Felted Flowers

This Saturday, I’ll be teaching a Wet Felting Fancy Flower Class. This Pinterest board of Felted Flowers are some of my favorites! Hope you’ll find inspiration here too.


 
 

See my tutorial on How to Wet Felt Flowers.

Felted Bouquet Wet Felting Kit

Felted Bouquet Wet Felting Kit

This is a kit available through our Online Store or Farm Store at Alpaca Meadows.  Click on the link or the image above to see videos for wet felting some basic flowers.

Other good tutorials I have found are from the Felt Magnet website, How to Make a Wet Felted Flower with Central Core and Layered Petals and How to Make an Easy 3d Wet Felted Flower

How to Wet Felt Flowers

A friend asked me to teach a Wet Felting Flower Class. Having never taught this particular felting project before, I thought I better figure out how. What I found is that it is simple, fun, and the flowers come out beautiful!

Here is what you need:

Wet Felting Supplies

Boot Tray (provides a textured surface to aid in the felting process and contain the water) or Towel – to work on
Towel – to dry your hands (dry fiber is sure to stick to wet hands) and roll your flower in when finished
Roving – I use alpaca because that’s what I have, or sometimes an alpaca/wool blend
Other Fiber – small bits of other fibers, scraps from other projects, yarn scraps, thread
Bubble Wrap – two small pieces, about 12″ x 12″
Liquid Soap – I like Dawn but whatever you have will work (if you have skin sensitivities, stay away from anti-bacterial soap)
Hot Water
Sponge (optional) – nice for sopping up extra water on mat
Pool Noodle
Something to Wet Fiber With – empty spray bottle, turkey baster, soup ladle, ball brauser sprinkler, or sponge

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Lay a piece of bubble wrap, bubble side down, on the towel or boot mat. Draft (or pull apart) small pieces of your main color of roving. Do not cut the roving. Thin wispy fibers will felt much better than blunt, cut edges.

Wet Felting Supplies

Lay the roving pieces in a round shape overlapping in the center.

Wet Felting Supplies

Add other bits of color as desired. If using yarn, Suri Locks, or thick pieces of fiber, be sure to lay a very thin piece of roving on top to “scotch tape” these thicker fibers in place, or they will not felt.

Wet Felting Supplies

Add a squirt or two of soap to the hot water. Now wet your fiber with the hot, soapy water. My absolute favorite felting tool for wetting the fiber is a ball brauser sprinkler (a tool used to water bonsai plants), but a spray bottle, turkey baster, soup ladle, sponge, or cup will also work to get water to your fiber.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

If using a ball brauser sprinkler, squeeze the bulb before putting it in the water, drop it into the soapy water, release the bulb, and it fills itself.

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Thoroughly wet the fiber. Lay the second piece of bubble wrap on top of the fiber and press.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Gently push down on the fiber moving your hands all over pressing the water through the layers of fiber.  You don’t want the fiber to be sopping wet but do make sure the water completely penetrates the fibers.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Carefully peel back the bubble wrap to check and see that the fiber is thoroughly wet. If not, add more soapy water. Put the bubble wrap back and rub with your hands for five minutes or so.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Peel back the bubble wrap again, your fiber should be starting to hold together.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Now, roll up the bubble wrap and fiber.  Wrapping the bubble wrap and fiber around a pool noodle works well too.

Wet Felting Flower Class

Whether using a pool noodle or not, wrap the layers of bubble wrap and fiber snug, and tie in several places with yarn, string, or rubber bands to hold in place.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial
Sop up excess water with a sponge, or pour off into a bucket or sink.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial
Begin rolling the pool noodle back and forth about 50 times.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial
Unroll. Adjust fiber as needed. Wet any dry areas. Turn 90 degrees, roll layers, tie, roll 50 times. Do this a total of four times, turning your piece 90 degrees each time.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

When your flower passes the “pinch test”, you are done. Pinch the fibers between two fingers, there should be no movement! If they still appear a loose, add a little more hot soapy water and continue rolling for a while longer. Repeat the “pinch test”.  If more felting is needed, you can also rub the flower on the boot mat.

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Unroll bubble wrap and fiber.  Warm up your flower with some very hot water.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Wad up fiber and throw it against the boot mat, in a bucket, or in your kitchen sink about 25 times.  Yes throw it!  This causes the fibers to shrink and harden a bit.

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Open up your flower, stretch the edges sideways.  This will help ruffle your edges, (of the flower that is).  Throw against your mat again about 25 times.  Pull on the fiber to create petals, if desired, or cut petals.  If cutting, rub on a textured surface just a little to soften the edges.

