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Template for Quick and Easy Wet Felted Coin Purses

Updated on July 31, 2017
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Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is — unique, experimental and always interesting.

A Group of Wet Felted Coin Purses

A group of wet felted purses which were made using templates.
A group of wet felted purses which were made using templates. | Source

Time and Money!

This tutorial is aimed at those crafters who want to reduce the amount of time it takes for them to produce small felted items to sell. We all know how long it takes to make just one item! It makes sense then to make purses, small vessels, booties, and flowers in bulk since rolling one item takes just about the same amount of time as it will six or 10.

You can increase the profitability of these little coin purses by purchasing Botany Lap Waste fibre for this project instead of pure Merino Wool Roving. The cost of buying 500 grams is just £9 with postage added on top. I buy 1 kilo or more at a time! Most of the fibre included in the package is Merino Wool but there may be some fibres added which will not felt quite as well. However, they can be blended together to create a rich beautiful mix suitable for both felting or spinning. I love that feeling of anticipation I get when I am waiting 'impatiently' for my next 'lucky dip' to arrive.

Coin purse frames can be purchased from E-Bay or Amazon. Some may be of poor quality and some take a long time to arrive but the sew in purse frames which I recently purchased from Oriental Direct surpassed all of my expectations. Not only were they delivered in 2 days but they look as good as they feel, just the sort of frame which I enjoy working with. Sometimes cheap frames can rust if the wool is not completely dry when you sew the frame on. To avoid disappointment, choose good quality frames. It seems a shame to spend so many hours on a project only to risk such a calamity.

Botany Lap Waste Fibre Package from World of Wool

A 1 kg Botany lap waste fiber surprise package
A 1 kg Botany lap waste fiber surprise package | Source

Things You Need for This Wet Felting Project

  • Underfloor laminate for tracing the templates on. This can be bought at your local hardware store.
  • 6 -10 Sew in Coin Purse Frames -10 Count - Silver - 8.5cm from (E-Bay)
  • Botany lap waste fibres which can be purchased in quantities of 500 grams or more from World of Wool or Amazon.
  • Olive oil soap grated and diluted in warm water) Alternatively you might like to use dishwashing liquid diluted with warm water
  • A small squeeze Bottle filled with hot soapy water.
  • Bubble-wrap
  • A small pair of sharp scissors
  • 1 Polystyrene ball with a circumference of 8"
  • 1 Polystyrene ball with a circumference of 10"
  • A heavy- duty bamboo blind (Bubble-wrap) may be substituted.
  • A large sheet of bubble-wrap
  • A sewing needle which has a large but narrow eye which can easily be threaded and pushed through the holes in the coin purse frames using 3 strands of embroidery thread.
  • Embroidery thread to match or contrast with each coin purse
  • A thin knitting needle (to help push the cut edges of the felt up into the frame when completing the purse.

Botany Lap Waste Fibre Purchased from World of Wool

Botany Lap Waste Fibers
Botany Lap Waste Fibers | Source

8 or 9" LACrafts Smooth Foam Balls

A small polystyrene ball with a circumference of 8.50 inches
A small polystyrene ball with a circumference of 8.50 inches | Source

(1) 10" LACrafts Smooth Foam Balls

The circumference of the larger ball is 10 inches.
The circumference of the larger ball is 10 inches. | Source

Some of the Items Needed for this Tutorial

Template, wool roving, polystyrene balls and a few curls for texture if required.
Template, wool roving, polystyrene balls and a few curls for texture if required. | Source

Step 1—Prepare the Templates

  • Draw or trace 6 - 10 templates as shown above onto a sheet of underfloor laminate.
  • Cut out the templates.

6 Inch Diameter

Measuring the template
Measuring the template | Source

Step 2—Cover a Template with a Layer of Wool Roving

  • The layer should not be too thin but then neither should it be too thick.
  • You should not be able to see the template through the wool.
  • The wool should extend just a little over the edges of the template.
  • Gaps in the wool roving should always be filled so that you cannot see the template below.
  • Uneven layers always result in holes or thin spots!

Template Being Covered with Wool Roving

Pulling off the wool roving to cover the template with an even layer of wool.
Pulling off the wool roving to cover the template with an even layer of wool. | Source

The Template Covered in Wool Roving

The template covered in pink wool roving
The template covered in pink wool roving | Source

Step 3—Wet the Wool Roving

  • Wet the wool roving with soapy water.

