Updated date:

Wet Felted Boots Master Class Tutorial

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

Wet Felted Boots and Speedy Sewing Awl

Wet Felted Boots ready to be attached to rubber soles with Speedy Sewing Awl and Latex.

Wet Felted Boots ready to be attached to rubber soles with Speedy Sewing Awl and Latex.

A Little About This Felt Making Tutorial!

This tutorial is aimed at the more advanced felt maker who has already understood the basics of wet felting and would like to learn a bit more.

In this lesson, we will deviate slightly from what is considered to be the 'normal' way of laying down wool fibers to an alternate method here where the roving is gently teased apart to form a flat sheet which will be used to cover two of the four layers.

The second and the fourth layers are down in the 'normal' way where the wool is plucked from a length of wool roving and then placed down in a fine but even layer over the much thicker layer below.

You will discover that template making is not complicated when you have available to you, Wellington boots to use as a guide. An easy to adapt free template has been included with this tutorial.

Template measurements included here are for a ladies size 7 UK boot but these can easily be adapted using different size Wellington boots or a Shoe lasts. Alternatively, you may wish to draw around your own feet.

This tutorial demonstrates how complex templates are not always necessary to achieve the best result. On completion, you should be a pair of boots which not only have a tongue but laces and rubber soles. They should be sturdy enough to withstand general wear and tear, rain and snow.

The wrap round around rubber soles will be glued and stitched to the base of the boots.

Eyelets

Rivets

Rivets

Things You Will Need to Complete This Class:-

500 grams Wool Roving in color or colors of your choice.

Warm soapy water.

Curtain netting

Bubble-wrap

A large bamboo or plastic window blind

A pair of Wellington Boots and Shoe Lasts in the same size as your feet (Alternatively use may use your own feet)

Thick plastic sheeting on which you can draft your template.

Pair of Scissors

Boot Laces

Speed Lace Hooks and/or Metal Eyelets

A pair of Rubber Soles a size larger than your current size boots. These should preferably be designed specifically for use with wet felted boots.

Speedy Stitcher Awl for sewing on the Soles

Pebeo Gedeo Liquid Latex for 'gluing' the Soles on

Waxed thread for stitching


Hemline Eyelet Starter Kit

Place the Wellington Boots down onto a Sheet of Thick Plastic

Checking the height of the boot on the template.    For longer boots retain the complete length of the boots for your template.

Checking the height of the boot on the template. For longer boots retain the complete length of the boots for your template.

Check the Size of the Wellington Boot Against the Template.

Adding a border which allows for shrinkage to take place during the felting process.

Adding a border which allows for shrinkage to take place during the felting process.

Boot Template Measurements / Uk Size 7 Boots

Boot template with measurements.

Boot template with measurements.

The Template Which Should Be Placed on the Fold

Template should be placed on a fold

Template should be placed on a fold

Transfer Drawing to a Thick Sheet of Plastic as Shown Below. Note That the Toe Area Has Been Shortened and the Leg Width Made Wider.

A shoe last can be used instead of a wellington boot

A shoe last can be used instead of a wellington boot

Make Use of a Shoe Last, Wellington Boots or Make Use Your Own Feet!

Make use of a pair of shoe lasts, Wellington boots or feet in the size of boot you will be making.

Layer 1 (White)

  • Begin by pulling off4 lengths of white roving. Each piece should run the whole length of the template with a just slight overlap which will be turned over to the other side of the template.
  • Four lengths should be sufficient to completely cover the template but it will very much depend on how little or how large the template being used is.
  • Next, run two fingers down the 1st length of the wool roving to open up the fibers.
  • Gently tease the fibers apart and spread the wool flat. (Please see image below)
  • Take care to spread the wool evenly. There should be no gaps anywhere. If there are any, fill them with additional fibers.
  • Repeat this process until one side of the template has been completely covered. Leave an overlap of wool on all sides.
  • Cover the wool with netting, wet with warm soapy water and smooth the fibers right up to the edge of the template.
  • Turn the template over and fold the excess wool in on all sides.
  • Repeat this procedure on the other side using another four lengths of wool roving.
  • Fold the edges over neatly.
  • The template is now covered completely in a fairly thick layer of white wool.
  • Layer 1 is now complete.

Tease the Wool Roving Apart to Form One Layer of Wool as Below:-

Wool roving pulled out to make a single sheet of white wool

Wool roving pulled out to make a single sheet of white wool

Cover with Curtain Netting, Wet with Warm Soapy Water.

