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How to Make Wet Felted Coin and Spectacle Purses

Updated on August 10, 2016
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Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is — unique, experimental and always interesting.

Everything is so much better if there is love!

Needle felted heart on wet felted coin purse.
Needle felted heart on wet felted coin purse. | Source

Needle/Wet Felted Coin Purse with Spectacle Case

Tea for two on Valentine's Day.
Tea for two on Valentine's Day. | Source

Ladybugs, Hearts and cute little Cups and Saucers

My inspiration! The cute little hearts and ladybugs on the cups and saucers.
My inspiration! The cute little hearts and ladybugs on the cups and saucers. | Source

Will you be my Valentine?

Wet felted/Needle Felted Spectacle/Glasses case with Coin purse, decorated WITH hearts and tny ladybugs for Valentine's Day
Wet felted/Needle Felted Spectacle/Glasses case with Coin purse, decorated WITH hearts and tny ladybugs for Valentine's Day | Source

Items required to complete this project

  • A small narrow Party Balloon approximately 11 cm in length
  • 2 Small round Party Balloons, approximately 11 cm in length
  • Red and white Merino Wool Roving
  • A Tumble Dryer
  • Grated olive oil soap dissolved in hot water or Dish-washing liquid diluted in hot water.
  • A sushi Mat and a Tea Towel
  • 1 tiny Curved Metal Purse Frame (Coin Purse Frame)
  • 1 medium size curved Metal Purse Frame for (Spectacle Case)
  • 1 Needle Felting Tool or 1 single Felting Needle

About this Project

Following the very popular Polka Dot Wet Felted Coin Purse Tutorial which I did with Polystyrene Balls, I have been experimenting with Party Balloon which I find to be a very simple easy and effective way to make these delightful little Coin Purses. They are so easy to make that I feel that these items could be made by children with the help of an adult. The Needle Felting can be left out and a mix of colors in Merino Wool Roving can be substituted in the beginning stages of this Tutorial.

The end result has far exceeded my expectations.

The tiny red and white Cups and Saucers shown here were purchased from a thrift shop for £2.

The Cups and Saucers were my inspiration for this Valentine's project. They make great photography props too.

Method

  • Begin by adding a little water to both balloons.
  • Blow both the balloons up to around forty percent larger than the size you want your completed purse and spectacle case to be.
  • Knot the ends of the balloons as shown here and then gather together some red and white Wool Roving along with a small bowl of hot soapy water, 2 curved Purse Frames and 1 tiny and 1 medium size one. The size is dependent on how large an opening you would like your purse to have.
  • Put a pair of glasses through the opening to check that they will fit through.

Items required to do this Project

A sausage shaped balloon, 1 small round balloon approximately 11 cm each in length, Merino Wool Roving and a small bowl.
A sausage shaped balloon, 1 small round balloon approximately 11 cm each in length, Merino Wool Roving and a small bowl. | Source

Party balloons, Merino Wool Roving and a Felting Needle

  • Blow up the balloons.
  • As can be seen here, the larger of the two purse frames fits the top of the blown up party balloon.
  • Both balloons uninflated are very small - about 11 cm from the opening to the end of the balloon. Don't inflate the balloons completely, blow them up to around 40% larger than the project you are going to make. Shrinkage should be around 40%.
  • This can vary and will depend entirely on the type of wool you use and how much you felt the project in the tumble dryer.

Two Coin Purse Frames, Wool Roving and a Needle Felting Tool

2 Balloons, red and white Roving, a Felting Needle and 2 Coin Purse Frames.
2 Balloons, red and white Roving, a Felting Needle and 2 Coin Purse Frames. | Source

Wet the Small Balloon in Warm Soapy Water.

  • Wet the balloon in the warm soapy water. The woolen fibers will adhere to the balloon when it is wet.
  • Don't make the water too hot, try to avoid having the balloon burst on you. It has not happened to me yet so I think it unlikely that it will happen to you.

