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How to Make a 4D Wet-Felted Flower

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

The completed wet-felted flower.

The completed wet-felted flower.

Simple Can Be Oh-So Beautiful

This wet felting tutorial was developed with both the novice and the more experienced feltmaker in mind.

On completion of this tutorial, you should end up with a beautiful, delicate 4D flower. Don't forget to keep your wool-roving fibers sparse. This will ensure that your finished flower is both wispy thin and delicate-looking.

Place the wool-roving fibers as close to the fluffy edges of the mohair knitting yarn as is possible. This will ensure that the mohair yarn can fuse with the wool roving fibers. Don't worry too much if one or two escape. Those loose threads will enhance the soft, delicate nature of the flower. If too many escape, simply needle felt them back into position once the flower has dried.

Wool roving and mohair knitting yarn

Wool roving and mohair knitting yarn

Things You Will Need to Complete This Tutorial

  • Sheet of White A 3 Paper
  • Flower template
  • A chopping board
  • Pen
  • Cling wrap
  • A marble or wooden chopping board
  • Merino wool roving
  • Warm soapy water
  • a squeeze bottle with a small nozzle (Hair dye bottle works incredibly well)
  • Bamboo Sushi Mat
  • Elastic band
  • Scissors
  • Small quantity Mohair knitting yarn
Draw 3 matching petals and one larger petal for the bottom layer.

Draw 3 matching petals and one larger petal for the bottom layer.

Step 1: Draw the Template

Begin by drawing a heart shaped petal, combine three of them to form one layer as shown.

Remember to allow for shrinkage of around 40 percent when drawing your layers.

Draw three of the layers the same size and make one layer slightly larger.

Alternatively, zoom into the images on this page and transfer them to a piece of paper.

Put onto a board and cover with cling film.

Put onto a board and cover with cling film.

Step 2: Cling Wrap the Template

Put the drawn template onto a wooden or marble chopping board. Cover in cling wrap to prevent it from getting wet during the process.

Tracing over the lines with warm hot soapy water

Tracing over the lines with warm hot soapy water

Step 3: Trace Over the Lines of the Template With Warm Soapy Water

Wool roving and mohair yarn

Wool roving and mohair yarn

Step 4: Gather Together the Required Wool Roving and Mohair Yarn

Trace over the wet soapy lines as shown.

Trace over the wet soapy lines as shown.

Beginning to trace the lines with mohair yarn

Beginning to trace the lines with mohair yarn

Step 5: Trace Over the First Wet Lines on the Template With the Mohair Yarn

4 layers of petals edged with mohair yarn

4 layers of petals edged with mohair yarn

Step 6: Edge All 4 Layers With the Mohair Yarn

Filling the individual petals with merino wool fibers.

Filling the individual petals with merino wool fibers.

Step 7: Fill the Petals With a Fine Layer of Merino Wool Fibers

Curve the merino fibers along the mohair edge.

Curve the merino fibers along the mohair edge.

Step 8: Curve the Fibers Into Each Petal

See the photos above and below for an example of how to curve the fibers.

Fill the petal, curving the fibers to fit the curve of the petal.

Fill the petal, curving the fibers to fit the curve of the petal.

Step 9: Fill the Fibers So That They Touch the Mohair Edging

The fibers should fit the curve of the petal.

Filling the petals with a thin layer of fibers

Filling the petals with a thin layer of fibers

Step 10: Fill the Petals With a Fine Layer of Fibers

Blending the fibers for effect

Blending the fibers for effect

Step 11: Blend With Contrasting Merino Wool Fibers

Blend the fibers for effect.

2nd layer complete

2nd layer complete

Step 12: Fill Any Gaps Within the 4D Layers

After this, your second layer will be complete.

A final touch of blue wool roving

A final touch of blue wool roving

Step 13: Add a Few Contrasting Fibers for Decoration

Don't add too much fiber. Too much thickness will result in a thick heavy felt flower without the desired wispiness.

Wetting the fibers with warm soapy water

Wetting the fibers with warm soapy water

Step 14: Dampen Down the Fibers With Warm Soapy Water

Pressing the damp fibers down.

Pressing the damp fibers down.

Step 15: Pat Down the Fibers With Your Fingers

You'll want to carefully press the damp fibers down.

With a finger smooth the fibers to make a nice petal shape.

With a finger smooth the fibers to make a nice petal shape.

Step 16: Smooth Any Loose Fibers on the Edges

Use your finger to smooth the fibers into a nice petal shape.

Cover the petals with bubble-wrap

Cover the petals with bubble-wrap

Step 17: Cover With Bubble Wrap

Make sure to cover the project bubble-side-down.

Rub the wet surface with warm soapy water

Rub the wet surface with warm soapy water

Step 18: Wet the Smooth Surface With Soapy Water and Rub Gently

Remove the bubble-wrap

Remove the bubble-wrap

Bubble-wrap removed

Bubble-wrap removed

Step 19: Remove the Bubble Wrap

Keeping the edges in shape

Keeping the edges in shape

Step 20: Keep the Edges Ship-Shape

Retouch the edges as needed to keep them neat.

Re-cover with bubblewrap

Re-cover with bubblewrap

Step 21: Cover Again With the Bubble Wrap

Exposed layers and a bamboo sushi mat

Exposed layers and a bamboo sushi mat

Step 22: Remove the Bubble Wrap

Next, carefully remove the wrap again. Have your sushi mat nearby.

Putting the layers onto the bamboo sushi mat

Putting the layers onto the bamboo sushi mat

Step 23: Lift the Petals off the Cling-Wrap and Place Them on the Sushi Mat

The 4 layers shown being put into the sushi mat

The 4 layers shown being put into the sushi mat

Step 24: Roll Up the Sushi Mat With the Layers Inside

Secure the sushi mat with a rubber band

Secure the sushi mat with a rubber band

Step 25: Secure With a Rubber Band and Roll About Ten Times

Keep on rotating the layers inside the sushi mat

Keep on rotating the layers inside the sushi mat

Step 26: Keep Rotating the Sushi Mat and Roll Ten Times, Then Repeat

Make sure to rotate the layers inside the sushi mat between each set of rolls.

The underside of the layers

The underside of the layers

Drop the layers into a bowl of hot water

Drop the layers into a bowl of hot water

Step 27: Drop All Four Layers Into a Bowl of Hot Water

Drop into a bowl of cold water

Drop into a bowl of cold water

Step 28: Then Drop Into a Bowl of Cold Water

Repeat the process

Repeat the process

Step 29: Repeat the Hot and Cold Water Once More

Squeeze out the water

Squeeze out the water

Step 30: Rinse and Squeeze Out Excess Water Gently

Throw the layers down onto a counter top to full

Throw the layers down onto a counter top to full

Step 31: Throw the Layers Down Onto a Hard Surface to 'Full'

A countertop makes a good hard surface for this part.

Iron smooth but don't iron the layers dry.

Iron smooth but don't iron the layers dry.

Step 32: Iron the Layers Flat but Don't Dry Them

Don't iron these layers to the point of dryness; they should remain damp for shaping.

Joining the 4 layers with thread

Joining the 4 layers with thread

Step 33: Stack the Layers and Join Them Together

Put the three smaller layers on top of the larger one, then join them together with needle and thread.

Sew the 4 layers together taking the thread back to the lower side.

Sew the 4 layers together taking the thread back to the lower side.

Step 34: Sew the Four Layers Together

Take the thread back to the lower side.

Grasp the layers together with one hand

Grasp the layers together with one hand

Step 35: Grasp the Petals Together in One Hand

See the photo above for an example of how to do this.

Put an elastic band around the base end

Put an elastic band around the base end

Step 36: Wrap an Elastic Band Around the Base of the Flower

The top side of the petals before shaping

The top side of the petals before shaping

Sew right though the back of the flower from several points as shown and remove elastic band.

Sew right though the back of the flower from several points as shown and remove elastic band.

Step 37: Once Dry, Sew Through All Four Layers and Remove the Elastic Band

Sew through the back of the flower as shown in the photo above.

Open the damp petals and shape as desired

Open the damp petals and shape as desired

Step 38: Open the Damp Petals and Shape as Desired

Now your flower is complete!

Your Comments Are Welcomed

I hope you enjoy this tutorial.

Your comments and suggestions for future tutorials are welcomed. I look forward to hearing from you.

© 2016 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 03, 2020:

You are right, the fibers will lay in one direction. I made that bag such a long time ago! I sometimes split the batts and place the fibers so they run in different directions. I don't often use batts these days unless I want to blend bits and pieces left over from projects or use natural sheeps wool which I process myself. I hate wasting anything! I find it cheaper and easier to buy Botany Waste and tend to use it for most projects simply because it is good value..

Sherry Defazio on February 03, 2020:

Hi Sally I love your work and your tutorials. Much appreciated!

Was reading the tutorial on the spiral purse and you mentioned that a drum carder batt was used and that the fibers were going in different directions and would make a stronger purse. If a batt was produced on a drum carder the fibers would all be going in the same direction. Right?

Just confused about that

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 31, 2016:

Thank you, Dave, that is very kind of you. I hope your granddaughters enjoy them. I, on the other hand appreciate every visit you make to my pages.

Best wishes,

Sally.

Dave from Lancashire north west England on January 31, 2016:

Sally, another beautiful presentation. It is unlikely I will ever make them but it does not stop me admiring the things you do, and I book mark them for my granddaughters . Well done.

Nell Rose from England on January 28, 2016:

lol! yes I expect they will, I still have loads that I need to check and get rid of.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 28, 2016:

No problem those bots will find them.

Nell Rose from England on January 28, 2016:

lol! clover? my spelling is going crazy!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 28, 2016:

Nell Rose,

Yes, you would have seen similar but, the idea behind these particular flowers is completely my own;) I love finding new ways of creating using this fantastic medium. So glad you like this one. I also hope that this year will be the one when writing my book becomes a reality.

Many thanks,

Sally.

Nell Rose from England on January 28, 2016:

I would have no idea on how to make these, but I have seen similar on hats etc and did wonder and think how clever they are. Now I know, you are so clover and making these and other wet felt stuff, I love it! and yes I agree with the above comments, you should get this down in a book, with all the amazing photos it will be a best seller!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 27, 2016:

FlourishAnyway

Writing a book is on my list of to do things to do this year.

Thanks for the very kind comment and for your encouragement.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 27, 2016:

Very pretty. You completely own the space of wee felting and I hope are writing a book?

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 27, 2016:

GlimmerTwinFan

Glad you liked this tutorial and yes, they can look very delicate, more so when the layer of fibers are laid down very fine.

Thank for taking the time out to comment.

Sally.

Claudia Mitchell on January 27, 2016:

Wow - How lovely Sally. These are so delicate looking too. Another well done tutorial.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 25, 2016:

craftybegonia

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed this felting tutorial. I hope you will try it as it is not only simple but a very effective way of making very beautiful felt flowers. Enjoy!

Sally

craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on January 24, 2016:

That is a terrific DIY project! Love the step by step sequence, helps to follow along and to learn as we go. I love the felted look, one of these days, I am going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 24, 2016:

Larry Rankin

Wonderful to have the feedback! Thank you for visiting this hub and for taking the time to comment. Your visit is appreciated.

Sally.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on January 24, 2016:

Wonderful DYI project. You really did a good job of illustrating the steps.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 23, 2016:

AliciaC

Thank you so much! I am glad you liked the flowers. Feedback such as yours is always appreciated.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 23, 2016:

The flowers are so beautiful. I love the results of your wet felting projects. The format of photos and text that you use is a great way to share the instructions.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 23, 2016:

Hi Devika,

I guess we should all follow our own rule, which is that we should do whatever we enjoy and what makes us happy.

I always appreciate your visits and your comments. Thanks for the tweet too especially as I expect to hit the magic 200,000 views this weekend.

Sally

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 23, 2016:

Hi Sally

You are a good at what you do, always creative. I like the idea but just can't get into something like this. Your explanations are great. I Tweeted!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 22, 2016:

Thank you for your very kind comment MsDora, your continued support is valued and appreciated.

Sally

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 22, 2016:

Sally, you're the Queen of Wet Felt craft. You're also a good teacher, giving super detailed instructions and your creativity is awesome. Great work!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 22, 2016:

Hi Donna,

Glad you liked the flowers and the Tutorial. I love making these flowers, one never tell quite how the blending will work but somehow, it always seems to.

Thanks for stopping by to comment, every visit is valued and appreciated. Thank you so much.

Sally

Donna Herron from USA on January 22, 2016:

Hi Sally - These flowers are gorgeous! Your tutorial and photos make the process so easy. I love the different colors that you can put together to create these flowers. These floral accessories would be a great way to add color to some many things. Thanks for sharing!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 21, 2016:

Hi Billy

First again Billy. I am not sure how you do it but I am so grateful for your support and encouragement. I appreciate every one of your very kind comments.

Thank you so much,

Sally.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 21, 2016:

You know I'm completely ignorant about this stuff, Sally, and the chances of me ever doing it are about as small as me voting for Donald Trump. :) Having said that, I think your craft articles are some of the best out there. The pictures are always clear, the instruction precise and your voice friendly and encouraging. In other words, great job!

bill