Cover with curtain net and wet with hot soapy water.

Cover with curtain net and wet with hot soapy water.

Flatten the Fibers and Smooth up to the Edges of the Template with Warm Soapy Water

Rub until smooth and then remove the netting and fold in the edges.

Rub until smooth and then remove the netting and fold in the edges.

Layer 2. Completely Cover the First White Layer with a Layer of Fibers as Shown Below

Cover the white layer in fibers which have been pulled from the lengths of roving as per normal procedure.

Cover the white layer in fibers which have been pulled from the lengths of roving as per normal procedure.

Turn over the Edges as Shown Below

Turn over the edges as shown here.

Turn over the edges as shown here.

2nd Layer Using Blue Fibers

Cover the 2nd side with blue fibers as shown.

Cover the 2nd side with blue fibers as shown.

Layer 2 Second Side, Neatening the Edges

Second layer almost complete

Second layer almost complete

Layer 2 with Edges Folded over and Neatened.

Layer 2 is now complete

Layer 2 is now complete

Layer 2

The full length of the template can be seen here.

The full length of the template can be seen here.

Layer 3, Laying down a Fresh Layer of Roving as in Layer 1

Pull out the fibers from lengths of roving and put down onto the template, repeat on the other side.

Pull out the fibers from lengths of roving and put down onto the template, repeat on the other side.

3rd Layer, Both Sides Covered and Awaiting the Neatening of the Edges.

Blue on both sides

Blue on both sides

Layer 4, Covering the Template in a Fine Layer of Wool

Add the final layer using usual method of putting down fibers as shown here.  This is the decorative layer.

Add the final layer using usual method of putting down fibers as shown here. This is the decorative layer.

Wetting the Fibers with Warm Soapy Water

Wet with warm soapy water and complete the final layer as per other layers.

Wet with warm soapy water and complete the final layer as per other layers.

Final Layer Before Turning over the Edges.

Turn in the edges of layer 4

Turn in the edges of layer 4

Edges Turned Over, Final Layer.

Edges turned over.

Edges turned over.

Cover with Bubble Wrap and Rub All 4 Layers Firmly on Both Sides.

Cover with bubble wrap and rub firmly for a while.

Cover with bubble wrap and rub firmly for a while.

Remove the Bubble Wrap, Perform a Pinch Test to Check the Fibers for Stability

Perform the pinch test to see if the fibers are stable.

Perform the pinch test to see if the fibers are stable.

Fold the Project in Half and Cut the Template in Half

Cut through the center of the project.

Cut through the center of the project.

The Two Layers Cut Through and Now Two Separate Pieces

Two boots ready to be fully felted.

Two boots ready to be fully felted.

A Bamboo Blind Is a Felt Makers 'Best Friend'

A bamboo blind makes light work of the felting process.

A bamboo blind makes light work of the felting process.

Two Boots Laying Side by Side on the Bamboo Blind Before Rolling

Two boots ready to be rolled in the bamboo mat

Two boots ready to be rolled in the bamboo mat

Roll in Several Directions, Using the Large Bamboo Mat

Rolling the project in a large bamboo mat.

Rolling the project in a large bamboo mat.

One Boot Rolled and the Other One Now Showing Shrinkage

Shrinkage shown on the first boot.

Shrinkage shown on the first boot.

Place the Boot on a Foot or Last and Shape the Folds as Shown

Shaping the boot on a foot

Shaping the boot on a foot

Shaping the Tongue Before Cutting

Image shows the folds before cutting the tongue.

Image shows the folds before cutting the tongue.

Comparing Shrinkage and Shape Against the Other Boot

Comparing one boot against the other.

Comparing one boot against the other.

Another View

Another view

Another view

View of the Folds in Both Boots

View of the folds in the boots

View of the folds in the boots

Depth of Fold Should Be About About 1 Inch

Depth of fold is approximately 1 inch.  Put the boots on your feet to check that the folds fit neatly around the foot.

Depth of fold is approximately 1 inch. Put the boots on your feet to check that the folds fit neatly around the foot.

Cut Straight down into the Two Outer Folds to Form the Tongue

Cutting the fold to form the tongue.

Cutting the fold to form the tongue.

Trim the Top of the Boot and Rub the Edges with Hot Soapy Water.

