How to Make a Wet Felted Pansy
A Wet Felted Pansy
Easy Step by Step Felt Flower Tutorial
This step by step felting tutorial takes you through the steps of making a felt flower using silver beading wire to help support the petals and stems. This pretty flower can be used on it's own in a bud vase or used on a garment or as decoration for a felted hat.
A sander can be utilized to aid the felting process or alternatively the project can be rolled as usual between a sheet or bubble wrap or between a bamboo mat. My preferred method is to use a bamboo mat.
- Paper Pansy template
- Fine grade silver wire (for large flowers use a slightly thicker wire) Stirling silver beading wire
- A soft felt tip pen
- A small quantity wool roving in colours of your choice
- Washing up liquid or grated olive oil soap diluted in hot soapy water
- Bubble wrap
- A Sheet of thick plastic if using a sander.
- A palm sander (optional) This may be substituted with a bamboo blind or bubble wrap.
Items You Will Require
Step 1—Find a Suitable Pansy Image
- Trace the image below.
- Enlarge the image if required by simply increasing the magnification of your computer screen.
- Use a soft tip felt pen to trace the image.
- Cut the petals out.
- The cut out template will give you a very good indication of the size of the wire frames which will be needed for each petal.
Step 2—Trace the Image
- Once traced the template can be enlarged or made smaller using your printer.
- Most printers these days have this capability.
- Follow your individual Printer Manual Instructions to find out how to enlarge or reduce the size of the image or use the method described above to trace the image using a sheet of computer paper.
Step 3—Cut out the Petals
- Cut out the individual Petals and enlarge those which are shown to be hiding one behind the another.
- Lengthen the short ones behind to make those the same size as the petals which are visible from the front.
Step 4—Prepare the 1st Petal
- Lay the petal down onto a mat.
1 Pansy Petal
Step 5—Measure the Wire
- Trace the outline of the pansy using the soft wire.
- This should go right around the edges of the petals but leave a length on both sides which can be knotted as shown to form the stems of the flower.
- Please see the images below.
Get the Size of the Wire Frame Right
Buy the Right Thickness of Wire
Getting the right thickness of wire for your frame is important. In this Tutorial. The wire used was a little thin for this Pansy which is slightly larger than life size. A Wire which is self-supporting rather than one which requires shaping is required here. I had to use a piece of wool roving as shown here to bring the petal into shape. Practice makes perfect:)
Cut and Knot the Wire as Shown
Step 7—Make the Petal Frames
- Measure the length of the wire required to go around each petal.
- Add a couple of inches at the lower end to make the stem.
- Knot or twist the wire to form the shape of each Petal.
Five Petal Frames
Step 8—Cover the Petal Frames
- Cover the petal frames using wool roving.
- Pull thin long strands from the roving.
- Split the fibres if they are too thick.
Cover the Frame with White Wool Roving
Choose the Colour!
Step 9—Choose Realistic Colours!
- Choose colours which replicate those of real Pansies. Study some of the beautiful images found all over the Internet. Generally, the two top petals at the top of the Pansy are almost always plain in colour though even this is variable, some pansies have petals in one colour with just a touch of yellow at the throat.
Step 10—Create the Petals
- Cover the wire frame using a fine layer of wool roving.
Use a Thin Layer of Wool Roving
Step 11—Add a Second Layer
- Cover the wire frame with a second layer of wool roving.
- This should be placed at 90 degrees to the 1st layer.
The 2nd Layer
Step 12—Getting the Shape Right
- If the wire is a little on the thin side, place a sliver of wool roving across the petal to help support the petal as is shown below.
Wire Frame Placed on the Surface of the Wool Roving
Step 13—Wet the Center of the Petal
- With the squeeze bottle filled with hot soapy water, drop some of the water into the center of the petal.
Wet the wool fibers inside the Frame
Step 14—Wet the Center of the Petals
- Wet the wool in the centre of the frame.
- It should be sufficient to wet all of the wool once the edges have been folded in.
Wet the Center Area
Step 15—Turn the Dry Edges over the Wire Frame
- Use your fingers to fold in the dry edges to form a neat edge.