A Bowl of Warm Soapy Water and a Balloon

Ball being dipped into warm soapy water - not too hot as balloon will burst.
Ball being dipped into warm soapy water - not too hot as balloon will burst. | Source

Smooth out a piece of Wool Roving and Wrap it around the Wet Balloon

Spread out the roving and wrap the balloon in a piece which goes around with a small overlap.
Spread out the roving and wrap the balloon in a piece which goes around with a small overlap. | Source

Wrap the White Roving around the Wet Balloon

  • Flatten out a piece of Wool Roving and pull off sufficient to go right around the center of the balloon with just a little overlap.
  • Pull a piece from the long length with your fingers and then wrap it around the Balloon.
  • Fold the raw edges one over the other.

Balloon Wrapped with White Roving

Balloon Wrapped in White Roving
Balloon Wrapped in White Roving | Source

Tea Towel or a Sushi Mat!

Note: You may wish to use a Tea Towel instead of a Sushi Mat.

Dip the overlapped ends into Warm Soapy Water.

  • Dip the overlapped ends of the Wool Roving into the warm soapy water.
  • Flatten the damp fibers where they were overlapped on a Sushi Mat which should be placed on a waterproof surface.

Dip the Loose Ends into Hot Soapy Water

Dip the joined edge in warm soapy water. Pat the joined edge on a waterproof surface - in this case a marble tabletop.
Dip the joined edge in warm soapy water. Pat the joined edge on a waterproof surface - in this case a marble tabletop. | Source

Covering Balloon with Wool Roving.

  • Repeat the last step one more time until the Party Ballon is completely covered in Wool Roving as is shown in the image below.
  • Repeat the first layer and then fill in any gaps if there are any.
  • Smooth out the layers until you have an evenly covered Party Balloon
  • The items should be covered in two thick layers of wool roving.
  • The end product will be firm to the touch and keep their shape.

Cover the Balloon in 2 Layers of Wool Roving

Cover in White Roving until the ball is evenly covered, smooth out the layers carefully.
Cover in White Roving until the ball is evenly covered, smooth out the layers carefully. | Source

Even Layers!

If the layers are not put down in even layers you will have thin/or thick spots in your finished product.

Any gaps should be filled with roving at this stage.

Wet the Fibers

  • Use a small sponge to wet the fibers.
  • You want the wool to be wet through but not saturated so that the fibers do not become displaced.

Wet the Layers with Warm Soapy Water

Cover the balloon in 2 layers of Wool Roving. Wet and roll on a Sushi Mat
Cover the balloon in 2 layers of Wool Roving. Wet and roll on a Sushi Mat | Source

Roll the Wool covered Balloon on a Sushi Mat/Kitchen Towel

  • Roll the Wool covered bBloon on a Sushi Mat until all the fibers have adhered to the balloon.
  • Check now to see if you can see if there is any color from the ball showing through.
  • If you find any, pull off small pieces of White Roving with your fingers and place them on the thin spots and then resume rolling until you have a neat, wet, covered balloon as shown here.
  • This won't take long - you don't need to roll it for a long time. We are are going to use the tumble dryer to felt the project from here on now.

Rolling the Balloon on a Sushi Mat

Roll the Balloon on a Sushi Mat until the Fibers are smooth and even.
Roll the Balloon on a Sushi Mat until the Fibers are smooth and even. | Source

The Wool Covered Party Balloon

  • The image below shows how the Fibers have adhered to the Party Balloon.

Two at a Time!

  • If you are making both items, repeat the above steps using the long Balloon.

The Wool Covered Long Party Balloon

The Wool Covered Party Balloon.  Ensure both ends are covered with wool and that the layers are even throughout the project.
The Wool Covered Party Balloon. Ensure both ends are covered with wool and that the layers are even throughout the project. | Source

Freezer Bags!

I generally put my Project into a pair of stockings or tights now but I want to avoid getting any fibers from the tights on my project - brown does not look good on white. You could of course. use a white pair of tights!

However, I tried freezer bags underneath the tights and I am completely sold on this idea. It works beautifully. The finished product remained white and bright.

Tie the Project into a Freezer Bag

  • Place the wool covered Party Balloon into a Freezer Bag and knot the end.

Project inside the Freezer Bag

Project inside the knotted Freezer Bag
Project inside the knotted Freezer Bag | Source

Project Covered with Tights (White for a White Project)

Place the project into a pair of cut off tights and knot both ends,
Place the project into a pair of cut off tights and knot both ends, | Source

Repeat the Process!