The top edge will be slightly longer than the tongue when it is formed.  Trim the top and wet the edges with hot soapy water.

The top edge will be slightly longer than the tongue when it is formed. Trim the top and wet the edges with hot soapy water.

Trim off Excess Pieces Around the Top of the Boot

The tongue will be shorter than the outer pieces and should be trimmed to required size.

The tongue will be shorter than the outer pieces and should be trimmed to required size.

Image Shows How the End Result Matches the Original Template

Perfect match

Perfect match

Draw Around the Boots on a Sheet of Paper

Draw around the boot in order to find the correct size of sole

Draw around the boot in order to find the correct size of sole

One Foot Drawn onto the Sheet of Paper

One foot drawn onto the sheet of white paper, one more to go.

One foot drawn onto the sheet of white paper, one more to go.

Perfect Wrap around Rubber soles for this project can be sourced from the Ukraine

Make a Pdf Using the Free Camscanner Download for Your Mobile Phone or Tablet

Draw around the completed boot.

Photograph the template on your tablet or phone using the free Camscanner app. Use this to convert your drawing to a pdf in seconds. Contact the Seller using the link above to Etsy and send her the pdf file of your boot. Request that she send you the appropriate size sole using the file you send her. Don't forget to indicate your preference when it comes to the color you would lik

The sole your order will usually be one size larger than your shoe size. The seller should be able to send the right size using this info, avoiding any unnecessary inconvenience and disappointment from both sides.

Delivery is usually within 7 days.

Measurements for Ordering the Soles for the Boots

Draw around the boot on a sheet of paper

Draw around the boot on a sheet of paper

Reshape the Boots at This Stage.

Wet the boots after cutting the tongue and massage the cuts with hot soapy water and shape to fit your own feet.

Finally, put a shoe last into the boots and allow them to dry before glueing and attaching the fixings. ,

Folding over the Top to Create a Different Style of Boot

Fold over the edges for a different look

Fold over the edges for a different look

To Achieve the Best Result Always Use Shoe Lasts Which Fit Perfectly inside the Rubber Soles

Insert the shoe last.  It should fit perfectly into the shoe sole

Insert the shoe last. It should fit perfectly into the shoe sole

Boots Awaiting Soles, Speed Laces and Eyelets

The boots awaiting completion.

The boots awaiting completion.

Wet Felted Boots ready to be glued and stitched with  Eyelets,Speed Laces and Laces waiting to be attached.

Wet Felted Boots ready to be glued and stitched with Eyelets,Speed Laces and Laces waiting to be attached.

Rubber Sole

Rubber Sole

Pebeo Gedeo Liquid Latex

How to Attach the Boots to the Soles

The boots can be attached to the soles with Pebeo Gedeo Liquid Latex. Use a Speedy Stitcher Awl and waxed thread to sew the boot to the sole. Waxed thread and Fintex Board can be purchased with the soles from Etsy. Please see the link to the soles above.

Begin by cutting two Soles, from the Fintex Board.

Paint a thin layer of liquid latex onto the rubber sole. Wait as per instructions on the container and then place the board on top of the latex layer. Repeat with another layer of latex on the upper side of the Fintex Board. Place the felt boot on top of that layer being very careful to line up the components perfectly.

Sew the felt boot onto the sole using the waxed thread and the Speedy Stitcher Awl. This can be a little awkward. I suggest having a practice run with a piece of leather or fabric.

The latex and the board between the sole and the felt will keep the boot soft and waterproof. Don't use glue on the felt it will make the boots stiff and look unsightly.

Speedy Stitcher Awl / Use to Attach Boots to Sole

Speedy Stitcher Awl for Stitching the Soles onto the Boots

Speedy Stitcher Awl

Speedy Stitcher Awl

How to Use a Speedy Stitcher Awl

Your Feedback Please!

Questions & Answers

Question: Where do you buy the rubber soles for wet felted boots?

Answer: I bought mine from Etsy.

Question: When making wet felted boots, how long do I leave the latex before attaching the boot? Do you put latex on both surfaces? There are no instructions on the container

Answer: I applied it to the sole and then attached the boot.

© 2016 Sally Gulbrandsen

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on October 30, 2018:

You can use bubble wrap, thick plastic sheeting or any type of firm plastic sheeting. I would say that strong bubble wrap is probably more common but I do prefer underfloor foam which goes under laminate flooring. I often purchase from car boots for next to nothing.

