How to Make a Wet Felted Flex Frame Purse or Pouch (No-Sew Method)
About This Tutorial
This tutorial has been designed to be a no-sew project. The installation of the flex frame is quick, simple, cost-effective and easy. This project should take approximately 3 hours to complete.
The template width is sufficient to accommodate a flex frame of this size. Adjust the length of the template if you want to make a smaller coin purse. You can round the corners of the template if you prefer them this way.
The layers of wool should be kept thin and even. Two layers can be used instead of 3. Once inverted, this pouch will have 6 layers. The small amount of decorative fiber makes it quite thick, but this is a good thickness for protecting a pair of glasses. You could use two layers of wool and one layer of silk fabric (a silk scarf) for a completely different 'Nuno felted' look. I would use the silk fabric on both sides of one half of the template.
- The template measures 20" x 5"
- It can be made from underfloor layment
What You'll Need
- A template made from underfloor layment. This can be purchased from . I make all of my templates from underfloor layment. The finished template can be re-used multiple times over and will even survive a spin in the tumble dryer. Amazon
- 1 Flex Frame. I purchased mine from . These are good quality, very reasonable, quick and easy to install. I used 8-12 cm frames but you can adjust your frame sizes according to your needs. Amazon
- Merino Wool Roving
- Warm Soapy Water (Olive oil soap is kind to the hands) but in even diluted dish washing liquid can be used.
- A plastic spray or squeeze bottle.
- A heavy duty bamboo blind or bubblewrap
- A Tumble Dryer(Useful but not essential)
- A sharp pair of Scissors
1. The 1st Layer of Wool Roving
- Cover one side of the template with an even layer of (white in this case) Merino Wool Roving.
- If you want the inside of the pouch white and the exterior to be green, you should, at the half way mark (where the template is folded in the image above) make one half white and the other half green (for example).
- When the template is flipped over to the second side, you should then match these colors with the other side.
- Remember to keep the layers even throughout this project.
2. Wet the Fibers
- Use the soapy water mix to wet the fibers.
3. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Wet the surface of the bubblewrap.
- This facilitates easy movement of the fingers on the surface of the bubblewrap.
4. Wet the Bubblewrap
- Wetting the surface of the bubblewrap helps facilitate easy movement of the fingers and palms on the plastic.
- This should be done throughout the project.
5. Gently Remove the Bubblewrap
- Take care not to disturb the wet fibers.
6. Flip the Project Over
- Fold the loose wet fibers over the edges of the template.
- Smooth down with a little water.
7. The 2nd Layer of Wool Roving
- Cover the 2nd side with an even layer of wool roving
8. Wet the Wool
- Wet the wool with soapy water.
9.Cover with Bubblewrap
- Wet the surface of the bubblewrap with soapy water.
10. Rub Well
- Rub until the wet fibers have flattened.
11. Remove the Bubblewrap
- Gently lift the bubblewrap from the wet wool.
12. Flip the Project Over
- Flip the project over being careful not to disturb the edges.
13. Neaten the Edges
- Fold over the edges as before.
14. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Wet the surface of the bubblewrap and rub well.
15. Maintain Neat Edges
- Rub the edges as shown to maintain neat edges.
- This helps prevent a fold mark emerging.
16. The 3rd Layer of Wool Roving
- Cover with a (brown) layer of wool roving.
- If you previously covered half of the template in one color and the other half in another this will leave you with a different color on the inside of your pouch.
- You may choose from the 2, which one you want to appear on the inside or the outside.
17. Wet the Wool
- Wet the wool with soapy water.
18. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Wet the surface with soapy water as before.
- Rub well.
19. Remove the Bubblewrap
- Gently remove the bubblewrap.
20. Flip the Project Over
- Flip the project over and turn the edges over as before.
21. The Last Layer of Brown
- Cover the template with fiber as is shown.
22. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Rub Well.
23. Neaten the Edges
- Fold over the loose fibers and rub as before.
24. Finally, A Thin Layer of Decoration!
- You may want to add a few decorative fibers as I did. These can be added at the same time as the brown layer.
- You may wish to cover one half of the template with decorative fibers, (both sides of the half)
25. Wet the Fibers
- Wet the decorative fibers.
26. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Rub well as before and repeat on the other side.
27. Remove the bubblewrap
- Gently remove the bubblewrap
28. Flip the Project Over
- Turn the project over.
29. Neaten the Edges
- Turn any loose fibers over the edges.
30. Add Decorative Fibers
- Complete the final layer of decoration.
- Please note that I only added a few fibers, just enough to make the brown wool more interesting.
31. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Cover and rub as before.
32. Remove the Bubblewrap
- Gently remove the bubblewrap taking care not to disturb the decorative fibers.
33. Neaten the Edges
- Neaten the edges as before.
34. Cover with Bubblewrap
- Wet the surface and rub very well.
- Rub until the fibers become stable and no longer move.
- They will not be fully felted at this stage.
35. Rub the Edges
- Check the edges, neaten them by rubbing them as shown.
- This helps to create perfect edges.
A Close up of the Edges
36. Roll Inside a Bamboo Blind
- Roll inside a heavy duty bamboo mat.
- Do this gently at first but once the fibers are well knitted you can do it much more firmly.
- Keep on changing the direction in which you roll the project.
- This will make the project shrink evenly from all sides.
- Keep on hanging the direction of the roll as this allows the project to shrink from all sides.
- Rolling inside a bamboo mat helps maintain good edges.
- If you use this method you will never see a fold mark on the edges.
- The constantly shrinking fibers simply shift to take up the new area.
- This is the reason why a is my favorite wet felting tool. heavy duty bamboo blind
38. Tumble Dryer Felting
- Once the template starts to buckle I put the project into a tumble dryer for a few minutes, just to finish off the felting.
- This is not essential but it certainly does take some of the hard work out of the felting process..
39. Check for Shrinkage!
- Check the amount of shrinkage you have achieved against a glasses case if you have one.
- If i need more shrinkage resort to the tumble dryer for help or put into hot and cold water to shrink it further.
40. Fold the Project in Half
- Fold and smooth out the project as much as possible and prepare to cut a small hole where the spring clip will be inserted.
- Remember to cut it lengthwise and not width wise.
- This is very important.
- The template is removed through this hole.
41. Cutting the Hole for the Spring Clip
- The hole for the spring clip should be cut as small as possible, just sufficient for you to extract the template
- Take care cutting this hole. Too big and it will look unsightly and cut sideways instead of lengthwise it will ruin the look of your project.
42. Remove the template
- Extract the template with care.
- I use a small pair of pointed tweezers.
- Take care and you will be able to re-use the template next time.
- Rinse the project to remove the soapy water and douse it in warm water with a little vinegar added to it.
43. How to Insert the The Flex Frame
- Invert one end of the project into the other so that the hole is exactly at the half way mark.
- This will make the project twice the thickness.
- Open the spring clip and ease it through the small hole and around the curve at the other side.
- Insert the little pin provided and bend over the little clips on the flex frame.
© 2020 Sally Gulbrandsen