Felted Purses and Other Great Bags

Enjoy my Pinterest collection of Felted Purses and other Great Bags!


See my blog post on Wet Felting Purse Tips or take a Wet Felting Purse Class at Alpaca Meadows!  If there is not one scheduled, gather a few friends, contact me and together we’ll schedule a class on a date and time that works for you.

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 KitFelted 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

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How to Wet Felt Flowers

I teach a variety of fiber art classes at our farm, and recently was asked if I would teach a class on How to Wet Felt Flowers. Although I had never taught this particular kind of felting project before, generally I’m always game for learning and trying something new. Not surprisingly, what I found is that this type of felting is quite simple, wonderfully fun, and the flowers turn out beautiful!

Felting is the most ancient form of fiber art, and has become very popular today. The history of felting is interesting, seems it was discovered by accident and out of necessity. Basically, felting occurs when natural fibers such as alpaca and wool begin to interlock together and shrink when agitated in some manner. Some felting methods involve barbed needles and lots of poking. Another method involves knitting an item much larger than the desired size, then throwing it in the washing machine and then the dryer. Wet felting involves layers of fiber, warm soapy water, and lots of rubbing.

Supplies Needed

Wet Felting Supplies

I do a small amount of affiliate marketing, and there are several links in this post that lead to products that we don’t sell at Alpaca Meadows, but we do receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase those items.  Every little bit helps pay the bills, so thank you in advance!

Boot Tray – not essential but works great to provide a textured surface that aids in the felting process and contains the water you will be using
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 roving that is an alpaca/wool blend
Other Fiber – small bits of other fibers, scraps from other projects, yarn scraps, and thread to embellish your flower
Bubble Wrap – two small pieces, about 12″ x 12″
Liquid Soap – I like Dawn Dish Soap 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 in order to keep your work area semi-dry
Pool Noodle
Something to Wet Fiber With – empty spray bottle, turkey baster, soup ladle, ball brause sprinkler, or sponge

Prepare Work Surface

The first step is to lay a piece of bubble wrap, bubble side down, on the boot tray of work surface.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Place Roving on Bubble Wrap

Next, you will pull apart (called drafting) small, thin pieces of your roving. You should not cut the roving. Thin wispy fibers will felt much better than blunt, cut edges.

Wet Felting Supplies

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

Wet Felting Supplies

Add Other Colors

Next, add other bits of colored roving, yarn, or fiber as desired. Suri Locks are nice for adding texture and color to flowers. If using yarn, 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 Water

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 brause 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.

IMG_0615 (480x640)

Thoroughly wet the fiber. Your aim here should be to wet all the layers of fiber.

Add Bubblewrap

Lay the second piece of bubble wrap, bubble side down, on top of the layers of fiber and press.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Gently push down on the bubble wrap moving your hands all over as you press 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. If you have puddles of water on your tray, you can sop it up with a sponge of towel.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Take a Look

Carefully peel back the bubble wrap and take a look to check and see if the fiber is thoroughly wet. If not, add more water. Put the bubble wrap back in place and continue to rub with your hands.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Take Another Look

Peel back the bubble wrap again and check to see that the water has penetrated thoroughly through the fiber. At this point, the fiber should be starting to hold together.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Prepare to Begin Felting

Now, you will prepare to begin the felting process by rolling up the layers of bubble wrap and fiber.  Wrapping 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

Sop up excess water with a sponge, or pour off water into a bucket or sink.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Being Rolling

Begin rolling the pool noodle back and forth about 50 times. This process creates friction and agitates the fibers which aids in the felting process.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Check Your Work

Untie and unroll the layers of bubble wrap and fiber. Adjust fiber as needed. Wet any dry areas. Turn 90 degrees, roll layers, tie again, roll 50 more times. Repeat this process a total of four times, turning your piece 90 degrees each time.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Pinch Test

When your flower passes the “pinch test”, you are finished. When you pinch the fibers between two fingers, there should be no movement. If fibers still appear 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.

IMG_0702 (480x640)

Warm Up

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

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Get Aggressive

Now wad up your flower 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.

IMG_0733 (480x640)

Stretch It

Open up your flower, and stretch the edges sideways.  This will help ruffle your edges (of the flower that is).  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.

Finishing

Rinse your flower in a vinegar water solution (approximately 1/4 cup to  4-5 inches of water in your sink or a bucket), and then in plain water until the soap has been rinsed out.  Roll flower in a towel to absorb excess moisture.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

Drying

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.  Some people dry the wet felted flowers in egg cartons to help maintain the shape.  I have also used the umbrella hole in my rod iron table, or put them in a coffee mug to dry.  Your flower will dry quickly outside on a sunny day, or near a fan inside, or close to a heat vent in the winter.

Embellish

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

When your flower is completely dry you could needle felt a center, sew on a button or beads, if desired.

Wet Felting Flowers Tutorial

The yarn you have tied the flower with can be left in place, to give dimension to your flower, or removed. You can scrunch up your flower towards the middle again and needle felt around the base for the same effect.  Add as many “pleats” to your flower as you like, then needle felt them, to create more dimension to your flower.

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 Kit

Purchase a Kit

Take a look at our Felted Bouquet Wet Felting Kit. This wet felting kit includes all the materials you need to make a variety of familiar flowers. Check out the series of videos that demonstrates the basic techniques to create a Petunia, Tulip, Lily, Pansy, Rose and Snapdragon. Additional tutorials explain creating the Stems and Leaves and How to Attach Stems and Leaves. Make one of each or just a bouquet of your favorite flower. Learn how to make Spirals to add to your bouquet.

Felted Flower Favorites

Click my board on Pinterest called Felted Flowers to see some of my favorites created by other fiber artists.  You will find a few tutorials there too!

Take a Class

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.

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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.

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!

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