Viki on October 30, 2018:

Dear Sally,

This is just one awesome tutorial, thank you so much for it! I have my boots ready and was lost about the whole sole-thing, but I think I'm ready to go now :) Just one little question, I can't find fintex anywhere near - or only in quantities I will definitely not use up in my whole lifetime -, do you have any suggestions what to use instead?

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on April 02, 2018:

I have added a link below. Hope that helps.

https://hubpages.com/art/How-to-Wet-Felt-an-Infant...

Janice Susan urffer on April 02, 2018:

Where can I find template for felted baby slippers? Thank you

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 29, 2018:

I have never found that any item I have made has not shrunk enough. Rolling with a heavy duty bamboo blind or putting in the tumble dryer will certainly take the hard work out of the shrinking process. The tumble dryer will also produce a much firmer boot. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I do hope your project works out well.

Amanda58 on January 29, 2018:

Just started boots today and they look enormous. Hope they shrink as I go. The instructions are very good and easy to follow thank you

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 31, 2017:

Thank you very much. It is always great to get some feedback and even more useful when included is some helpful advice. I hope that your boots turn out the way you would like them to.

Meli on March 31, 2017:

Thank you for the very helpful instructions and tutorials, I am in the process of making these boots, and am very inpatient to finish them... For those asking for soles, I bought several pairs (cause I like them so much) of rubber soles, Vibram, made in USA, reaally cheap in comparison with others on etsy and crazy comfortable.... The seller is woolenvy, you can search her and they ship from usa. They are cup soles and very easy to sew/glue on the boots.

Julia on March 22, 2017:

I'll let you know! I got in touch with Woolenclogs, the smallest size for those soles is a 40 (all the more reason for me to make thicker felt...) I shall let you know what I come up with.

Thank you

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2017:

I know the feeling Julia:) I hope you manage to find what you are looking for. I would love to hear about your shopping experience. Thank you so much.

Julia on March 22, 2017:

Thanks Sally,

I'll try a local shoe repairer. I'll also see if I can pre-order some 39s from the Etsy seller- was just feeling impatient really! Next time I shall make my felt thicker.

Thanks, Julia

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 22, 2017:

I would suggest that you google sew on rubber soles or look on Etsy or Pinterest or even e-Bay for links to sellers. I have not bought any elsewhere but it does strike me that a local boot shoe repairer might be able to assist. It might be worth a try, Apologies, I wish that I could be more helpful.

Julia on March 21, 2017:

Hi again Sally,

would you know where I could get the wrap around rubber soles from, other than WoolenClogs? I ordered a pair of size 40s from there but they've turned out to be a bit big (I think my felt could be thicker) I need a 39 and they aren't stocked. I've scoured the internet but not come up with anything that I like as much as these.

Thanks, Julia

Julia on March 13, 2017:

Thank you Sally

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 12, 2017:

Definitely, will work Julia:)

I have been carding raw wool into batts using my drum carder and using the undyed wool between my layers too. It is extremely cost effective. If you batts are beautiful, keep those as top and bottom layers though batts are sometimes so thick you may not need to use more than one. I sometimes split mine in two and add fibres to top and bottom. You might have to play around a bit with the thickness until you are familiar with the process.

Julia on March 12, 2017:

Hi Sally,

This is a great tutorial, thank you, so many helpful links too.

I've made felt slipper boots before but now want to make boots for outside. As I have quite a lot of wool batts in my collection I'm wondering if you think they'll work as well as the roving would?

I was considering doing the 1st and 3rd layer with batts and the 2nd and 4th with roving.

Thankyou,

Julia

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on January 11, 2017:

Polly,

I am glad you found this Tutorial helpful.

Polly on January 11, 2017:

Amazing and beautiful boots

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 18, 2016:

vespawoolf

I very much appreciate your very kind comments and thank you for the great feedback.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 18, 2016:

I can see why this Hub won an award! With the photo tutorial and a lot of experience, I imagine anyone could make these boots. I've seen a similar type of boot sold here to the tourists, but yours looks even higher quality. Congratulations on the award.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 17, 2016:

Jetty

You are very welcome. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. It is always so nice to have the feedback.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 17, 2016:

Diane Cornelius

You are very welcome. I am glad the Tutorial was helpful and I wish you success with your Project.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 17, 2016:

Woolenclogs

No need to feel bad! The soles are great and they are the perfect finishing touch for the boots. Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Jetty on September 14, 2016:

Thank you so much for your tutorial. A few months ago I made some felted boots in a workshop and forgot to write everything down. With your tutorial I can make some other ones for my daughter and granddaughter and maybe some for myself.