Wetting the Fibers

Wet the covered template with warm soapy water.
Wet the covered template with warm soapy water. | Source

Step 4—Cover the Fibres with Bubble-wrap and Rub

  • Wet the surface of the bubble-wrap. This will allow your fingers to glide easily over the top.
  • Push down on the wool and press the soapy water through the wool.
  • Rub until all the wool beneath the bubble-wrap lay flat.

Wetting the Surface of the Bubble-wrap

Wet the surface of the bubble-wrap lets your hands glide over the top.
Wet the surface of the bubble-wrap lets your hands glide over the top. | Source

Rub the Surface of the Bubblewrap

Rub until the fibers below flatten
Rub until the fibers below flatten | Source

Step 5—Remove the Bubble-wrap

  • Gently lift the bubble-wrap from the fibres once they have flattened out.

The Flattened Fibres

One side of the middle layer with its flattened fibers
One side of the middle layer with its flattened fibers | Source

Step 6—Flip the Template Over

  • Turn the Template template over onto the other side and neaten the edges by folding them over with a little warm soapy water.

Project Flipped Over to the Opposite Side

Project flipped over with the edges ready to be turned over.
Project flipped over with the edges ready to be turned over. | Source

Step 7—Fold the Loose Fibers Over the Edges of the Template

  • Wet and smooth out the folded over fibres using some of the warm soapy water.

The Neatened Edges

The neatened edges
The neatened edges | Source

Step 8—Cover the 2nd Side

  • Cover Side 2 of the template with an even layer of fibres.
  • Cover, wet the surface and neaten off the edges as before.

Wet the Fibres

Wetting the wool roving with warm soapy water.
Wetting the wool roving with warm soapy water. | Source

Cover and Wet the Bubble-wrap.

Wetting with soapy water makes it easy to slide your hands across the bubble-wrap.
Wetting with soapy water makes it easy to slide your hands across the bubble-wrap. | Source

Fold in the Edges and Wet with Soapy Water

Neatening the edges of the bottom layer.
Neatening the edges of the bottom layer. | Source

1st Layer / Both Sides Covered

3 layers are required to complete this project.
3 layers are required to complete this project. | Source

Step 9—Repeat Steps 2 - 8 For the Next Layer

  • Repeat steps 2 - 8.
  • Cover both sides of the template again with another layer of wool roving.
  • You may use the same colour as shown here or choose a different colour for the middle layer.
  • This layer will be sandwiched between the top and bottom layers.

Step 10—The Outer Layer / The Decorative Layer

  • This is the top layer of the purse.
  • Cover the previous layer with another even layer of decorative fibres as shown.

The Final Layer / The Decorative Layer

Cover the 2 layers with a final decorative layer of wool.
Cover the 2 layers with a final decorative layer of wool. | Source

Wet the Decorative Layer

Wet the decorative layer with the warm soapy water.
Wet the decorative layer with the warm soapy water. | Source

The Flattened Fibres

The final layer side 1 ready to be flipped over.
The final layer side 1 ready to be flipped over. | Source

Step 11—Flip Over and Neaten the Edges

  • Neaten the Edges and smooth using a little soapy water.

Smooth the Edges with Soapy Water

Smooth the wool over the edges of the template
Smooth the wool over the edges of the template | Source

Step 12—Complete the 3rd Layer

  • Cover the (final layer) with a layer of decorative fibres.
  • Wet and cover with bubble-wrap.
  • Wet the bubble-wrap and rub well.
  • Flip the project over and neaten the edges.

Neatening the Edges

Neaten the edges with warm soapy water
Neaten the edges with warm soapy water | Source

The Template Covered in 3 Layers of Wool

1 of 6 templates has been covered in wool
1 of 6 templates has been covered in wool | Source

Step 13—Complete the Prepared Templates

  • Cover the prepared templates with wool as in the first example.
  • The same wool may be used for each one or you can ring the changes for a varied appearance.
  • You may add curly wool, pieces of silk or any other fibres of your choice for decoration.
  • Please see images below.

Put the Purses Between a Sheet of Folded Bubble-wrap

6 Wool covered templates
6 Wool covered templates | Source

Step 14—Roll the Purse Inside a Large Bamboo Blind

  • Put the templates onto half a sheet of bubble-wrap.
  • Fold the other half over the purses to form a package, bubbles should be facing the wool covered templates, the smooth side should be on top.
  • Put the folded package on the large bamboo blind as shown.
  • Roll the purses gently at first and slowly add pressure.
  • Keep on opening up the blind and rotating the purses inside the bubble-wrap so that they shrink in all directions.
  • Roll until the templates start to curl at the edges. This should take about 15 minutes.
  • Please see image below.