  • Place both the items into a Tumble Dryer.
  • After about 8 minutes check the contents of the bags. The Freezer Bag will be warm and may even be filled with some soapy water. If so, take the balls out of the bags, turn the bag inside out and place the balloons back in. Rinse the soap off and put the Project back into the Tumble Dryer.
  • Continue doing this until you are happy that the wool has felted properly.
  • Once felted, take the bags off and allow both of the balloon to dry off a bit in the tumble dryer without any bag or tights on them.

Getting the Purse Frame to Fit!

  • Check that you have the correct size for your coin purse by opening the frame and placing it over the top of the Project.

Checking the Size of the Frame!

The Open Purse Frame
The Open Purse Frame | Source

Measure the Opening!

  • The opening should be approximately fo 4 cm to begin with.

Measure!

Measure the opening for the Coin Purse. It should measure approximately 4 cm across the frame.
Measure the opening for the Coin Purse. It should measure approximately 4 cm across the frame. | Source

Draw a Line across the top of the Ball

  • Draw a line across the top of the ball with a felt tipped pen. It should be one which will dissolve in air or in water. The opening should measure approximately 4 cm.

Prepare to Needle Felt the Ladybugs

Items required for needle felting the heart and ladybugs onto the felted ball.
Items required for needle felting the heart and ladybugs onto the felted ball. | Source

Extract the Party Balloon!

  • Cut the opening and extract the ball by pricking it with a needle.
  • Pour out the water which you will find inside the felted ball.
  • It can easily be poured out of the ball which will barely get wet when it pops.

Salad spinner!

The salad spinner has become one of my favorite felting tools. I use it regularly as an aid in my felting projects. Any excess water can easily be removed with the spinner and it can also be used to good effect when making felt balls.

Place in the Salad Spinner to Dry

Mini Spin Dryer
Mini Spin Dryer | Source

Putting the Lid on the Spinner

Dry the project in a salad spinner in preparation for needle felting
Dry the project in a salad spinner in preparation for needle felting | Source

The Spectacle/Glasses Case with the Balloon Extracted

Extract the balloon and prepare to Needle Felt it.
Extract the balloon and prepare to Needle Felt it. | Source

Hearts and Ladybugs

  • Using a single felting needle, needle felt the hearts and ladybugs or decorate as desired.
  • Remember to place a small sponge or a piece of curtain netting inside the purse to make it easy to work on.
  • My hearts were cut from out from some thin sheets of plastic.

Hearts and ladybugs/not perfect but just an example

Draw hearts on a piece of thin plastic, cut the heart out an use this as a template for the needle felting.
Draw hearts on a piece of thin plastic, cut the heart out an use this as a template for the needle felting. | Source

The Felted Items

Checking the measurement for the purse handles.
Checking the measurement for the purse handles. | Source

Felting Tutorials

Which of the these felting projects are of the most interest to you?

See results

Needle felt the Hearts and Ladybugs.

After needle felting the hearts and ladybugs onto the two items, place a small blown up balloon into the smaller one. Inflate it but don't allow it to fill the cavity completely. You want the felt to shrink further so don't fill the cavity.

Wet the ball with hot soapy water, not too much, just sufficient to wet the project.

Put the tights back on.

Repeat this with the spectacle case but this time, stuff a piece of curtain netting or similar fabric into the cavity of the case as the longer balloons don't quite give you the shape you are looking for. You can flatten the original shape a bit by hitting them against a hard surface. It will soon firm up and get the shape you see here. Just hit the areas you want to shape.

Wet with hot soapy water, not too much and put back into a plastic bag and tights.

Put both items in the tumble dryer to felt further.

Keep on checking the felting process

The items will shrink considerably.

Remove the balls from the bags and the tights and rinse in hot and cold water. If they have not shrunk enough, take them from the freezer bag, rinse them in hot and cold water and then put them into a freezer bag and smack them against an outside wall or against the kitchen sink. Once completely fulled, you can sew on the purse frame as shown in my previous coin purse tutorial http://sallybea.hubpages.com/hub/Fabulous-Felt-How-to-Make-a-tiny-Wet-Felted-Coin-Purse-A-Free-Tutorial or look at the video included at the bottom of this page.

