How to Make a Wet-Felted Heart Cushion for Valentine's Day

Updated on February 14, 2018
sallybea profile image

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

Love Heart Cushions to Celebrate Valentine's Day
Love Heart Cushions to Celebrate Valentine's Day | Source

A Love Potion

Love is in the air! Weave a little magic as you cast your own spell to bring together these two sweet(heart) cushions on Valentine's Day. Let the magic begin as you blend wool clipped from a sheep's back. Add soapy water, dye, toil, and friction to put the magic spell together!

What You'll Need

  • Merino Wool Roving: Choose colors of your choice. Avoid red wool unless you know for sure it is colorfast. The red wool will bleed into the white if you are not careful. Trust me, I learned the hard way!
  • Pencil Roving: You only need a small quantity to highlight the edges of the heart.
  • Hot Soapy Water
  • Bubble Wrap
  • A Sheet of Foam Underfloor Layment: You will use these to create two templates, one heart and one rectangle. They'll measure 50x55cm, and I used the same template for both cushions. Underfloor layment is the perfect choice for these templates because they can be used re-used over and over again.
  • 2 Saucers: Your saucers should measure 17cm in diameter.
  • Scissors: Make sure you have a sharp pair!
  • Felt-Tip Pen: This is for drawing the templates. It sometimes pays to wipe the color off once you have cut out the template, as it can bleed into the wool.
  • Ruler
  • 1 or 2 ( 42x41cm) Duck-Feather Cushions. I used two of them and recommend buying good-quality cushions. They really do make a difference to the end result!
  • Contrasting Embroidery Threads: You'll use these to chain stitch around the inner edges of the heart.
  • Backing Fabric: You'll need half a meter of contrasting or matching backing fabric for the cushions.
  • Piping: Cut the piping from the same material. It should be cut the cross. You can use ready-made piping if you wish.
  • A Continuous Length of Zipping: I used 1 meter and cut the zips to size. It can be a little tricky to attach the zip ends, but I've included a video below which will show you how to do it.
  • Zip Ends: You will also need two zip ends, one for each cushion.
  • Bamboo Blind: You'll use this to roll the project.

Draw a heart template using two saucers.
Draw a heart template using two saucers. | Source

1. Create the Templates

Place the two saucers on a sheet of foam layment and trace out the shape. Use a long ruler to connect the lines to create a heart shape. Then, cut around the lines.
Next, draw a 50x50cm rectangle on the sheet.

The heart should almost cover the cushion you will be using.  It will shrink during the felting process.
The heart should almost cover the cushion you will be using. It will shrink during the felting process. | Source

2. Check Your Measurements

Check to make sure the heart template covers almost the entire area of the inner cushion. Remember that some allowance has been given for shrinkage.

Blended wool roving in complementary colors.
Blended wool roving in complementary colors. | Source

3. Choose Your Colors Carefully

I used two layers of a lighter wool roving shade for the bottom two layers.

  • Lilac was used to cover the first two layers.
  • Decorative fibers were added that reached past the heart template.
  • The pencil-thin roving was added to the edges of the template to define the heart shape. In retrospect, I should have added a little embellishment fiber.

This is the first layer of wool roving placed in one direction.
This is the first layer of wool roving placed in one direction. | Source

4. Layer the Roving

Cover the rectangle template with two layers of merino wool roving. Check for any thin spots before moving onto the next layer and fill in any thin spots. Remember, thin spots will result in holes if you don't remedy this early on.

  • Lay the first layer in one direction.
  • Lay the second layer perpendicular to the first layer.

Cover the layers with a layer of darker wool. I used a pale lilac in the center of the heart and darker shades of purple for the outside area. The color of the third layer will become the center of the heart, so it's important to choose a good color that allows the heart to stand out.

Template Pressed Into the Center of the Wool
Template Pressed Into the Center of the Wool | Source

5. Wet the Center of the Wool-Covered Template

Line the heart template in the center of the cushion. Press down on the heart template and smooth the wool down beneath it.

Source

6. Embellish the Area Around the Heart

Add beautiful woolen fibers to the third layer. They should be darker than the wool used for the heart.

Pencil Roving Around the Edges of the Heart Template
Pencil Roving Around the Edges of the Heart Template | Source

7. Make the Heart Stand Out

Wrap thin pieces of pencil roving to add nice details to the area around the heart. Push the fibers into the wet wool and carefully smooth them out.

