soap will do
  • An old towel

Materials and equipment tutorial

Before you start you’ll need to prepare your wool, resist and soap solution:

Merino wool top looks like a very loose rope of fibres.  Pull off a piece about 90cms long then split it down the middle, lengthwise, to make two easy-to-use lengths.

To pull off a tuft of wool, hold a length 10-12cms from the end, and with your other hand, grip the end of the length between your fingertips and your palm, then pull gently – if you pull too hard the wool will resist you.

This purse will be made from 8 layers of wool fibres (4 each side of the resist) and each layer should use approx 12.5 grams of wool.

Merino wool will shrink by about 30% when it’s felted, but the exact amount of shrinkage will depend on many factors.

The finished size of the purse will be about 19cm wide by 24cm high.

A ‘resist’ prevents two layers of wool from felting together and this is what gives you the ability to make 3D shapes, by allowing wool fibres to only felt together around the edges of the resist.

To make the resist for this purse:  Cut a rectangle of plastic 27cm x 34cm, then round the corners as shown in the first photo below.  Sharp corners are difficult to felt over.

You may find it easier to cut a paper template first.  By folding a piece of paper in half and drawing just one side before cutting, you will get identical sides when you unfold the paper.

To make a soap solution: Get a clean, plastic, 1 litre milk container and punch holes in the lid to make a shaker.  Grate a bar of soap to get 2 rounded dessertspoonsful, put it into the plastic container and add a few fluid ounces of very hot water to dissolve the grated soap, then two-thirds fill the container with warm water.

How to make the purse, step-by-step

1. Choose a suitable work surface – one that can tolerate water – and place an old towel on it.  Put one piece of 70cm x 70cm bubble-wrap, bubbles up, on the towel, then put the plastic resist in the middle of the bubble-wrap.

Step 1 tutorial

2. Pull a fine tuft of wool from your length of roving and lay it on the edge of the resist, half on and half off. 

Step 2a tutorial

Continue to place tufts, half on and half off the edge, all around the resist like a fringe.

Step 2b tutorial

3. Pull a tuft of wool just a little thicker than you did for the fringe and place it at the top left-hand side of the resist, with the fibres running north to south (vertically).  Working from left to right, continue to lay tufts of wool to make a complete row, slightly overlapping each tuft. 

Keep to within the shape of the resist.

Step 3a tutorial

Continue laying rows, slightly overlapping, until the resist is covered.

Step 3b tutorial


Step 3c tutorial

4. Place one piece of tutu netting over the wool, then sprinkle soapy water onto the wool through the net.  The wool needs to be wet but not dripping-wet. 

Without disturbing the fibres, carefully place your hands onto the net and push down all over the resist, lifting your hands straight up and placing them straight down, until the wool is flat with no air pockets or dry fibres.

If there is too much water, use a small sponge to mop up the excess – push the sponge gently onto the net in a straight down and up movement.

Going in one direction only and holding on to the net with one hand, draw a bar of soap over the top of the net.

Step 4 tutorial

Without disturbing the fibres, gently rub a piece of scrunched up bubble-wrap (20cm x 20cm) in a circular motion over the wool on the resist (through the net) for about 30 seconds – do not rub the fringe. 

Rubbing through net

5. Carefully remove the net, releasing any trapped fibres, then cover the resist and wool with the other piece of 70cm x 70cm piece of bubble-wrap, bubble side to the wool.

You now have a ‘sandwich’ with bubble-wrap under and over the wool. 

Gently push down to get a bit of a ‘seal’ and firmly grip the right-hand side of the bubble-wrap and wool ‘sandwich’ and flip it over east to west, supporting the resist as necessary with your left hand, so that the resist is now flipped over but the top and bottom of the resist are still the top and bottom. 

Carefully remove the top layer of bubble-wrap, releasing any trapped fibres.

Step 5 tutorial

6. With wet, soapy fingers, wrap the wool fringe onto the resist – the edges should not be baggy.

Step 6 tutorial

7. Repeat steps 2 – 6 on this side of the resist. You will then have one layer of wool on each side of the resist.

8. Now you need to put one fringe and two layers of wool on this side of the resist.

As before, lay a fringe of wool around the resist.

Cover the resist with rows of wool, but this time the fibres should run west to east (horizontally). 

Then make a second layer of rows on top of the first, but with the fibres running north to south (vertically).

Repeat steps 4-6.

9. Repeat step 8.  You now have 3 layers of wool either side of the resist.

10. The purse needs four layers of wool on each side of the resist. 

To add the fourth layer to this side of the resist, repeat steps 2–6, with the fibres running west to east (horizontally).

The fourth and final layer to the other side of the resist requires no fringe.  Just a layer of wool with the fibres running west to east (horizontally).  You will get a tiny bit of ‘overhang’ so just tuck those ends round as you did the fringe.

11. You now have a resist covered on both sides with 4 layers of wool.

Step 11 tutorial

12. This step is optional – you can add decoration if you choose.  There are many ways to decorate felt and this is just one way.

Pull off a lengthwise, very narrow strip of fibres (in a different colour to that used for the purse) to the length you want.  Holding one end, dip it through a saucer of soapy water then lay it onto the purse.

