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How to Make Wet-Felted Booties or Slippers With Laces

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

Wet felted booties with laces

Wet felted booties with laces

About This Tutorial!

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use a template to create a cute pair of booties with eyelets and laces.

Things You Need

  • Slipper Template
  • Botany Waste: This is top waste from World of Wool. It consists of dyed tops, dyed fleeces, natural tops and end of runs from their blending machines which are brilliant for felting or spinning.
  • Bubble Wrap: A small piece of Bubble wrap or underfloor layment for the template.
  • Shoe Lasts: A pair of wooden, resin, metal, or polystyrene for children
  • A Printer or Scanner
  • Warm Soapy Water: Diluted olive oil soap or dish-washing liquid work well.
  • A4 Card or Paper
  • Scissors: Make sure you have a sharp pair!
  • Felt-Tip Pen: This is for drawing the template. Use a damp cloth to remove any traces of ink left behind over from the felt tip pen so that it will not bleed into the wool.
  • Eyelets and Leather Punch
  • Shoe Laces or Cord
  • Tumble Dryer: This is not essential but it will reduce the time needed to complete this project and will make a firmer felt.

Template

The Template

The Template

1. Cover the 1st Side of the Template With Merino Wool Roving

  • Open out the strips of roving as shown below and cover the 1st side the template.
  • The loose ends of the roving should extend to just beyond the edge.
  • Ensure that there are no thin spots or holes.
1st Layer of wool roving, opened out to cover the template.

1st Layer of wool roving, opened out to cover the template.

2. Wet the Fibers

  • Wet the fibers with warm soapy water.
Wet the 1st layer with warm soapy water.

Wet the 1st layer with warm soapy water.

3. Cover With Bubble Wrap

  • Wet the bubble wrap using with warm soapy water and rub firmly to flatten the fibers.
Wet the surface of the bubble wrap with warm soapy water.

Wet the surface of the bubble wrap with warm soapy water.

4. Remove the Bubble Wrap

  • Gently lift the bubble from the fibers to expose the flattened wet fibers.
Carefully remove the bubble wrap

Carefully remove the bubble wrap

5. Flip the Project Over

  • Gently flip the project over.
Flip the project over

Flip the project over

6. Neaten the Edges

  • Fold over the loose fibers on the edges using your fingers and a little warm water.
  • Cover the folded edges with bubble wrap and rub to flatten them as shown in the image below.
The neatened edges

The neatened edges

7. Cover the 2nd Side With Wool Roving

  • Cover the template with a new layer of wool roving to match the1st Side.
  • Ensure that there are no gaps or thin spots anywhere.
The 2nd side of layer 1 covered with Merino fibers.

The 2nd side of layer 1 covered with Merino fibers.

8. Wet the Project

  • Wet side 2, layer 1.
Wetting the 2nd side with warm soapy water

Wetting the 2nd side with warm soapy water

9. Cover With Bubble Wrap

  • Wet the surface of the bubble wrap with warm soapy water.
Wet the bubble wrap with warm soapy water

Wet the bubble wrap with warm soapy water

10. Rub Well

  • Press down on the surface of the bubble wrap and rub well.
Rub the bubble wrap to flatten the fibers below

Rub the bubble wrap to flatten the fibers below

11. Flip the Project Over

  • Neaten the edges using a little warm water until it looks like the image below.
Gently remove the bubble wrap

Gently remove the bubble wrap

12. Layer 2

  • Cover layer 1 with a fine layer of Merino wool roving.
Add a thin layer of wool roving, 2nd layer.

Add a thin layer of wool roving, 2nd layer.

13. Wet the Fibers

  • Wet layer 2 with warm soapy water.
Wet the fibers with warm soapy water

Wet the fibers with warm soapy water

14. Cover With Bubble Wrap

  • Wet the surface of the bubble wrap with warm soapy water.
  • Rub well to flatten the wet fibers below.
Cover with bubble wrap and rub until the fibers have flattened.

Cover with bubble wrap and rub until the fibers have flattened.

15. Remove the Bubble Wrap

  • Gently remove the bubble wrap.
Gently lift off the bubblewrap

Gently lift off the bubblewrap

16. Neaten the Edges

  • Turn the loose fibers over the edges and neaten with warm soapy water.
Cover Layer 1 with a thin layer of wool roving.

Cover Layer 1 with a thin layer of wool roving.

17. Smooth the Edges

  • Use a little warm soapy water and the bubble wrap to help neaten the edges.
Neaten the edges and smooth with bubble wrap

Neaten the edges and smooth with bubble wrap

18. Cover With Wool Roving

  • Cover the 2nd side of layer 2 with a thin layer of wool roving.
The second side of layer 2

The second side of layer 2

19. Wet the Fibers

  • Wet the wool roving with warm soapy water.
how-to-make-wet-felted-booties-or-slippers-with-laces

20. Remove the Bubble Wrap

  • Gently lift off the bubble wrap without displacing the fibers.
how-to-make-wet-felted-booties-or-slippers-with-laces

21. Neaten the Edges

  • Neaten the edges using the bubble wrap and a little warm soapy water.
The completed second layer

