How to Make Tiny Polka Dot Wet-Felted Coin Purses
Tiny Wet/Needle Felted Coin Purse
How to make a wet felted coin purse
Wet and needle felting techniques are used to create this charming coin purse. A cute sew on metal frame completes the project.
I hope that along the way you will learn a few techniques which you may not have encountered elsewhere. My aim is always to make wet felting interesting and very easy for everyone.
A field of poppies
Things you will need to complete this project:-
A small quantity white wool roving
A small quantity of colored roving
1 Polystyrene ball - 90 mm
1 Polystyrene ball - 70 mm (Can be substituted with a small balloon)
Grated Olive Oil Soap or Dishwashing liquid.
A small sharp pair of scissors
A felting needle
Tea towel or hand towel
NON ESSENTIAL ITEMS:-
A Salad Spinner
A small balloon
Wool roving and a felting needle.
Start by pulling off a piece of white wool roving which should fit comfortably around the ball with just a small overlap. The loose ends should then be needle felted to the ball.
A 70 mm and a 90 mm polystyrene ball with white merino wool roving
Wrap the white roving around the ball. It should lie as flat as possible against the sides of the ball.
Tuck it firmly around the ball and needle felt the loose fibers to the ball. Ensure that the layer is evenly spread throughout with no thin spots anywhere.
Thin spots should be filled with slivers of fiber.
Needle felt white roving to the ball.
Cover both ends in white wool
Add more wool fibers to both ends of the ball as indicated in the images below. Smooth the fibers down with both hands and needle felt the wool to the ball.
The uncovered ends
Needle felting the wool roving to both ends
Smooth over and needle felt at end
And the other end
Step 2 - Colored fibers
Repeat the first layer but this time cover the white layer with a layer of colored wool. You may wish to use several colors!
I combined a few different fibers, using a pair of hand carders as shown below.
Cover the white wool with merino wool roving
Partially covered white wool
Completely cover the white wool with colored wool
A few essentials and one non essential item!
The freezer bag is a non-essential item. but one can be a used to effectively help smooth down the fibers. I find it easier to roll the ball on a sushi mat. I feel I am less likely to disturb the fibers using this method
.A sushi mat is highly recommended, not only for this project but for many small projects.
If you want to try the freezer bag method, add a little water to the bag and then place your wool covered ball into the bag. Gently massage the ball with your fingers held around the bag until the wool becomes smooth. Retain it in the bag in the bag until fully felted or take out and roll on a tea towel or on a sushi mat.
Freezer bag method
Or use a sponge to wet the fibers with hot soapy water
Wet but not saturated!
Apply hot soapy water with the sponge. Complete this stage by pressing down the wool with your fingers as you move around the ball/ It should be wet but not saturated.
Roll gently on a sushi mat
Salad Spinners were not invented just to dry lettuce leaves!
I love using a salad spinner for small projects like this. They are great for taking out excess water from a project. They are also very helpful when it comes to felting. Put the project into the salad spinner and spin until the mechanism begins to feel stiff. This is a sure sign that the wool is becoming a little dry and that too much soapy water has collected in the bottom of the container.
Lift the colander part of the strainer and dip the ball back into the soapy water below. If there is too much water in the bottom, pour it out and repeat the spinning process.
Every now and then, take the ball out, wet it again and roll it between your hands. Doing it this way will ensure a lovely smooth finish.
In no time at all, the ball will soon become felted.
Now who said that salad spinners were made just for drying lettuce leaves!
Putting the ball into the salad spinner
Put the lid on!
Spin for about thirty seconds, check the contents, if too dry, wet again from the contents in the bottom of the salad spinner. Roll between the hands every now and again.
Cover the salad spinner
Rinse when felted and then roll the ball on a kitchen towl
Step 3 - add the decoration
Needle felt as desired - examples are contained in this tutorial
Needle felt if desired
Needle felted white polka dots
Wet and hot soapy water
The needle felting areas will need felting in order for them to be incorporated into the rest of the wool. Wet with hot soapy water. Rub gently at first and then roll hard on a sushi mat or kitchen towel until felted.
Once they begin to felt, you can try the salad spinner again for faster results.
Roll the needle felted areas on the sushi mat
Rinse and roll
Finally, rinse in hot and then cold water and roll on a tea cloth or put in the salad spinner.
Rinse and roll on a dry tea towel
Measure the opening
Measure 6 cm across the top of the ball to make an opening for the coin purse.
Place a marker
Place a marker, in this case, I used the needle and the tape measure. Cut along the edge of the tape measure. The distance should measure approximately 6 cm for a purse this size.
Cut the opening with small sharp scissors
Pull the cut open
Stretch the cut area slightly until you can see the area below. Make sure all the fibers have been cut right through to the ball below.
Expose the cut area
Take the ball to the sink and run hot water over it.
As you do this, you will feel the ball stretch under your fingers. Gently ease the ball through the opening.
Put felted ball under a hot tap
Ease the ball out through the opening
The ball, a balloon and the project
Once the ball has been removed, rinse the project under running water until the water runs free of soap. Put the small polystyrene ball into the cavity left behind. There will be room to spare.
Add a small quantity of water to a small balloon, blow it up, just enough to allow you to insert it into the cavity. It should be blown up to about the same size as the 70 mm ball which you may have purchased especially for this project.
Please see images below.
As seen here, I used the balloon out of preference to the polystyrene ball.
Polystyrene ball or balloon!
Place ball/balloon into the cavity and massage with hot soapy water
Note on using a balloon for this project
A balloon can be easily extracted from the cavity at any stage which is why I prefer using one at this stage.
Leave it in until you have completed the project. The balloon will give your coin purse a lovely shape.
Massage the opening
Begin massaging the purse with hot soapy water. Concentrate on the area around the opening at first.
You will soon feel the fibers contract as the fibers shrink back to the required size.
Rinse with hot and cold water
Rinse in hot and cold water
Finally, rinse in both hot and cold water.
If using the polystyrene ball, remove the ball before it becomes too tightly enclosed in the cavity. If this happens you will have to put it back under hot water and stretch it to get it out.
Note - this will not happen if you use a balloon.
Fulling the project
Full the project. This can be done by hitting the project against the edge of the sink or a waterproof table. You will soon feel and see the fibers shrink back.
Fulling the project - notice the shrinkage!
Sew on the curved metal purse frame
Gather together, embroidery thread and scissors. Open the curved metal frame and place it over the cut edges as shown here. Use the scissors to tuck the cut edge under the lip inside the frame.
Be careful not to pop the balloon with your sewing needle:)
Embroidery thread, needle, small coin purse frame and scissors
Small Arched Purse Frame - 8cm
Sew in the small metal arched purse frame
Sew in the small metal arched frame with embroidery thread.
The video included below though spoken in Chinese does a superb job of describing how to do this.
Use a small sharp pair of scissors to push the edges up into the frame before stitching.
Try not to burst the balloon!
I leave the balloon inside until I have sewn on the arched frame.
Any excess water can always be removed with the salad spinner and the project can be left to dry, either with the balloon left in or out:)
Sewing on the purse frame
The finished project - one really cute little coin purse
Examples of designs you may wish to use in your design
How to sew a metal frame for your coin purse
What type of felting tutorials do you need:-
Your comments please!
I love to receive comments or answer any questions you may have on any of my felting tutorials.
I hope you enjoy making this project as much as I did.
© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen