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How to Use Templates to Create 3D Wet-Felted Flowers (New Method)

Updated on July 7, 2017
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Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is — unique, experimental and always interesting.

This is a tutorial to show you a new method for creating a 3D wet-felted flower. At the top of the article you can see several different templates that you can use to create the flowers as well as a brooch or hat pin that I made.

Wet-Felted 3D Flower

The still damp wet felted 3d flower
The still damp wet felted 3d flower | Source

Wet-Felted Flower Brooch/Hat or Hair Pin

Brooch Hat or Hair Pin
Brooch Hat or Hair Pin | Source

Flower Template Example One

Wet felted flower template example 1
Wet felted flower template example 1 | Source

Flower Template Example Two

Wet Felted flower templateeExample 2
Wet Felted flower templateeExample 2 | Source

Flower Template Example Three

Flower template example 3
Flower template example 3 | Source

Flower Template Example Four

Flower template example 4
Flower template example 4 | Source

Some of the Items Required to Complete This Project

Merino wool roving and 3 flower templates.
Merino wool roving and 3 flower templates. | Source

Laminate Floor Underlay

You should use laminate floor underlay to make the templates for these flowers. Not only is it cost effective but it can be used for a multitude of other wet felting projects including hats and bags. The thickness and texture of the underlay are perfect for this project. This is because it is neither too thick or too thin and with careful handling, the templates can be used over and over again.

Step 1—Create the Template or Templates

  • Zoom into one or more of the images shown above using your own computer screen.
  • Cover each magnified flower with a sheet of A4 computer paper and use a soft felt pen trace to trace one or more of the images from the screen.
  • Cut out the paper image.
  • Put the drawing underneath a sheet of floor laminate underlay and trace around the flower using a felt tip pen.
  • Cut around the edges of each template and remember to cut a hole in the centre of each template.

Items Needed

  • Flower templates made from underfloor laminate
  • Olive oil soap grated and diluted in hot water.
  • A small squeeze bottle
  • A soft felt tip pen
  • A large bamboo blind, preferably a heavy duty one
  • A small quantity of merino wool roving
  • A few chrome brooch pins
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • A small sharp pair of scissors
  • A felt tip pen

Step 2—Cover the 1st Petal Using Merino Wool Roving

  • Cover side 1 of each petal with a fine layer of merino wool roving.

The 1st Petal Covered in a Fine Layer of Merino Wool

Template being covered with wool roving
Template being covered with wool roving | Source

Step 3—Wet the 1st Petal

  • Use the petal with diluted soapy water and use the squeeze bottle to dampen down the 1st petal.

Wet the Fibre

Wetting the fibres with hot soapy water
Wetting the fibres with hot soapy water | Source

The Wet Fibre

Wetting the petal
Wetting the petal | Source

Step 4—Fold Over the Loose Fibres to Create a Neat Edge

  • Add more fibre to the rest of the petals and fold any loose fibres over to the other side.

Add Fibre to the 2nd Petal

Covering the flower petals
Covering the flower petals | Source

Five Petals Covered With Pink Merino Wool Roving

5 of the 6 petals covered in wet wool
5 of the 6 petals covered in wet wool | Source

Side 1 of the Template Completely Covered in Merino Wool Fibres

1st side of the template covered in merino wool fibres.
1st side of the template covered in merino wool fibres. | Source

Side 1 of All 3 Templates Covered in Merino Wool

3 side of the template covered in merino wool
3 side of the template covered in merino wool | Source

Step 5—Cover the 2nd Side of Each Template

  • Cover the other side of each template using another fine layer of merino wool roving.
  • Wet and neaten the edges as before.

Turn Over and Complete Side 2 of the Petals with Merino Wool

Covering side 2 of each template in pink wool
Covering side 2 of each template in pink wool | Source

Step 6—Wet and Neaten the Edges

  • Complete the layers by finishing off the edges and damp down the wool with hot soapy water.

The 3 Templates Placed Inside a Heavy Duty Bamboo Blind

Put the 3 wool covered templates into a bamboo blind
Put the 3 wool covered templates into a bamboo blind | Source

Step 7—Roll the Project Inside the Bamboo Blind

  • Keep on rotating the layers inside as you roll.
  • Rotation of the templates inside allows the fibres to shrink back evenly.
  • Roll until the templates until they start to curl a little.
  • Do a pinch test to make sure that there is no longer any movement from the fibres.

Perform a Pinch Test!

Roll until the fibres no longer move
Roll until the fibres no longer move | Source

Step 8—Join the Layers

  • Thread a large needle with a length of fairly thick knitting yarn
  • Stack the Petals and Sew right through the 3 layers to the other side.
  • Return back through the layers using the needle and thread and make two knots in the knitting yarn to secure the 3 layers together.

Put a Stitch Through the Stack of Petals

Stitch right through all 3 layers of the flower petals with a needle threaded with knitting wool
Stitch right through all 3 layers of the flower petals with a needle threaded with knitting wool | Source

Return the Thread and Needle Back to Side 1

Stitch through to the 1st side and knot the ends of the thread.
Stitch through to the 1st side and knot the ends of the thread. | Source

Pull the 2 Threads Tight and Make 2 Knots in the Wool

Pull the 2 threads tight and knot the threads with 2 knots
Pull the 2 threads tight and knot the threads with 2 knots | Source

The 3 Layers Attached to One Another in the Centre

The 3 layers of the flower cupped into a hand to show how the uncut layers appear.
The 3 layers of the flower cupped into a hand to show how the uncut layers appear. | Source

Step 9—Cut the Petal Edges Carefully

  • Use a small pair of sharp scissors to cut through the layers to expose the template inside.
  • Cut right on the edge of the template for a neat edge.

The Cut Edges Exposing the Template Below

The template is exposed once the petals have been cut.
The template is exposed once the petals have been cut. | Source

Step 10—Remove the Template

  • Pull the petals gently through the hole in the middle of the template and remove the template.

The 1st Layer of Petals Released From the Template

Removing the template
Removing the template | Source

Gently Lift the 1st Template Off

The petals being drawn through the hole in the template
The petals being drawn through the hole in the template | Source

Cut the 2nd and 3rd Layers and Remove the Templates

Cut through all of the petal layers, expose the templates and remove leaving the petals behind.
Cut through all of the petal layers, expose the templates and remove leaving the petals behind. | Source

Step 11—Rinse the Flower in Hot and Then Cold Water to Shrink the Fibre

  • The Petals will still be fragile at this stage so handle them with care.
  • Hold the flower upside down using the wool strands as shown.
  • Rinse in very hot and then cold water several times
  • Gently cup the flower petals in your hand and gently squeeze any excess water out.

Rinse in Hot Water

Rinse under hot and then cold water to shrink the fibres more.
Rinse under hot and then cold water to shrink the fibres more. | Source

Rinse Under Cold Water

Shrinking the fibres
Shrinking the fibres | Source

Step 12—Shrink the Base of the Flower

  • Add a little soapy water to the base of the flower and hold the flower firmly.
  • Slide your fingers up and down the base of the flower and rub well until you start to feel the fibres shrink beneath your fingers.
  • The stem will narrow as it felts down.
  • This may take a little while but by doing so you will be felting the lower half of the flower together to create a firm base for the flower.

Soap the Exposed End of the Flower

Add a little soap to the exposed end of the flower and rub well until the fibres felt together.
Add a little soap to the exposed end of the flower and rub well until the fibres felt together. | Source

Rub the Lower Half of the Flower Until It Felts Together

Felting the lower half of the flower.
Felting the lower half of the flower. | Source

Gently Unfurl the Petals Layer by Layer

Open out the petals to expose their beauty.
Open out the petals to expose their beauty. | Source

The Petals Unfurled, the Lower Half of the Flower Is Fully Felted

The completed flower
The completed flower | Source

Cut and Pull the Woolen Yarn From the Flower

You may wish to put a few blind stitches through the stem to make sure it holds properly.  Rub afterwards with soapy water.
You may wish to put a few blind stitches through the stem to make sure it holds properly. Rub afterwards with soapy water. | Source

The Lower End of the Flower Fused Together

The underside of the flower perfectly felted together.
The underside of the flower perfectly felted together. | Source

The Flower Drying in a Small Vase

Leave the flower to dry in a small container or vase
Leave the flower to dry in a small container or vase | Source

The Completed Brooch Pin

A felt flower made into a brooch pin.
A felt flower made into a brooch pin. | Source

Hat/Brooch or Hair Chrome Pin

Use a hot glue gun to attach the chrome brooch fixing.
Use a hot glue gun to attach the chrome brooch fixing. | Source

A Group of Flowers With a Hot Glue Gun & Brooch Pins

Flowers, hot glue gun and brooch pins
Flowers, hot glue gun and brooch pins | Source

Cut Off the Bottom of the Flowers to Create an Upstanding Brooch

You might like to cut off the bottom of the flower in order to glue it onto a brooch pin as shown.
You might like to cut off the bottom of the flower in order to glue it onto a brooch pin as shown. | Source

Getting Creative with Flowers

Could you please rate this tutorial on level of difficulty

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How to Make a Wet-Felted Flower

© 2017 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Thank you so much, Billy, I appreciate the share. Love Twitter:)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The classes continue, taught by a master craftsperson. :) I'll be sharing this on Twitter. Thank you Sally!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      I love the vase too. I always wondered where and who made it because it is clay moulded onto what must have been a blue bottle before it was fired. I think it has the mark of the person who made it but was never able to find out who it was.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The flowers look beautiful, Sally. (I love the vase, too!) Your wet felting projects are always interesting.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      MizBejabbers, I appreciate the feedback and thank you for rating this tutorial as it gives me a better indication of whether or not I am heading in the right direction. I hope that you will get around to felting one day:)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 months ago

      Sally, you amaze me with your lovely products and easy to follow tutorials. I haven't gotten into felting yet, but I am a crafter and may someday. I rated this tutorial as "moderate", and then I noticed that everyone else did, too, so I guess I wasn't far off.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

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

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Another beautiful work of art! I am so impressed by your creativity.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Mary,

      No, the flower will not droop. If you want to refresh or wash the flower you can simply dip it in hot and then cold water and reshape it. Felt must be one of the most forgiving textiles there is. I have on countless occasions made a new item from old, it is astonishing.

      Olive Oil soap can be bought in bars just like normal soap from the chemist. grated and diluted with water. To be honest, if I see some at a car boot or thrift shop I buy it for future projects.

      E-Bay and Amazon will have it too. If all fails, dish washing soap works just as well though is a little harder on the skin.

      I appreciate your stopping by to comment, thank you.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      I am always amazed at the end result. Just a few questions. After a time, does the flower begin to droop if it is being worn as a brooch? Is there something that needs to be sprayed on it, like starch to keep it firm. I imagine you don't want to kill the soft fluffy look. Also, I have never heard of olive oil soap, is that found online and craft stores?

      You are so creative with your designs.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Yes, it is interesting how different they look. I developed the idea and now realise that the possibilities are endless given my understanding of exactly how the fibres behave under my fingers. I am already anticipating the outcome of my next project.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 months ago from USA

      This is a very interesting technique, Sally. It's amazing to see how different the finished flowers look using different templates. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!