Rinse in a vinegar water solution, and then in plain water until the soap has been rinsed out.  Roll in a towel to absorb excess moisture.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Grab the center of your flower from the back and scrunch it up towards the center.  Use a twist tie or piece of yarn to tie the center.  Shape your flower the way you would like it to look. Allow your flower to dry this way.  I have read where people dry their flowers in egg cartons to help maintain the shape.  I have also used the umbrella hole in my rod iron table.  Your flower will dry quickly outside on a sunny day, or near a fan inside, or close to a heat vent in the winter.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

When dry you could needle felt a center, sew on a button or beads, or leave as is.  Leave the yarn you have tied the flower with in place to give dimension to your flower, or remove it, scrunch up your flower towards the middle again and needle felt around the base for the same effect.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Just like in nature, there are many kinds of flowers when it comes to felting, along with various techniques.  Be creative, and have fun felting!

Felted Bouquet Wet Felting Kit

Felted Bouquet Wet Felting Kit

This is a kit available through our Online Store or in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows.  Click on the link or the image above to see videos for wet felting some basic flowers.  Click my board on Pinterest called Felted Flowers to see some favorites from other fiber artists.  You will find a few tutorials there too!

Live nearby?  Get a group together and come take my Wet Felting Fancy Flower Class!

Be sure to check out Knitting and Crocheting Flowers for more flower fun!

 

 

Wet Felting Purse Tips

I taught two wet felting purse classes recently, and promised I’d share some information, so here it is.  The pictures below are felted purses that I have made.  Almost any size or shape purse can be made this way, love the magic of wet felting!

There are some good tutorials out there, though there are different techniques, and sometimes different tools.

Rosiepink is a wonderful felting site by a mother daughter team, Annie and Lynn, that live on the South Coast of England.  Their instructions on How to Make a Seamless Wet Felted Purse are very good, with pictures too! Urban Stitch Studio also has a Free Felted Purse Tutorial in which they use a baggie to create a resist.

I use a pool noodle cut to a shorter length that is easier to handle, in place of the bamboo mat, but I would guess the bamboo mat works just as well.  I work on a boot mat that I purchased at the Dollar Store, which provides friction to rub your felted piece on enabling the fibers to tangle together.  It also contains the water, which beats laying towels all around my work area like I used to do.  A sponge to sop up excess water on your piece is also a great idea!

For another method of felted purses, see How to Make a Felted Pouch from a Flat Piece of Felt.

If you’re ambitious and want to add a zipper pocket, see How to Make a Felt Purse With an Inside Zipper Pocket.

Felted Purse LiningFelted Purse with Lining

Adding a lining is not difficult.  Many times I use discontinued upholstery samples that I get from a local furniture store.  The following tutorial has some great pictures and can be adapted to felted purses.

Tutorial: Sew A Lining Into A Crocheted Bag

Purse with Bamboo Handles

Purse Handle Idea Braided Handbag Handle

How to Line a Felted Bag

Ideas for adding a strap or handles are many.  Felting a cord is one idea, see Felt Cord/Purse Handle Tutorial.  Making Felt Ropes is a good video if you’re wanting a rope type strap. There even is a board on Pinterest full of purse handle ideas and instructions.  SkaMama’s Bone Hook (I’m sure there’s a good reason for that name) did a blog post with a list of sources for Bag Handles, Straps, and Supplies.  Locally, JoAnn Fabrics has a selection of purse handles.  Purse Straps – Handles for Knit Felt Purses has a number of different options for attaching straps to purses.  And here are directions for How to Install Grommets on a Purse to put a strap through.

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Many times I just cut a small slit in each side of the purse, maybe 3/4″ down from the top, thread an I-cord through the slit, and knot  the cord on the inside of the purse.

Felted Alpaca Purse

I-cords can be knit, or even crocheted.

How to Crochet an I-Cord (right and left handed directions)

How To Knit an I-Cord

                           

 Double Thick Crochet Stitch Makes Great Handbag Handle

And one more little nugget for you.

Recycled Bag Handles Made From Tupperware Plastic Lids

Recycled Bag Handles Made From Tupperware Plastic Lids

Take the Wet Felting Purse Class at Alpaca Meadows!

 

 

Another Fun Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

Another class turns out to be good, clean fun!

Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

Chris Vannatta and Jennifer Kamm, mother and daughter, spent the afternoon together at Alpaca Meadows learning how to wet felt alpaca mittens!

Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

They started with a pile of fiber, and in just several hours, each had made a pair of mittens!

Alpaca Mitten Felting Class

In my classes, we make one mitten at a time.  The challenge in doing it this way is making the second mitten look like the first.  Still one mitten at a time seems best when learning; but, it is quite easy to do two mittens at a time.  Here is a tutorial with great pictures that shows how:

Wet Felted Mittens – Two At A Time

Wet Felting Two Mittens At A Time

Some of the felted mittens I’ve made ended up too short, so I hand-stitched on crocheted cuffs.  This gives a snugger cuff that comes down on my arm farther.

