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How to Make Wet Felted Coin Purses: A Free Tutorial

Updated on November 13, 2016
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Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker. Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is, unique, experimental and always interesting

A Wet Felted Coin Purse

Sewing a tiny clasp to a wet felted coin purse with contrasting embroidery thread
Sewing a tiny clasp to a wet felted coin purse with contrasting embroidery thread | Source

A Group of Coin Purses in the Making

A small group of felt coin purses.
A small group of felt coin purses. | Source

A Group of Wet Felted Coin Purses + Two Polystyrene Balls

A group of wet felted coin purses which were all made at one sitting.
A group of wet felted coin purses which were all made at one sitting. | Source

Using a Tumble Dryer for Wet Felting

Wet felting does not have to be time-consuming. It is possible to make multiple items in one sitting with a Tumble Dryer.

Buying waste yarn or using scraps from previous felting projects can keep the cost down. Waste yarn can be purchased so reasonably on e-Bay or Amazon.

Wooden Wool Carders can be used to comb waste fibers together to make your own projects just like this one.

Let Us Start With a Query From a Reader

A reader wrote to me recently wanting to know how she could salvage a Bird Pod which she had made from going into the bin. Her end result she said was a Bird Pod which was covered in thin spots or holes.

I suggested at the time that she tried needle felting additional wool fibers to the thin areas of the Pod and once completed she could wet it with hot soapy water and put it back into the tumble dryer to felt.

I now realize that there is a much easier solution available and it is one which does not require a needle felting tool.

This project proved to me that not only can felting be done very quickly in a tumble dryer but it can be used very effectively to remedy things which can sometimes do go wrong!

Things You Need to Do This Felting Project:

  • 10 Party Balloon (Small round ones work best.)
  • 10 Coin Purse Frames (bronze or silver)
  • Waste Merino Wool Fibers
  • Wooden Wool Carders
  • Hot Soapy Water (Olive oil soap is kind to the hands.)
  • Spray Bottle
  • Used Tights or Stockings
  • A Tumble Dryer
  • Bubble-wrap
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Needle and Embroidery Thread (in matching or contrasting colors)
  • Fine Knitting Needle (To help undo knots and to help push the cut edge of the felt up into the frame before sewing.)

Getting Started

Begin by preparing the waste merino wool. Combine the colors as desired or use wool roving bought especially for felting.

Waste Merino Wool Fibers

Waste Merino Wool Fibers
Waste Merino Wool Fibers | Source

Blending the Waste Merino Wool Together

Comb the fibers together as desired and lay them out so that they look like a wool Bat. This makes it easy for you to check the evenness of the layers before you add the fibers to the balloons.

My Own Wool Carders

An individual touch
An individual touch | Source

Wooden Wool Carders

Wooden Wool Carders and some blended waste woolen fibers
Wooden Wool Carders and some blended waste woolen fibers | Source

Combing the Waste Woolen Fibers Using the Wooden Carders

Some of the blended fibers on the Wooden Carders
Some of the blended fibers on the Wooden Carders | Source

Size Does Matter!

Two Polystyrene Balls.  This images give one an idea of the amount of shrinkage which is likely to take place.
Two Polystyrene Balls. This images give one an idea of the amount of shrinkage which is likely to take place. | Source

The Two Polystyrene Balls and How to Get the Size Right

On the image above are 2 polystyrene balls. These were used to determine the size required to make these tiny coin purses. They were not used for the project. They were used simply to check the dimensions for the purses.

The circumference of the one on the left is 10 inches (25 cm)

The circumference of the small one is 9 inches (22 cm)

The completed coin purse will end up being the size of the smaller polystyrene ball.

You may wish to simply measure the balloon without having an example to hand.

Shrinkage should be expected to be around 30%.

Please Note

Always use a mix of air and water. Air on its own will expand and enlarge the balloon rather than allow it to maintain its original size and shape. Keep the opening as small as possible to give you a really neat opening.

Fill the Party Balloons With Air and Water

Half fill the party balloon with air and water.. Blow the balloon up to the size of the larger polystyrene ball shown here.

Water and Air Filled Party Balloon + Larger Polystyrene Ball

Partically fill the balloon with water and blow it up to the same size as the larger of the two balloons.
Partically fill the balloon with water and blow it up to the same size as the larger of the two balloons. | Source

Tie a Little Piece of Bubble-Wrap Into the Knot

I like to tie a little piece of bubble wrap or cloth into the knot. It makes it easier to undo the balloon when I want to release a little air and water. I use a knitting needle to help facilitate this action.

Tie a Piece of Bubble-Wrap or Cloth into the Knot

Comparing Balls to Balloons.  A piece of Bubble-wrap is shown tied up inside the knot.
Comparing Balls to Balloons. A piece of Bubble-wrap is shown tied up inside the knot. | Source

Spray Hot Soapy Water onto the Party Balloon

Spray Hot Soapy Water onto the Inflated Party Balloon
Spray Hot Soapy Water onto the Inflated Party Balloon | Source

Spray the Balloon With Hot Soapy Water

Carefully wrap the dry wool fibers around the wet balloon. Spray them wet and rub or roll on a wet piece of bubble-wrap. If you notice that the layer is too thin or has holes, add further layers carefully until you are completely satisfied that the balloon is well covered.

