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How to Make a Wet Felted Pansy

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

Wet felted pansy

Wet felted pansy

Easy Step-by-Step Felt Flower Tutorial

This 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 its 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. 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.

What You'll Need

  • Paper pansy template
  • Scissors
  • Stirling silver beading wire fine grade silver wire (for large flowers, use a slightly thicker wire)
  • A soft felt tip pen
  • Paper
  • A small quantity of 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.
Some required items: palm sander, squeeze bottle, wool roving and silver wire

Some required items: palm sander, squeeze bottle, wool roving and silver wire

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.
Copy or draw a suitable pansy image.

Copy or draw a suitable pansy image.

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.
The template. Trace the image.

The template. Trace the image.

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.
Cut out the petals.

Cut out the petals.

Step 4: Prepare the 1st Petal

Lay the petal down onto a mat.

One pansy petal

One 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.
Measure the length of the wire frame needed for the petal.

Measure the length of the wire frame needed for the petal.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Feltmagnet

Step 6: Knot the Wire

Knot the wire as shown below.

The cut and knotted frame for one petal

The cut and knotted frame for one petal

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

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 wire frame with wool roving.

Cover the wire frame with wool roving.

Choose some suitable colors for your pansy.

Choose some suitable colors for your pansy.

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. Lay fibres down first in one direction and the next layer at 90 degrees to the first layer.

Use a thin layer of wool roving. Lay fibres down first in one direction and the next layer at 90 degrees to the first layer.

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 second layer. Fibres placed at 90 degrees to the first layer.

The second layer. Fibres placed at 90 degrees to the first 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 on the surface of the wool roving

Wire frame 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.

Using the squeeze bottle, wet the wool inside the frame with hot soapy water.

Using the squeeze bottle, wet the wool inside the frame with hot soapy water.

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.
The wet area of the petal

The wet area of the petal

Step 15: Turn the Dry Edges Over the Wire Frame

Use your fingers to fold in the dry edges to form a neat edge.

Turn over the edges of the petal.

Turn 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.

Wool turned in over the wire

Wool turned in over the wire

Step 17: Make 5 Petals

This image shows the five petals ready to have a decorative layer added to the surface of the wool.

Five petals ready for the decorative layer

Five petals ready for the decorative layer

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.
Add decorative layer to resemble those of a real pansy.

Add decorative layer to resemble those of a real pansy.

Step 19: Make the Sepal

Use the silver wire to make the sepal in the same way as the petals were made.

Tie a small sliver of wool roving with the wire as shown.

Tie a small sliver of wool roving with the wire as shown.

Step 20: Make the Sepal

Place the wire frame on the opened out wool roving and wrap it around the top

Fold back half of the wool roving.

Fold back half of the wool roving.

Step 21: Wet the Sepal

Wet the Sepal and roll on the mat.

Adding hot soapy water

Adding hot soapy water

Step 22: Roll Well

Roll the wet wool until it felts hard up against the metal.

Rub until felted together.

Rub until felted together.

Step 23: Felting

Add a little hot and cold water so as to quicken the shrinking process.

Felted sepal

Felted sepal

Step 24: Felting the Petals

Assemble the pieces together on a sheet of bubble wrap.

Petals top side up

Petals top side up

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.

Cover with bubble wrap.

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.

Cover bubble wrap with a sheet of thick plastic.

Cover bubble wrap with a sheet of thick plastic.

Step 27: Plastic

Use a thick sheet of plastic or even a child's play mat will suffice.

Play mat prevents moisture from reaching the electric sander.

Play mat prevents moisture from reaching the electric sander.

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.
Remove top layers and turn over petals.

Remove top layers and turn over petals.

Step 29: Turn Over

Sand, rub or roll on both sides.

Cover again and sand for three minutes.

Cover again and sand for three minutes.

Step 30: Shrink

Dip the petals in hot and then cold water and add a little white vinegar to the final rinse water.

Dipping petal into hot water and then cold water

Dipping petal into hot water and then cold water

Dip in hot water and then dunk in cold water.

Dip in hot water and then dunk in cold 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.
Wires covered in wool and then dipped into hot soapy water, rubbed until completely fulled

Wires covered in wool and then dipped into hot soapy water, rubbed until completely fulled

A pansy amid signs of music

A pansy amid signs of music

Close-up image of a 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
Pansy delight

Pansy delight

How to Make an Easy 3D Wet Felted Flower

  • How to Make an Easy 3D Wet Felted Flower
    This tutorial describes how to make a 3D wet felted flower using merino wool roving or wool tops. This large, spikey felt flower can be added to a garment or hat.

© 2014 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 13, 2015:

Kylyssa

If there is one hobby you should try it is wet felting! It can be quite addictive:) I really appreciate the visit and hope that you will return to explore a little more. I really can recommend that your try the little coin purses made in a tumble dryer.

Kylyssa Shay from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on August 13, 2015:

I've avoided looking at your other craft tutorials because I really, really don't need another hobby but the finished product looks so cool I had to come and take a look at this one. What an easy-to-follow set of step-by-step instructions for making felted pansies! The finished product is so cute.

Richard Parr from Australia on March 26, 2014:

Congratulations on your hubpot win, well deserved. This article reminds me of the format used on the Instructables web site. Beautifully presented. voted up and awesome.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

PegCole17

So pleased that you enjoyed my tutorial.

Thank you very much.

Sally

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

Glimmer Twin Fan

Start at the beginning with a very small project. I am about to publish a beginners Tutorial on how to make a rose. It is so very easy and the results are really lovely. I should post it later tonight.

I am always happy to help if you have any questions.

Best wishes

Sally

Claudia Porter on March 26, 2014:

So beautiful Sally. I love pansies and this is just lovely. I really really need to try felting some time. Just not sure how to get started.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 26, 2014:

Amazing detail on the instructions with great photos to go along with the directions. Beautiful and creative.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

Vellur

I am delighted to have won with this Hub as I very much enjoyed creating the pansy. Thank you so much.

Sally

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 26, 2014:

An awesome creative hub!! The pansies are beautiful! Congratulations on the win!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

Mark Ewbie

I imagine it is not but I am still delighted to have you grace my pages. Time for Mr Stickman or Mrs Stickman to do some wet felting. I imagine Mrs Stickman needs a new frock or a flower in her hair.

Thanks for stopping by Mark

Sally

Mark Ewbie from UK on March 26, 2014:

Oh wow - amazing. Not really my thing, making flowers, but the work you put in and the pictures. That's really something else. Poor old Stickman is going to need a makeover with a steam iron.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 25, 2014:

oceansunsets

It is my pleasure to share the very enjoyable craft of Wet Felting with visitors to these pages. Thank you very much for your comment.

Sally

Paula from The Midwest, USA on March 25, 2014:

Hi Sallybea, what an interesting hub! I love pansies, and love crafts, but never would have thought to create something like this! Thanks for sharing it, it is really unique.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 25, 2014:

R Talloni

How nice is that! I did not realize I had won until you told me! Thank you very much for your comment too.

Sally

RTalloni on March 25, 2014:

Congrats, congrats on the win! Such a neat project with detailed instructions and neat info!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 24, 2014:

Prosperity66

Thanks for the visit and the comment, glad I was able to teach you a little about felting.

Sally

Prosperity66 on March 24, 2014:

I've always wondered how to assemble felted wool, now I know...