Handfelted Alpaca Mittens With Crocheted Cuff

Directions for Crocheting A Cuff are below:

I think I used about a Size G Hook, depends on the yarn you are using.   You can alter the number of  stitches depending on how long of a cuff you want, and adjust the number of rows depending on the width of your mitten across the bottom.

Ch 10.

Note: For rows 1 through 22 in wrist ribbing, sc in back loop only.

Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across, ch 1, turn. 9 sc.

Rows 2 – 22: Sc in each sc across, ch 1, turn.

Row 23: Bring row 1 to meet row 22, matching stitches. Sl st row 1 and row 22 together. 11 ridges made.

Cut yarn. Turn cuff inside out (so sl st edge is inside) and turn cuff so the ridges are running vertically, attach yarn with sl st in the side of the 1st sc in row 1.

Knitted Cuff

If you’d rather knit, here are some directions for you:

Knitting a Cuff for Felted Mittens

Felted Alpaca Mittens

Having just two students gave me time to felt a pair of mittens too!

Felted Alpaca Mitten Closeup

Find out more about Wet Felting Alpaca Mittens!

Wet Felting Alpaca Mittens

Last Saturday, I taught a Mitten Felting Class here at the farm.  I think everyone was amazed at what they could do with alpaca fiber, hot water, soap, and some elbow grease.

Felted Alpaca Mittens

Felting is a simple technique by which you can make wonderfully warm wool items to wear.  The main advantage that felting has over other textile techniques is producing a finished article in much less time.

Suzanne Higgs

Suzanne Huggs, author of Hooked on Felt and a very talented felter, had shared with me a new technique using a resist rather than a foam form like I’ve previously done.  She even offered to come to Alpaca Meadows and teach a Hat Felting Class so stay posted for that!

Hat by Suzanne Higgs

Leigh Oden, another alpaca breeder, came early so she could card some of her own alpaca fiber for the class.  She used some wonderful soft fiber from one of her males named “Cookie Dough” as well as some alpaca fiber she had dyed at home so that she would have some color to use for the design on her mittens.

Carding Alpaca Fiber

Making mittens custom fit to each of our hands, we used under layment for laminate flooring to cut our patterns from, carefully tracing around our own hand and wrist, keeping the line even and about three-quarters of an inch away from the hand.  This allowed for the shrinkage of alpaca which does not shrink when felted as quickly or as much as wool.

Wet Felting Alpaca Mittens

Next we laid four separate layers of fiber crisscrossing each layer 90 degrees in the opposite direction across the hand and wrist.  We did the same across the thumb being careful to maintain the shape of the thumb as well as add extra fiber where the hand and thumb meet and across the tip of the thumb to allow for wear.  Alpaca is finer than sheeps wool so needs to have more layers laid on the pattern so as not to end up with holes.   If you do get holes while felting, finish the process of wet felting, rinsing, drying, then turn inside out and repair by needle felting layers of the same fiber across the hole.

Wet Felting Alpaca Mittens

I found several great tutorials, complete with photos, on how to wet felt mittens.

Wet Felted Mittens – Full Photo Tutorial

I would add to this that when you are finished with your mittens, rinse them in a vinegar and water solution, to neutralize the soap in the mitten.  Over time if not rinsed completely out, the soap will damage the fiber.  Rinse completely then, with clear water.  Roll mittens in a towel, then step on the rolled towel to squeeze out excess moisture.  Reshape your mittens and lay in a warm spot to dry.

Felted Alpaca Mittens

This tutorial shows how to add a cuff to your mitten.
Wet Felted Mittens – Part 1 of 2
Wet Felted Mittens – Part 2 of 2

Wet Felted Mittens

If your mittens turn out too short, you can knit or crochet a cuff and then hand stitch it to the inside of your mitten.  Use the cuff portion of any mitten pattern that has a ribbed cuff, but only make it about half the width.

Crocheted Cuff on Felted Alpaca Mittens

When mittens are dry, you can needle felt a design onto the mitten, embroider an edge or design, add buttons whatever you like.  Cecilia cut out the letter “L” for her school, out of a flat piece of felt and felted it on during the wet felting process.  Possibilities are endless!

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I found these Needle Felted Butterfly Mittens on Ravelry.  The design has been felted on knitted mittens but this could be done on felted mittens just as easily.

Felted Butterfly Mittens

Felting by Hand
is a very informative little book, with lots of helpful tips on wet felting.  The author has researched the felting qualities of sheep breeds available in the United States and explains how to choose what fiber for specific felting projects.  There is also a chapter devoted to felt projects for children.