Don't make the area too thick near the purse opening as this will make it difficult to attach the purse frame but keep the wool close to the knot. It should just stick out as shown.

Cover the Balloon With the Blended Waste Wool Fibers

Cover the wet party balloon with carded fibers
Cover the wet party balloon with carded fibers | Source

The Wrapped Party Balloon

The wrapped party balloon
The wrapped party balloon | Source

Roll the Balloon Onto a Piece of Wet Bubble-Wrap

Smooth down the fibers by rolling the balloon on a wet bubble-wrap surface.
Smooth down the fibers by rolling the balloon on a wet bubble-wrap surface. | Source

The Wet Wool Covered Party Balloon

Wet wool covered balloon
Wet wool covered balloon | Source

Multiple Balloons Make for Multiple Coin Purses!

Multiple coin purses in the making
Multiple coin purses in the making | Source

Party Balloons Covered in Combed Waste Fibers

Wool covered party balloons
Wool covered party balloons | Source

Getting Ready to Put the Balloons Into Tights

Getting ready to put the fiber covered balloons into tights.
Getting ready to put the fiber covered balloons into tights. | Source

Drop the Balloons Into the Tights, Cut and Knot Both Ends

Put the balls one by one into the legs from a pair of tights.
Put the balls one by one into the legs from a pair of tights. | Source

Stocking Covered Balloons

Party Balloons covered in tights
Party Balloons covered in tights | Source

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Time to Put All the Balloons Into the Tumble Dryer

Tumble dry for five minutes. They will felt very quickly. Be careful not to leave them too long as the stockings will adhere to the felt, making it difficult to remove.

At this stage check the balloon for any thin areas and if you see any, cover them with additional fibers. Simply place fibers on the holes or thin areas and smooth the wool down. Put the stocking on and place in the tumble dryer. Felt for a few minutes and then remove the stockings.

The fibers adhere very easily to the existing felt and the holes and thin spots will disappear.

Remove and untie the knot with the help of the knitting needle. Release the air and water, reduce the size to about thirty percent as shown in the images below.


Release Some of the Air and Water

Release some of the water and air, knot the balloon and replace it back in the tumble dryer
Release some of the water and air, knot the balloon and replace it back in the tumble dryer | Source

Knotted Balloons, Minus Some of the Air and Water

Knotted Balloons with air and water removed.  Notice the Slack
Knotted Balloons with air and water removed. Notice the Slack | Source

Put Back Into the Tumble Dryer

Put back into the Tumble Dryer. There is no need to use the tights once the ball has felted. Allow the Tumble Dryer to shrink the balloons until the felt sits snugly against the balloon.

More Wet Felting With Sallybea

Cut the Opening and Release All the Air and Water

Slit the opening and removing the balloon and cut the opening to fit a small coin clasp.  Stretch to fit the clasp with your fingers.
Slit the opening and removing the balloon and cut the opening to fit a small coin clasp. Stretch to fit the clasp with your fingers. | Source

Attach the Arch Frame and Sew on With Embroidery Thread

Attach a coin purse clasp with embroidery thread.
Attach a coin purse clasp with embroidery thread. | Source

Fixing things when they go wrong

Thin Spots or Holes

Simply add additional fibers. They will adhere to the first dry layer. Put the balloon into a stocking or a 'Freezer Bag' for a few minutes. Once felted (about five minutes in a freezer bag). three minutes in tights. Untie the knot and put the project back into the tumble dryer without the stockings or freezer bag to complete the felting process.

Continue as before by removing thirty percent of the air and water and felt again in the tumble dryer.

The freezer bag will retain the moisture but will still felt beautifully. Experiment and see which method you prefer.

Covered Holes and Thin Spots

Need a change in color, simply add some more fibers to the felted coin purse and tumble dry for a few minutes, remove some of the air and release some of the air.
Need a change in color, simply add some more fibers to the felted coin purse and tumble dry for a few minutes, remove some of the air and release some of the air. | Source

Remove 30% of the Air and Water and Put Back Into the Tumble Dryer to Felt

Release some of the air and water and replace in the tumble dryer
Release some of the air and water and replace in the tumble dryer | Source

Arch Kiss Frames

These can be purchased from Amazon or E-Bay. Remember to buy the right size for your purse. These should measure approximately four inches across from one side to the other. The actual arch measurements should be approximately 9x6.3cm. This is flexible as you can cut your slit accordingly but choose small ones for these little coin purses.

Complete by Attaching the Arch Frame With Embroidery Thread

Attaching the coin clasp frame with Embroidery Thread
Attaching the coin clasp frame with Embroidery Thread | Source

Please Feel Free to Contact Me:

I love hearing from fellow Felt Makers. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share your own felt making experiences with me or with others.

© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen

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    • profile image

      Karma Veranda 8 days ago

      This is a wonderful tutorial and the photos make it so easy to follow.