Diane Cornelius on September 14, 2016:

These boots are beautiful and I'm grateful for your detailed instructions. I'm excited to give them a try.

Woolenclogs on September 14, 2016:

Amazing tutorial! I still feel bad, that I haven't gotten around to posting mine about sewing the soles to the shoes -- so much work, and now the season has started...

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 12, 2016:

cam8510

Thank you, Chris. I must admit I was thrilled to see how many people I knew achieved an award this year. All so well deserved too. It is nice to see you gracing one of my pages again.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 12, 2016:

Faith Reaper

You are too kind and I am so pleased that you have one of your own with How to Cut 100 Calories a Day, something I need to come back to after taking a short holiday break:)

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 12, 2016:

MsDora

Thank you so much. I am delighted but, more so for you, for your own accolade, Six Habits of Young Women Empowering Each Other. It is so well deserved.

Faith Reaper on September 12, 2016:

Congrtulations, Sally, on winning a well-deserved Hubbie Award for this amazing hub! You are always a winner in my mind!

Bravo!

MsDora on September 12, 2016:

Sally, you're among the best deserving hubbers for an award. Congratulations for winning the 2016 Best Hub on Feltmagnet!

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on September 12, 2016:

Congratulations, Sally for having a winning hub in the Hubbie Awards. I'm always thrilled when someone I know is chosen.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 01, 2016:

Hello,

Thank you so much. I appreciate your confidence in my abilities. Maybe! One day! I suspect that day will come:)

Faith Reaper on July 31, 2016:

Hi Sally,

Wow, I love the boots! This one is certainly for the Master felters no doubt.

I agree that you should give local classes, as you are a Master at this beautiful craft. Your instructions and photos are precise and easy to follow.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 29, 2016:

teaches12345

Glad you enjoyed this post. Sorry to be late responding to this comment but it arrived three days late! Every one of your visits to my hubs is valued and appreciated. Thank you so much.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 29, 2016:

MsDora

This truly was a labor of love and I was so happy with the end result. Your very kind response means so much to me, I wish I had been able to respond to you earlier but HubPages appears to be vetting comments before we see them. This one arrived three days late! Thank you so much.

teaches12345 on July 26, 2016:

Hi Sally. This was a fascinating post and your finished product is so professional in design. I would certainly wear them to look stylish.

MsDora on July 25, 2016:

Skillfully, patiently and beautifully you create magic. Yes, I love to watch the process. How talented you are!

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

Hi Donna,

Great to find you gracing my pages again. So glad you enjoyed this Tutorial which is probably my favorite project so far but like you, the ideas just keep on flowing! There really is no limit to what you can do with this craft.

Donna Herron from USA on July 21, 2016:

This is another great felting tutorial, Sally! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love the idea of making these boots in a custom color by mixing shades of wool roving. My head is filled with ideas for embellishing these boots even further with embroidery and painting. Thanks again and have a great day!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 17, 2016:

You are very welcome. Glad you found the tutorial useful. I would love it if you would share a few images of your workshop and the completed boots. Perhaps I can write a follow-up to this and add your images to it. I do intend to add the images of my own completed Boots as soon as my 'speedy sewing awl' arrives.

Sue on July 16, 2016:

Very good tutorial, thank you for making it. I've made similar slippers (without the tongue) and boots (separate tongue that had to be felted in separately) :-( and a couple of friends and I will be getting together to follow your tutorial to make these. :-) Thank you also for the link to the soles.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 16, 2016:

Hi Devika,

Thanks so much for the tweet. I am very appreciative of each and every visit, have a terrific weekend.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 16, 2016:

You are never too late Billy. I am grateful for each and every visit you make. You have a terrific weekend Billy!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 16, 2016:

Beautiful! You are so good at planning and creating new ideas. I Tweeted!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 16, 2016:

Master Class indeed. You left us beginners after about one paragraph. LOL Sorry I'm late....busy Friday and I'm just getting to this. Have a wonderful weekend, Sally!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 15, 2016:

FlourishAnyway

No, I don't give local classes as yet but it is certainly something I might like to consider in the future. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 15, 2016:

Wow, Sally, you are a true master. I hope you give local classes wherever you are to share your talent. Beautiful work.