Some other felting books full of great ideas are below:

 

This Mitten Felting Kit is offered for sale in The Farm Store.

Alpaca Mitten Felting Kit

Easter Egg and Bunny Felting Class

 
My first “stab” at teaching turned out okay, I think.  I wasn’t sure how I would be at conveying my thoughts to others.  We all got an egg made, first needle felted into an egg shape with embellishments tacked in place, then wet felted to finish.
I do have kits available if you want to try this at home.  It is not hard.  Remember not to squeeze when rinsing the soap out.  Wrap in a towel to absorb the excess moisture and lay in the sun or sunny room to dry.
The group was anxious to move on to bunnies and so we did.
Everyone brought alpaca fiber that they had carded into batts at home. We all were working with Suri Alpaca, so yes you can felt Suri!  Adrienne had a pretty yellow pastel that she had Dyed with Kool-aid, Christie had some gorgeous white Suri to which she added red, also dyed with kool-aid.
I was working with multi-colored rovings that I had dyed with Gaywool Dyes.  What I like about Dyeing With Gaywool is that the mordant and dyebath acidifier is formulated into the dye, which makes it simple, and there are so many pretty colors.
We divided our batts into nine pieces that we used to “build” our bunnies.  We started with the body which took the most fiber, then added legs, arms, head, ears, and tail.  Rolling the fiber tightly into the desired shapes was the “key” first step before starting to needle the fiber.
Diane used a natural color and had the help of her daughter, who found felting in cookie cutters to be much easier!  A Multi-Needle Felting Tool makes the work go much quicker, most of us used a tool with six needles.  A double or single needle was needed to get in the tight spots when adding the head and tail.
My daughter joined us, she is 13, can you tell?  I guess she didn’t want her picture taken?
When we wrapped it up, we all had some felting to do at home to firm up and finish our bunnies.  Each one looked different and had his/her own personality!
We had fun taking the time out to do something fun together, and everyone went home having learned something new to do with Alpaca Fiber!
Meet Beatrice!
And Peter!
They are definitely one-of-a-kind!

Interested in learning to needle felt?  See the Class Schedule and register for a class!  Don’t live nearby or want to try felting on your own?  It is not difficult.  Felting kits are available in The Farm Store online and in The Fiber Studio at Alpaca Meadows.

For inspiration, tutorials, and tips on needle felting bunnies, see Felted Rabbits and Bunnies!

Happy Spring!

Bead Felting Kit

Bead Felting Kit
I’ve been busy finishing up projects and getting ready for Best of the US Alpaca Show in Columbus, Ohio next weekend, March 12-14, where I will be setting up as a vendor.
 
This felting kit includes alpaca fiber in a variety of different colors for making beads, a felting needle, and detailed instructions.  The process described involves both needle and wet felting.
 
 
 There also is some suri fiber that works well for embellishing beads, be sure to pull apart and use very thin, wispy pieces.
  
I like to use a combination of both needle and wet felting.  Needling your fiber into a smooth round ball actually makes the wet felting go very quickly and makes a nicer bead.
 
 
Here I made beads and then flattened them to make buttons for my felted mittens, coming soon!

Felted Easter Eggs

The sun is actually shining today – it is so pretty!  I must get out and enjoy it.  The first day of March, we are getting there, and oh how we will appreciate those first signs of Spring!
I know our alpacas will too.  They have spent way too much time in the barn, that is where the hay is, the snow has been too deep to venture very far.
And it is way too deep for their keepers, us, to venture through it to put hay in the pastures.  They will be very happy to see green grass and run in the pastures!
Thinking Spring, these are some Easter eggs that I have wet felted.
If you’ve been wanting to try wet felting, this is easy, just takes soap and water!  I have put together a kit that is fun and with some creativity, produces lovely results!
The fiber in the kit is from our guard llama, Lacy Lady!  There are also bits and pieces of other fun fibers to embellish with.
In Christian times, the egg was a symbol of new life just as a chick might hatch from the egg.  The egg is symbolic of the grave and life renewed by breaking out of it.  And in doing some reading about the symbolism of eggs, I found a good article about The Easter Egg on a website called The Holiday Spot.  Here is a little blurb from the article that I thought was interesting . . .

“Many traditions and practices have formed around Easter eggs. In Europe an egg was hung on New Year trees, on Maypoles, and on St. John’s trees in midsummer. Indeed, all were of one accord in using the egg as a symbol of the regenerative forces of nature. Later during the Christian period, it was believed that eggs laid on Good Friday, if kept for a hundred years, would have their yolks turn to diamond. If Good Friday eggs were cooked on Easter they would promote the fertility of the trees and crops and protect against sudden deaths. And, if you would find two yolks in an Easter egg, be sure, you’re going to be rich soon.”

That’s what they believed!

 



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