The Bamboo Blind with the Covered Templates Inside

The prepared purses being rolled in a bamboo blind.
The prepared purses being rolled in a bamboo blind. | Source

Step 15—The Rolled Purses With Their Curled Edges

Roll until the purses begin to shrink.
Roll until the purses begin to shrink. | Source

Step 16—Cut the Purse Openings

  • Cut the openings on the purses along the edge using a small pair of very sharp scissors.
  • Use the coin purse frame as an estimate to see how long the opening should be cut.
  • Cut the opening only enough to allow the largest polystyrene ball to fit snugly through the opening.
  • It is better to underestimate the length of the cut than it is to make it too large.
  • The opening can always be made larger later if necessary.
  • Be gentle with the opening at this stage.
  • Put the purses back into the bamboo blind and roll the edges to make sure that they are sealed properly.

Preparing to Cut the Purse Openings

Getting read to cut the purse openings.
Getting read to cut the purse openings. | Source

The Largest Polystyrene Ball Inside 1 Purse

Image shows the largest polystyrene ball inside the 1st purse.
Image shows the largest polystyrene ball inside the 1st purse. | Source

Step 17—Cut All of the Openings

  • Cut all the purse openings as shown below.
  • Place them on the bamboo mat and roll for a few minutes.
  • This will seal the cut edge and make them stronger.

6 Purses with Their Openings

The cut openings.
The cut openings. | Source

Step 18—Prepare to Shrink the 1st Purse

  • Take the purse with the balls to the kitchen sink.

Remove the Polystyrene Ball from the Cavity

The ball will fit loosely into the cavity.
The ball will fit loosely into the cavity. | Source

Step 19—Shrink the Purse

  • Remove the ball from the cavity and put the little pocket into the palm of your hand.
  • Let hot water gently flow onto the wool.
  • The purse is still a little fragile at this stage so treat it gently!
  • As you introduce the water massage the wool in the palm of your hand.
  • Switch to the cold tap and continue squeezing and massaging the purse.
  • The wool will soon start to shrink under your fingers.
  • Do this a few times and then rinse the soap from the purse.
  • Squeeze any excess water from the purse and flatten out the purse.
  • Hold the purse by first one end and then the other.
  • Gently hit the surface of the kitchen counter with the purse and as it shrinks hit it down harder.
  • It purse will quickly shrink to the required size.
  • Put the larger ball back into the purse and shape the purse over the ball under the running water.
  • Don't shrink the area near the opening completely as you will need to remove the ball afterwards.
  • Please see images.

The Shrunken Purse with the Large Ball Inside

The fiber around the opening has been left deliberately so that the large ball can easily be removed.
The fiber around the opening has been left deliberately so that the large ball can easily be removed. | Source

Step 20—Remove the Large Polystyrene Ball from the Purse

  • Put the small ball into a plastic bag. A supermarket bag will do.
  • The plastic bag adds a little 'stuffing' to the purse and also makes it easy for you to extract the ball from the cavity.
  • Insert the small ball into the opening with the long ends of the plastic bag dangling.
  • Shape the purse over the small bag and plastic bag with your fingers.
  • Sometimes I put the ball into the tumble dryer for a couple of minutes to shrink the ball slightly but this may not be necessary.
  • Remove the ball from the purse.
  • Pull it out using the plastic bag and leave the purse to dry a little as you continue covering the rest of the purses with fibre.

The Shaped Purse

A fully fulled purse with the small polystyrene ball placed inside.  This purse was nuno felted with silk on the decorative layer.
A fully fulled purse with the small polystyrene ball placed inside. This purse was nuno felted with silk on the decorative layer. | Source

Step 21—The Purse Frames

  • Place one purse frame on each of the prepared coin purses.
  • The frame should match the opening but leave a little felt to extend beyond the opening as shown.
  • The felt which extends beyond the end of the purse frame should be cut off level after you have sewn on the purse frame.
  • I prefer to sew the purses while the wool is still damp.
  • If you use a purse frame which is of poor quality it may rust if sewn on while the purse is still damp.
  • Poor quality frames should only be used if the purse is completely dry or not at all.
  • Damp felt is much easier to push up into the frame with a knitting needle or sharp pair of scissors.