Wet the bubble wrap to facilitate easy rubbing using the fingers.
Wet the bubble wrap to facilitate easy rubbing using the fingers. | Source

8. Cover the Project

Cover the wool with bubble wrap and wet the bubble wrap's surface with hot, soapy water. Rub it carefully.

Rub the surface of the bubble wrap.
Rub the surface of the bubble wrap. | Source

9. Rub the Surface

Rub gently at first, taking care not to displace any of the pencil roving placed around the heart template.

10. Remove the Template

Carefully lift the template from the fibers when it becomes clear that the felting process has begun.

Gently roll up the project inside the bamboo blind.
Gently roll up the project inside the bamboo blind. | Source

11. Roll

Roll the project inside a large, heavy-duty bamboo blind. Do this very carefully so that you don't displace any of the fibers. When it becomes obvious that the felting process has begun, roll harder.

Changing the Direction of the Project Inside the Bamboo Blind
Changing the Direction of the Project Inside the Bamboo Blind | Source

12. Change Direction

Keep turning the project inside the bamboo blind to facilitate even shrinkage on all sides of the cushion cover.

Trim the cushion cover to size. Mark with chalk, and then draw the lines with a ruler.
Trim the cushion cover to size. Mark with chalk, and then draw the lines with a ruler. | Source

13. Rinse and Dry

Rinse the cushion several times with water, alternating between hot and cold to help shrink the fibers more. You will soon start to feel them tightening under your fingers. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear and squeeze out the excess water. Drop the project onto a hard surface to tighten the fibers, or use a tumble dryer to assist the felting process.

  • Check the contents of the tumble dryer regularly. Compare one cushion to the other until they shrink to the same size.

Embroider chain stitches around the inside of the heart with a few strands of embroidery thread.
Embroider chain stitches around the inside of the heart with a few strands of embroidery thread. | Source

14. Chain Stitch

Embroider a row of chain stitch along the inner edge of the cushion to further define the heart. Use several threads at a time.

Back of Cushions Showing the Flap Covering the Zip
Back of Cushions Showing the Flap Covering the Zip | Source

15. Assemble the Covers

Press and trim the cushion fronts to the necessary size. Prepare piping if you intend to use it, and then tack it on. You can buy ready-made piping. Then, cut the backing fabric to size. I used a concealed zip with a flap. You may choose to assemble it with a different method.

  • Attach the zipper to the back cover or on one edge.
  • Place the wet-felted cushion and the backing right sides together. Then, pin or tack them in place.
  • Sew the pieces together with a sewing machine.
  • Press the covers and put the feather cushions inside.

How to Sew on Ready-Made Piping

Here is a continuous zip sewn underneath a flap.
Here is a continuous zip sewn underneath a flap. | Source
Sweet Heart Cushions
Sweet Heart Cushions | Source

How to Insert a Slider Onto a Continuous Zip

One of the Sweet Heart Cushions
One of the Sweet Heart Cushions | Source
A template covered in red wool.  Be careful not to use red on white if the wool is not color fast.
A template covered in red wool. Be careful not to use red on white if the wool is not color fast. | Source

Another Way to Make the Center of the Heart

If you want to try a different method to create the heart center, try the following steps:

  • Cover the template with red wool.
  • Wet it with warm, soapy water and turn the edges over.
  • Remove the template, and voila! You have a heart with defined edges.

If your red wool bleeds into the white, remember that all is not lost, simply needle felt wool over the stained wool.
If your red wool bleeds into the white, remember that all is not lost, simply needle felt wool over the stained wool. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Sally Gulbrandsen

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      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        8 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you Amanda. I think that with the internet and YouTube you have all the tools to help you with any project you might wish to tackle. My own mother had very little to do with my interest in creating. She was far too busy bringing up 6 children. I am sure that if you have a desire to create you can do so:)

      • Amanda-Anderson profile image

        Amanda-Anderson 

        8 months ago from Marquette, MI

        Congratulations on winning the contest! This looks like a fun project. I wish my mother was as crafty when I was a little girl :)

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you so much Suzanne! So lovely to hear from you, you have been missed! I do hope that things are good with you:)

      • Suzie HQ profile image

        Suzanne Ridgeway 

        9 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

        Congratulations Sally, what a fantastic article and worthy winner! Love the colors you did the cushion in, stunning and the felt work is incredible! Such a talented lady thanks for sharing and congrats again xx

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you so much, I appreciate your taking the time to stop by to comment.