The completed second layer

22. Layer 3, Side 1

  • Open up lengths of wool roving and cover the final side with an even layer of wool roving.
  • Make sure that this last layer has no holes or any thin spots.
3rd layer covered in Merino wool

3rd layer covered in Merino wool

23. Flip the Project Over

  • Neaten as before and spread another layer of wool on the final side.
Flip the project over

Flip the project over

24. Cover With Bubble Wrap

  • Flatten the wet fibers.
  • Neaten the edges.
Gently lift off the bubblewrap

Gently lift off the bubblewrap

25. Layer 3, the Final Layer

  • Add the final layer of wool roving.
  • Wet, cover and rub the surface.
Cover the template with fiber and wet with soapy water

Cover the template with fiber and wet with soapy water

Remove the Bubble Wrap

  • Remove the bubble wrap and turn over the edges.
how-to-make-wet-felted-booties-or-slippers-with-laces

21. Roll Inside a Heavy Duty Bamboo Blind

  • Place the project inside a heavy-duty bamboo blind and roll inside the mat.
  • Start very gently at first and then increase the pressure after a few minutes.
Roll in a heavy duty bamboo blind

Roll in a heavy duty bamboo blind

22. Change the Direction of the Roll

  • Keep on turning the project inside the bamboo blind.
  • This will allow even shrinkage from all sides.
Roll the project from all sides until the fibers no longer move.

Roll the project from all sides until the fibers no longer move.

23. Put Inside a Tumble Dryer!

  • When the edges on the project start to curl, put it inside a tumble dryer for around 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Keep on checking to make sure that you do not shrink it too far.
Booties after about 15 minutes in the tumble dryer

Booties after about 15 minutes in the tumble dryer

24. Cut the Project in Half

  • Cut the project as shown below.
  • Remove the template.
Cut the project in half to make 2 booties

Cut the project in half to make 2 booties

Cut the booties into 2 .  Note the shrinkage which took place in the tumble dryer

Cut the booties into 2 . Note the shrinkage which took place in the tumble dryer

25. Insert the Shoe Lasts

  • Put the shoe lasts into the booties to check the amount of shrinkage which still needs to take place.
Insert shoe lasts, note the amount of shrinkage still to go.

Insert shoe lasts, note the amount of shrinkage still to go.

26. Further Shrink the Project

  • Take the project to the kitchen sink and add soap and hot water.
  • Rub and Squeeze the project between your palms.
  • Alternately run hot and cold water on the project to further shrink the fibers.
  • Drop the project onto the sink surface to further shrink it.
  • Hit the project against the sides of the sink or take it outside and hit it against an outside wall.
Rub under hot and then cold water. Repeat until you feel the fibers hardening.

Rub under hot and then cold water. Repeat until you feel the fibers hardening.

27. Put the Shoe Lasts Into the Booties

  • Rub using soap and hot and cold water and a folded sheet of bubble-wrap to help shrink the booties against the sides of the lasts.
  • Avoid shrinking the area too tight near the toes above the toe area.
  • Fold the excess as shown below to form a tongue for each bootie.
  • Please see the images below.
Two booties indicating the amount of shrinkage which took place.

Two booties indicating the amount of shrinkage which took place.

28. Cut the Tongues

  • Use a sharp pair of scissors to cut down each fold as shown below.
Preparing to cut the slipper tongue.

Preparing to cut the slipper tongue.

Creating the tongue for the booties

Creating the tongue for the booties

29. Seal the Cut Edges

  • Rub the cut edges with a piece of folded bubble wrap to seal the cut edges.
  • Please see the images below.

30. Insert the Eyelets

  • Use the tools provided with the eyelet kit to insert the eyelets as shown below.
  • A leather punch can be used to create the holes.
Slipper tongue, still requires more soap and water to seal cut edges and shrink neatly against the shoe lasts.

Slipper tongue, still requires more soap and water to seal cut edges and shrink neatly against the shoe lasts.

Using the tools provided to insert the eyelets

Using the tools provided to insert the eyelets

Shoe laces and eyelets

Shoe laces and eyelets

Wet Felted Slippers

Wet Felted Slippers

Shoes with eyelets and laces

Shoes with eyelets and laces

More Felting With Sallybea

© 2019 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 24, 2019:

Pam K, thank you so much! It means a lot to me to receive such great feedback:)

Pam K from Omro, Wi on March 24, 2019:

You always make the best tutorials. Simple and easy to follow. I appreciate the picture format rather than video, since it is concise and I can look at the parts that I want to learn more about without having to sit through a lot of chit chat and parts I already know.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2019:

Hi Mary, Good to hear from you. I appreciate the feedback, thank you so much.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2019:

Hi Mary, lovely to hear from you and the feedback is welcomed. Thank you so much:)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 22, 2019:

Beautiful creations and I find your instructions with pictures easy to follow. Something to try.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2019:

Thank you so much Billy! Have a happy week-end.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 22, 2019:

They are absolutely adorable, Sally!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2019:

Thank you Louise Powles, glad you like them and I do agree with you, they would make the perfect hand made gift.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on March 22, 2019:

Them little booties look really cute, and easy to make too. I think they would make the perfect gift.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2019:

Thank you, Char Milbrett

Char Milbrett from Minnesota on March 22, 2019:

Coool!