Prepare to Sew on the Kiss Purse Frames

If the opening has shrunk a little, cut longer and massage the edges with soapy water or simply rub with soapy water and your fingers.
If the opening has shrunk a little, cut longer and massage the edges with soapy water or simply rub with soapy water and your fingers. | Source

The Completed Coin Purse

The completed coin purse
The completed coin purse | Source

Let Music be the Sign of Love and Romance!

Completed Coin Purse and Spectacle Case
Completed Coin Purse and Spectacle Case | Source

Music Scroll with Red Felted Rose

Music scroll and a red wet felted rose.
Music scroll and a red wet felted rose. | Source

Shrinkage!

This is how much the items shrunk.
This is how much the items shrunk. | Source

The Competed Spectacle Case and the Small Coin Purse

The completed Coin Purse and Spectacle Case
The completed Coin Purse and Spectacle Case | Source

How to Sew on the Metal Frame Kiss Frames

© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Glimmer Twin Fan

      You are so right, these items could be made at any time of the year. They could be made with or without any needle felting, especially good for making with younger children without the danger of having to go use any sharp needles.

      Using multicolored roving or even bits and pieces of different wool or textures would turn this into a completely different and beautiful gift.

      Your comment is valued and appreciated, thank you so much.

      Sally

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Your work never ceases to amaze me sally. I love how you added the hearts. This could be done for any season.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      pstraubie48

      So pleased you enjoyed this tutorial. I very much enjoyed making these items.

      Thanks for the pin and the share. Angels must surely be on their way to you too.

      Happy Valentine's day to you and yours,

      Sally.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Peggy W - it may be a little late for Valentine's day but one can always needle felt some appropriate decoration for another occasion. Even some simple spots or some multicolored wool roving will produce stunning results. I very much appreciate the pin and the share on your craft board. I hope your Valentine's day is perfect in every way.

      Kind regards,

      Sally

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      How cute are these And your instructions are so detailed...thank you so much.

      I am pinning and sharing this as I know many will enjoy making them.

      Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a clever idea to make your own glasses case and/or coin purse. While it is probably a bit late to be making this for Valentine's Day this year since the day has already arrived, this might give people the idea to make those gifts for other occasions. Up votes and will pin to my crafts board and share. Happy Valentine's Day!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      kljones86

      Thank you very much, I appreciate your comment and visit,

      Sally

    • kljones86 profile image

      Along with the wind 2 years ago from colorado

      Very nice and creative! Definitely noted!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Thelma Alberts

      I hope you do try this wet felting project Thelma. I appreciate your stopping by to comment, thank you very much.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      Wow! This looks easy to make with your step by step instruction. I have not done felting. I might try this one day. Thanks for sharing.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      thelyricwriter

      You are very welcome, it is my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 2 years ago from West Virginia

      Great Ideas Sally, thanks for sharing them with us.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      poetryman6969

      The red sure is a beautiful color and is probably one of the reasons why I love wool roving so much. The colors tend to be very vibrant, guess the result depends on the skill of the person dyeing the wool. I very much appreciate your very kind comment. Thank you.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      It's always pleasant to see such industrious creativity.

      The red in that flower is one of the brightest reds I have ever seen.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      AudreyHowitt

      Truth be told, felting is not an exact science. It takes time to understand how one needs to work with wool in order to get reliable results. This tutorial makes it appear simple and it is if you understand the felting process. It is especially easy if a tumble dryer is utilized. This is a good project to begin with. I hope you will give it a try sometime.

      I very much appreciate your stopping by to comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I have always wondered how felting was done! You make this look easy!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Jo_Goldsmith

      Hello Jo, lovely to find you gracing one of my pages again. I do hope you are well.

      You are so very kind and I am so glad that you enjoyed reading this felting tutorial. I hope that you will have a go at making your own little felt purse sometime soon. This really is one of the easiest ways to approach a bit of felting.

      Blessings to you Jo.

      Sally.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      Sally!

      I just so love your creativity! :-) I think you are one of the most talented and creative souls! I very much enjoy reading all of your craft projects and this article is no exception. Shared and Up! Beautiful, awesome, useful and interesting. I can't wait to learn how to make purses. I have no doubt the easy to follow instructions that you explain will be just as fun as this project. Blessings :-)

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Chriswillman90

      Your comment is valued and appreciated. I am glad you found this project interesting. Thanks for the vote up.