Pulling wool through soapy water
Please note that, for clarity of demonstration, the photo shows a much bigger piece of wool being dipped through the water than you would use for the purse.

This decoration is made from seven strips of white with thinner strips of various colours on top.

Step 12 tutorial

Place a piece of tutu net over the wool and very carefully draw a wet bar of soap over the top.  With the piece of scrunched up bubble-wrap, rub in a gentle circular motion for a minute to set the decoration.


13. This is the next step whether you decorated your purse or not.  Cover the purse with a piece of tutu netting and draw a bar of wet soap over the top.  Using the scrunched up bubble-wrap, rub it all over in a circular motion for five minutes paying some attention to the edges/sides.

Mop up any excess water with a sponge – as the wool starts to felt it releases some water.

Carefully remove the net, releasing any trapped fibres, then cover with bubble-wrap and flip it over.

14. Repeat step 13 three more times.

15. Now it’s time to roll your purse in the bamboo mat.  The mat provides friction to help the wool fibres tangle together.

Lay out the bamboo mat on an old towel and roll one end up tightly to make a ‘rod’ as shown in the photo.

Place one piece of tutu netting on the bamboo mat and place the purse on it then cover with the other piece of tutu netting.

Step 15 tutorial

16. Roll the bamboo blind and purse up tightly, like a swiss roll.  

Step 16a tutorial

Roll back and forth 50 times – count one roll as the distance the mat moves as it rolls from your fingertips to wrists and back again.

Unroll the purse and smooth and flatten it.

Turn it 90° and repeat the rolling.  Do this twice more so that the purse has been rolled from all four sides.

Then turn the purse over and repeat the rolling process on that side.

Continue until you can’t flatten the purse anymore i.e. when the resist has buckled because the felt is shrinking.

Step 16b tutorial

17. Now’s the time to remove the resist.  Using sharp scissors, cut across the top of the bag (through both layers of wool and the resist) along the line that connects the points where the sides curve over (about 1.5cms from the top).  The resist will pop out a little now.  Make your hands very soapy and rub along the cut edges with your fingertips using small side-to-side movements, on both sides of the bag, in the direction of the cut until the edges seal together.

Step 17 tutorial

With very soapy hands, remove the resist and rub around the whole of the inside of the purse for a minute.  You should also rub the sides, with one soapy hand inside the purse and the other on the outside, to smooth them.

Put the purse back on the bamboo mat, smooth it out and place between layers of netting. Roll the mat up like a swiss roll, as before, and roll it back and forth 50 times.  Unroll the purse, smooth and flatten it, turn it 90° and repeat the rolling. 

Do this twice more so that the purse has been rolled from all four sides.

Then turn the purse over, check that the inside is not starting to felt together, and repeat the rolling process on that side.

18. Now take the purse to the kitchen sink.  Place a piece of bubble wrap, bubble side up, on the draining board.  Draw a bowl of warm water and put the purse in it.  When the wool is really wet, lift it from the water and rub a bar of soap generously all over it, inside and out – the soap will prevent friction damage to the felt.  Place the purse on the bubble-wrap and with one hand inside the purse, rub it around over the bubble-wrap (like using a washboard on your clothes).  This will shrink and harden the felt so be sure to rub the purse evenly all over.  After a few minutes you should notice a difference.  Rinse the purse in warm water then gently squeeze it out – never wring it.

19. Take the purse back to the bamboo mat.  Straighten the purse out and replace it between the netting.  Roll, as in step 17, until it’s shrunk to approx 19cms x 24cms.  If necessary, you can repeat step 18.

20. When your purse is finished, cut the handles, making the top of the oval about 4cms down from the top of the purse.  Rub the cut edges with soapy fingers to seal them.

21. Rinse the purse in warm water until the water is clear.  Then soak the purse in cold water, with a generous dash of white vinegar, for 5 minutes.  Gently squeeze the water from the purse.  

22. Wash the netting and wipe the bamboo mat before giving the bag a final few rolls to smooth it out – about 10 rolls in 2 directions should be enough.

You can also stretch and pull it into shape.

23. Felt will keep the shape in which it’s dried, so dry the purse flat as demonstrated in the photo below.  You can make a simple drying rack from a piece of cross-stitch plastic canvas placed on top of a cake cooling rack.  Sit in in an oven tray to catch any drips. 

Blue bag on drying rack tutorial

The airing cupboard is a good place to dry your purse and when the purse is completely dry it’s ready to use.

This is a very simple felt purse, but having completed it you are now ready and confident to try felting other things or perhaps making a larger purse – have fun!

If you find that your felt purse is not firm or hard-wearing it’s because it hasn’t been fulled enough.

Fulling is the process of shrinking and hardening the felt – merino wool will shrink by about 30%.

If you liked this tutorial you might like our eBook How to Make 3D Felt Vessels that covers different resist methods and vessels of different shapes to really kickstart your adventures in 3D felt work!



Sours: https://rosiepink.typepad.co.uk/rosiepink/how-to-make-a-seamless-wet-felted-purse.html

Felt bags wet


Wet felting a seamless handbag - AMUSE by Anja Musek


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