Thursday, 8 July 2010

Wet felting in the garden!

Today i decided to have another go at wet felting. My idea was to make a sunflower wall hanging. All seemed to be going well until i realised the colours i thought would be great for the background were not working once it was almost felt.
So Ive decided I'll turn it into a bag.

I forgot to take a photo of the first part, laying out the wool tops and building up in layers before covering with cloth.

Here's the part where the wool is covered, wet with hot water and washing liquid applied. There's lots of squashing down and then loads of rubbing and shaping when it starts to distort. Takes ages but its great fun. Even better in the garden because you can splash loads.
The felt also shrinks a lot at this stage. I've heard by about 2o-30 percent though all the stages.

Every few mins the material has to be pulled back and repositioned to prevent the felt adhering to the cloth. Shrinks a bit more at this stage.
Looks a right mess at this stage and you think the magic will never happen.

Wrapped up and rolled in a tube. Then rolled about 100 times. Then opened, wrapped and rolled from the other side and another 100 roles. I did 400 in total. Shrinks again at this stage.

After this threes lots shaping, rinsing in hot and then cold, hot and cold and on and on in that kind of pattern. Then lots of chucking hard at floors about 30 or 40 time, before its finally ready. It once again shrinks a little more through the final stages.
It's meant to soak in white vinegar but i don't have any... think it will be OK.
Then its shaped and pulled a bit more and left to dry.

Here's the felt finished.

Kind of a bag shape... lord knows how I'll sew it together! I think I'll make some sides tomorrow and a strap. Plus i think I'll line the bag.

Close up!

I'll also be hand sewing patters onto the bag and adding other fibres for interest. Think I'll make buttons and bobbles for it too, lol

The sunflower in parts. I'm going to hand sew patterns on the petals and leaves, and add extra fibres. Tomorrow i'll felt a pot and the stalk and hand sew onto these too.
Annoyed because i'd love to make the background felt but will have to wait until i can buy more wool at the weekend.
Really happy with how these turned out and glad i combined several colours into the petals and leaves. I think with the right stitching and extra fibre they're going to be just how i imagined.
I also need to roll loads upon loads of tiny little balls in various colours for the middle.

I love wet felting to bits, it's absolutely the best craft Ive found! It's not one of the most expensive crafts (although time consuming), holds no boundaries and I've also discovered no set rules in its creation. Almost anything can be made with felt!
I've not followed all the rules i've been watching on you tube and also those i've read, and have adapted and changed slightly with what i have to hand. It's been fun finding my own way too!
I'm going to look for a sewing class locally. I'm no good at sewing and would like to be able to work on what i make to bring them a little more to life. I'm doubtful I'll find a class but its worth a try.

Promise I'll be back to miniatures soon. Think i just needed a break from them.


  1. Its come along nicely Nikki and it will make a great bag. I put mine in the tumble dryer as well (it also shrinks it a bit LOL).

    I like the colours.

    Not surprised you need a mini break, I did and it did me the world of good.

    Love those leaves and petals.

    Lorra Luffies

    Debie xxxxxx

  2. Wow, such a lot of work, but the end result is worth it. It turned out beautifully, Nikki, and the sunflower is going to be gorgeous!


  3. I love the colour's combinations both in the bag and the sunflower! Can't wait to see them finished:)

  4. Nikki I Love the colour's you've captured in the Leaves and Petals of your Sun Flower. I know its going to be wonderful when it finished. xxxx

  5. You have so much patience Nicky! They run wet felting workshops right by us in Capel , Surrey, but too far for you I suppose. I read it somewhere, and apparantly the woman owns a shop in Dorking just down the road from here so I must pop in to have a nose! Kate xx

  6. Thank you everyone!

    Its really good fun Kate. If i lived there that's where i'd be today, in that shop with a smile on my face.
    I think once you se felting up close you will be hooked too.

  7. wow- I love the background that will make the purse- but the sunflower...I am totally drooling over it already and you have not even added what you want to it yet! I have never tried this, but I love to needlefelt - it's just so relaxing and it does put a smile on your face. I can't wait to see more of that sunflower! Have a wonderful weekend- hope you get to do more felting!

  8. Wow Nikki...what a lot of work but so worth the end result.

    You should make these to sell as well.

    How do you get the patterns in it..I love it.

  9. Cannot wait to see it when it's finished. It's good to take a break from miniatures every so often refuels your imagaination and energy. I might have some felting wool at home you are most welcome to it if it helps your new projects.

  10. Oh it's beautiful! - isn't wool wonderful to work with? You've done the colour grading soooo well in the flower and leaves - love it to bits!!

  11. Wow! Wow! Wow! Incredible Nikki. I have been following the rabbit hole of Blogger today and stumbled upon your lovely Blog. I love the music, the Blog posts, and can't wait to see what comes next. I am now a follower. I hope you will stop by my humble little Blog "Heathers Meadow" sometime. Can't wait to see the completed bag.

  12. Hi Heather. Nice to meet you and also your new blog. Hope you enjoy blogging!
    Thank you for the nice comments. I often wonder if people hate my music, so its nice to hear you like it.
    Promise i will finish the bag soon. Im waiting on some new wool to arrive so i can make the handles and add the textures and beads etc.
    Nikki xxx

  13. Thank you all for your nice comments.

    Jayne, if you go to one of the posts below about felting you can follow a link and see how the wool tops are put together.
    I thinks its soemthing you would enjoy. Forst time i watched the vidoes my mind was working overtime, couldnt sleep and spent almost the whole night just watching them and learning.

  14. Thanks Nikki...I'll have to take time and go back for a proper read.

    I likely would enjoy it - in is too hot to stay outside long here in summer lol.

  15. It's best to do it inside Jayne when laying out the wool and fibres. I just went outside because was too lazy to bring the table in, lol.
    When i send you my signed pic, oh lol, i'll pop a little in so you can do a tiny felt test.

  16. just found this after seeing your flowers on facebook, and you make me laugh!!!.... "It's meant to soak in white vinegar but i don't have any... think it will be OK." ....was it? whats the vinegar supposed to do anyway? your sunflower petals are beautifully coloured, I'm suprised theres no barbaric felting needle involved too :o) might have to look into having a go at this myself :o) oh, what have you started? how many projects will I start with this hobby and not finish I wonder? LOL


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