      Sally

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      This is well formatted, easy to follow, and very interesting. Your passion for these projects really shows. Great read voted up.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Lady Guinevere

      No, I don't sell them generally but may sell a few on my own website sometime or give them away for presents. I have been concentrating on the tutorials rather than sales in the hope that I would eventually build up a residual income.

      I appreciate your stopping by to comment.

      Thank you,

      Sally

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Now that looks like an interesting project. You gave very easy to follow directions with pictures. Do you sell these projects at craft faires and the like? I think they would go good.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Suzanne,

      I guess you will not have seen anyone do it quite the same way. For me wet felting is about innovation and how best I can make it work for me. I love inventing new ways of doing things and I am thrilled with how well these small items turned out. I will definitely be using balloons for future projects. Thanks for the vote up and awesome. I wish you a very Happy Valentine's day too.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      You've made some very thorough instructions for needle felting on these two projects. It's funny because the long wool covered balloon looks like a huge cocoon! I especially enjoyed your technique regarding slitting open the balloons to insert the purse frame (first time I've read about doing that). Voted awesome & happy Valentine's Day to you! x

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      randomcreative

      You are too kind and thank you for putting a smile on my face:)

      Sally.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Fabulous as always! These gifts are sure to put a smile on any woman's face for Valentine's Day. Thanks for sharing.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      ocfireflies

      That would be lovely Kim - one can always live in hope:)

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      MsDora

      That is a real compliment, I love Martha Stewart:)

      You have a great day.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Sally,

      I see another HOTD in your future.

      Kim

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Sally, I could see you on a Martha Stewart type show. You're good!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      peachpurple

      That is shame,this project only requires a small quantity of wool roving to make these, even some raw sheep wool which has been brushed would do. True they would e natural in color unless you dyed it. The wool roving can be purchased at amazon on e-bay.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      gosh, you sure are good at felt, i can't do it. I don't have felt or cotton.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      ezzly

      Your comment is much appreciated. It makes me feel happy to know you enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you very much.

      Sally

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 2 years ago

      Wow how creative are you ? I love working with felt. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful. Stunning work !

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      DDE

      Your visit is valued and appreciated as always Devika.

      Thanks for the vote up, interest, beautiful and useful.

      Sally

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Sally you have great skills and always creative. I enjoyed another learning lesson from you. Your time spent on creating the valuable requirements are worth every moment. So beautiful and greatly appreciated. Voted up, interesting, beautiful and useful.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      DJ

      Yes it really is amazing that one can make something out of so little. All it takes is a little imagination, a small quantity of wool roving, some hot soapy water and a balloon, truly the stuff of Magic:)

      So glad you enjoyed the tutorial DJ,

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Definition of a Magic Woman ~ A woman who make really neat stuff out

      of (almost) nothing at all.

      I love the eye glass case. It would be naturally soft on glass or plastic lenses.

      Great tutorial, as always, Sally!

      DJ.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Pollyanna Jones

      I think this is a great project for a beginner to felting. I think a child could do this one with a little help from an adult or carer. The only thing I would do differently with a child would be to leave out the needle felting, just give the child some colorful wool roving and let them cover it like a rainbow:)

      I appreciate your visit and I hope you do try this out.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • Pollyanna Jones profile image

      Pollyanna Jones 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is fantastic! I have never tried felting, but after reading this, I would love to try it out. The gifts look so pretty, and your instructions are very good and clear. Voted up!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy,

      It is easy. What could be so difficult about covering a balloon with wool roving, wetting it with hot soapy water and putting it into the tumble dryer. You have two weeks until Valentine's day. Thanks for your support Billy, you are always welcome on any one of my pages, even if you never make anything.

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I swear, you make it look so easy. I'm almost tempted to try it...almost.

      I may not know anything about wet-felting, but I know a thing or two about well-written articles and tutorials, and this is one of them.

      bill

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      heidithorne

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your visit, the vote up, beautiful and awesome.

      Sally

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Love the eyeglasses case! So cute. Voted up, beautiful and awesome!