Folding over the Edges of the Petal
Step 16—Edges Turned In.
- Below the wool fibres can be seen to be neatly folded around the metal frame.
Step 17 Make 5 Petals
- This image shows the five petals ready to have a decorative layer added to the surface of the wool.
Step 18—The Decorative Layer
- Add a decorative layer.
- The top two petals were left blank.
- This is typical of many of the varieties of pansies though there are very many variations on this theme.
Step 19—Make the Sepal
- Use the silver wire to make the sepal in the same way as the petals were made.
Step 20—Make the Sepal
- Place the wire frame on the opened out wool roving and wrap it around the top
Fold the Wool Roving
Step 21—Wet the Sepal
- Wet the Sepal and roll on the mat.
Adding Soapy Water
Step 22—Roll Well
- Roll the wet wool until it felts hard up against the metal.
- Add a little hot and cold water so as to quicken the shrinking process.
Rubbing and Rolling
Step 24—Felting the Petals
- Assemble the pieces together on a sheet of bubble wrap.
The Flower Components
Step 25—Cover with Plastic
- Cover the assembled pieces with a thick sheet of plastic or a piece of bubble wrap.
- Sand well with a palm sander using all the safety instructions associated with using a sander near water.
- Alternatively, put the assembled pieces between a bamboo blind and roll well in all directions or cover with bubble wrap and rub well in the usual way.
Cover with Bubble-Wrap, Bubbles Facing Down.
Step 26—Safety First!
- Never allow the sander to come into contact with water and don't use a sander which has a dust bag.
A Note of Caution
Follow safe practices when working with electricity near water. Wear rubber soled shoes and ensure that you had a safety trip meter or plug. A Sander specifically designed to be used for wet felting is available through a sander without a dust bag can be modified as has mine been, with a mouse-pad and a thin piece of waterproof boarding to prevent any water from entering the sander.
Cover Items With a Thick Sheet of Plastic
- Use a thick sheet of plastic or even a child's play mat will suffice.
A Play Mat!
Step 28—Sand, Rub or Roll on Both Sides
- Sand, rub or roll the items on both sides.
- Start by vibrating the petals for about three minutes on each side.
- Keep on changing the direction in which you roll the woollen fibres if using a bamboo mat or bubble wrap.
The Right Side
Step 29—Turn Over
- Sand, rub or roll on both sides.
Turn to Wrong Side
- Dip the petals in hot and then cold water and add a little white vinegar to the final rinse water.
Dip into Hot Water and Then Cold Water
Petals Dunked in Hot Water
Step 31—Pat Dry
- Pat the petals dry and then assemble the pieces.
- Twist the wires together and if desired cover the stems with thin layer green wool roving.
- Rub and roll the stems until they shrink back against the wire.
- Assemble the petals with the sepal in the middle.
The Assembled Pansy
Close up Image of a Pansy
Some Interesting Facts about Pansies.
- Pansies are edible and fragrant.
- They are part of the Viola family which includes pansies and violas of which there are over 500 varieties
- Pansies are single with five rounded petals.
- Blue and yellow pansies have the strongest perfume or scent.
- The wonderful scent of pansies does appear to be stronger early in the morning or later in the evening
- They are easy to grow from seed
- They are pretty much disease free
- Some varieties grow in Winter and others grow in Spring and Summer
- The flowers and the leaves are edible and are high in Vitamin A and C. They have a strong flavor and can be used to make syrup. They are used in salads and can flavor honey.
- The flowers can be used as a dye
- The Greeks are known to use Pansies in herbal medicine
- William Shakespeare was inspired to write about Pansies
- Pansies prefer to grow in full or partial sun
- Pansies are seldom bothered by pests
Making a 3d Wet Felted Flower with an Electric Sander
For more 3D Wet Felted Tutorial in this series please follow the link below:-
- How to make a 3d Felt Flower using Wet Felting Techniques - A Video Tutorial
This short video will explain how to make a 3-D Felt Flower using the Wet Felting Technique along with a clear explanation of how the whole process works from beginning to end
Questions & Answers
© 2014 Sally Gulbrandsen