Felted Purses and Purse Frames

Purses ready to have the frames attached
Purses ready to have the frames attached | Source

Step 22—How to Sew on the Purse Frames

  • Sew the purse frames on with embroidery thread.
  • Use a needle which can be easily threaded but is thin enough to push through the holes on the metal frame.
  • Start at the second hole from the end and double back to the first hole.
  • Continue in the same manner all the way around the purse.
  • Trim off the excess felt level with the top of the purse frame only after you have sewn on the purse frame/
  • The remaining felt should be pushed up into the frame.
  • Use a small pair of scissors or a knitting needle to help you push the felt into the frame and then run it along the cavity it is being pushed into.

Sewing on the Purse Frame

Sew the purse frame with a little excess felt extending beyond the frame.
Sew the purse frame with a little excess felt extending beyond the frame. | Source

The Excess Felt Tucked Up and Under the Frame

Sewing the purse frame on
Sewing the purse frame on | Source

2 Purses

The blue purse shows some of the texture and shine obtained from the Botany Lap Waste fibers.
The blue purse shows some of the texture and shine obtained from the Botany Lap Waste fibers. | Source

A Completed Coin Purse

A completed purse
A completed purse | Source

Fun or Profit?

Do you wet felt for fun or for profit?

See results

Make Multiple Booties at One Time

Vessels, purses, booties and flowers are ideal projects for crafters as all of these items can easily be rolled at one time inside a bamboo blind.

Wet Felted Booties

© 2017 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 8 weeks ago from Norfolk

      Thank you. Careful! Felting can be addictive.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 weeks ago from Wisconsin

      Cool ideas. I need to do more in the felt area.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      Hello Devika, thank you! It is nice of you to stop by. You are missed.

    • profile image

      DDE 3 months ago

      I like the way you presented this creative hub. Such great ideas and you make it all look so easy.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      Thank you, Nadine, I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and comment:)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      That was so very cool to read and follow your photos. Well done.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Donna, thank you! I am sure you are right! The problem is that the more work I do, the more you I to sell it for. Sometimes that makes it not cost effective. Thanks for stopping by to comment, It is appreciated as always.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 months ago from USA

      Gosh, I love these little coin purses! I think these little cuties offer endless opportunity for decorating and embellishing. Your tutorial is very clear and your photos are great! Thanks for another great hub!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Thank you, Larry, I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 4 months ago from Oklahoma

      Some more wonderful project ideas.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      I am grateful for your continued encouragement. I am so appreciative. Thank you so much Ms Dora!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      I always follow your picture illustrations while I envision the finished product. Always a glorious finale! You're so gifted, Sally.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Linda Crampton

      Some purse frames are glued and this might be an easier option but it is one which does not appeal to me. I have concentrated much more on the writing and developing my felting skills over the past few years so much of my work has been donated to friends and family as gifts. I have started selling on e-Bay and on my own website. I had an Etsy store up and until last weekend which I might open again in the future. I am going through the process of looking for somewhere to exhibit my work locally to get some more exposure. Teaching and writing a book on felting is something I want to do.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      I hope you do. I too love the look of wet felted fabric. One never knows quite how a project will turn. The addition of other fibres makes it so interesting. Wet felting is not an exact science by any means and this is probably why I find it such a challenge.I appreciate your stopping by to comment, thank you so much.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the look of welt-felted fabric. If I ever have the time, I'll try this project. The finished purses are so pretty.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 months ago from Brazil

      These are so pretty.

      I've never seen the process of attaching the purse opening to the purse. I never realized there were holes for stitching. For some reason, I assumed they were glued.

      I am certain that most people who see your purses, never know what is involved in making them. I think if they did, they would appreciate the time and skill involved.

      Where do you sell them, craft fairs, online, or somewhere else?

      Fantastic tutorial.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Kristen, the purses are very easy to make. All they require is a little wool, some soapy water and a lot of friction. Of course, it helps to have a little knowledge too of how the wool feels and behaves under these circumstances but really anyone could do it if they were so inclined. I might have to warn them in advance though that this hobby is very addictive:)

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 4 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Sally, those purses are beautiful and really cute. It looks so easy to make a purse out of wool. You're so crafty. Thanks for sharing.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Thanks. Billy, you are very kind. Think I will have to surprise you one day with what might be your cup of tea!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Obviously this is not my cup of tea. I am far-removed from any crafty activity. I am Mister Ten Thumbs, so me and this article do not match . . . but . . . what I can admire is the way the article is written, clearly, concisely, which step-by-step instructions, and photos, which are nearly foolproof for any person interested in crafts. So well done, my friend!