      • naturalife profile image

        O William 

        9 months ago

        Congratulations. This is very beautiful

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Kathryn great to see and thank you for the Congratulations! I do agree with you, they would make a great present at any time of the year. I have some more cushion ideas and can't wait to try them. I love that they have encouraged me to do some sewing too.

      • Kathryn Stratford profile image

        Kathryn 

        9 months ago from Manchester, Connecticut

        Congrats on the Valentines contest.

        I have always enjoyed your hubs, although I am not on here much these days. But I am amazed at how much of these craft projects you do. You are in your own creative niche, and I love it!

        These are so adorable, and would make most anyone a wonderful gift for Valentines Day.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Chitrangada Sharan thank you so much! Your friendship and support are valued and appreciated.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Venkatachari M Thank you so much! Your support is valued and appreciated.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        9 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Congratulations Sally for winning the contest! Well deserved.

        Your hard work is recognised by HubPages and I feel happy for you.

        Thanks for sharing this wonderful tutorial!

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        Very nice tutorial. I appreciate your presentation style so perfectly and beautifully.

        And, Congrats Sally, on the award-winning.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you very much, Thelma, glad you like the Tutorial.

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        9 months ago from Germany

        Congratulation for winning the LoveHub Writing Contest. Well done! This DIY is very awesome. Thanks for sharing.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you MUHAMMED FAISAL F, I appreciate your taking time out to comment.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Happy Valentine's day to you MsDora. Yes, it has been entered into the competition. Thank you for your loyal support, you are valued and appreciated. I hope you have a fabulous day.

      • CaribTales profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        9 months ago from The Caribbean

        Hope this is entered into the Valentine's contest. Not only do the cushions satisfy the sense of sight; they will satisfy the sense of touch for a long time. Happy Valentine's!

      • profile image

        MUHAMMED FAISAL F 

        9 months ago

        beautiful

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Devika thank you so much for your constant support, it is very much appreciated.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        9 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Beautiful ideas! For a special day and with lots of thought.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        So glad you that you like them Linda. Thanks for taking the time to give me some feedback. It is valued and appreciated.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I always like the look of the projects that you create. The cushions are pretty. They would make a lovely gift.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        I appreciate your taking the time to stop by to comment. I loved doing this project and hope that others will enjoy it too.

        Thank you so much.

      • sangre profile image

        Sp Greaney 

        9 months ago from Ireland

        You're so talented. Love it as an idea for Mother's Day too if looking to give something more personal as gift.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Glad you like it Mary and I do agree with you about the zips. I found the continuous zips so easy to use and was very pleased with the way the flaps turned out. This was such a time-consuming tutorial! Perhaps not a good one for YouTube. I have a few of my earlier projects on YouTube but have not done a lot there lately. I am hoping that my next avenue will be a dedicated felting book. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is much appreciated.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        9 months ago from Brazil

        I love this and although perfect for Valentine's day, that would look great year round. You can never have too much love around.

        I appreciate that video about the zip. My zips seem to have all decided to go at the same time. (It's not a waist increase, just age). Now I know how I can replace them using other zips I already have.

        As always, a well explained and visually pleasing tutorial. Do you have these tutorials on Youtube, it might be an excellent avenue to try.

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Hi Donna, glad that you like it. I found some duck feather inners locally which cost only £5 each. I thought they were well worth it. This is such a time-consuming project so it really helped.

      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 

        9 months ago from USA

        Wow, Sally, I really love this project and tutorial. This pillow project seems pretty easy to do and I appreciate that you use a pre-made pillow case. The little details like the embroidery stitches make this pillow truly special. Thanks for posting and sharing!

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Thank you, Billy, much appreciated as always and I hope both you and Bev have a very happy Valentine's day. You never know I may cast a spell:)

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        9 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Well, Bev and I don't do Valentine's Day, and I don't do crafts, but I love reading your articles and watching you weave your magic.

        Happy Sunday dear friend!

      • sallybea profile imageAUTHOR

        Sally Gulbrandsen 

        9 months ago from Norfolk

        Your feedback is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you so much Louse.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        9 months ago from Norfolk, England

        Oh that's lovely, I love the look of that cushion.

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