      Is there any concerns about putting wet soapy balls in the dryer? Maybe some cleaning concerns afterwards?

      I've been known to damage appliances in the delirium an art project.

      I had my balls tucked in their pantyhose cocoons and ready to go before this question occurred so I hope someone can answer this quickly. The family get's a little sarcastic when they find a sink full of moms projects. "What type of noodles go with the furry meatballs?"

      Thanks,

      Karma

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 months ago from Norfolk

      Yes I do, I thought I had done that a long time ago. Thanks for that. I will change it DeeAnna.

    • profile image

      DeeAnna 4 months ago

      You wrote in this tutorial -- "...The diameter of the one on the left is 10 inches (25cm). The diameter of the smaller one is 9 inches (22cm)..."

      Sally -- did you mean "circumference" rather than "diameter"? The coin purses do not look as if they are 9-10 inches across. The distance around the ball (circumference) of 9-10 inches seems much more likely.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 12 months ago from Norfolk

      Hello Jane,

      You are very welcome. Please come back to explore more of my felting tutorials. In particular I think you will enjoy making wet felted soaps and a large purse/bag in the tumble dryer:)

      Best wishes,

      Sally.

    • profile image

      trypanosoma 12 months ago

      Thank you for your friendly andf fast information. In my tumbler are now 4 new purses. They are a little bit bigger than yours, but it's okay and I'm very very happy about them. I'm in the flow!

      It is really a great tutorial - and for FREE! Thank you again and happy felting.

      Jane

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 12 months ago from Norfolk

      Hello,

      I rather suspect that your English is better than mine. I should have said that 25cm is the circumference and not the diameter. I will have to correct my error. I meant to say that this measurement is the distance all the way around the ball and not that across the ball. The purses are small, they about the size of a small fist. If your coin purse has turned out too large, try shrinking them again in the tumble dryer. The polys ball is a child's party balloon, not blown up very much but with a little water inside.

      I have written a handbag tutorial using the same method, using a recycle handbag frame for the handle. You can check that one out if you would like a larger bag. My apologies if I 'took you down the garden path'. Unfortunately felting is not an exact science but with the help of the tumble dryer you should be able to shrink you project as much or as little as you would like to. I hope you make many more purses with lots of success:) Kind regards,

      Sally.

    • profile image

      trypanosoma 12 months ago

      Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I could manage it and now I have two purses! But they are bigger than yours. So I have a little problem with the diameter of the balloon. 25cm as diameter? And than the tiny purse? The photo shows two balls in your hand. (Balloon and polys. ball) I think they are smaller than 25cm. My English is not so good, maybe I have something missunderstand?

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 19 months ago from Norfolk

      Glimmer Twin Fan

      I would say that this has been one of my greatest successes so far. Making the little coin purses in bulk has to be the easiest and cost effective way to make beautiful gifts for the masses. So nice of you to stop by to comment, thank you very much.

      Sally

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 19 months ago

      So lovely Sally. I can imagine making a number of these as gifts for friends. I keep telling myself to try felting and I never seem to get around to it. I'm glad you keep producing these beautiful hubs so I can be reminded!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 19 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi Nadine,

      Glad you enjoyed this one. I generally post my hubs once they have been published and hope that it will makes a difference to traffic. I think we should use every avenue at our disposal.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 19 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Your pictures so do the trick! I love learning about any kind of crafts. I saw that you have posted your craft articles on Google+ Good for you!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 19 months ago from Norfolk

      Nell Rose

      I hope I get them published one day Nell. Nice to know that you enjoyed this hub. I very much appreciate the visit and your taking the time to comment, thank you.

      Sally.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 19 months ago from England

      I saw what Billy said above, and your reply and I do hope you get all these down somehow, they are so darn clever! I would not have the patience for it, but its amazing! well done! nell

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      DDE

      Hello Devika,

      So lovely to hear from you. Hope you do get around to doing this project, it really was a most successful one too. Thanks for the vote up.

      Best wishes,

      Sally

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 20 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      a well thought of idea. Creative and something I would like to do myself. Voted up!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      FlourishAnyway,

      You did not miss that, I inserted the capsule to make it easy for you:)

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      FlourishAnyway,

      No, I put the link in just for you.

      Kind regards,

      Sally

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Sorry I missed that. Thanks!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      FlourishAnyway

      I appreciate the very kind comment. The kiss clasp frames are easily sourced through Amazon or E-Bay. I have provided a link to this type of frame for you above, details above, remember though to look for the correct size for your purse. The balloons can be blown up larger for different size purses or bags. I wrote another hub on How to Wet Felt a Shoulder Bag on a Ball. This could be made using the same method.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Beautiful job, and I'd love to do something small like this that reuses merino yarn. Can you easily find the metal coin purse clasps?

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      KoffeeKlatch Gals

      That is the plan. I do hope to write a wet felting book. It would be good to find a publisher first. Glad this found this fascinating. I very much appreciate your taking the time to stop by.

      Best wishes,

      Sally.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 20 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is awesome. I was fascinated all the way through. I have never tried wet felting before so I was dropping in to have a little look. I am hooked. I agree with billybuc, you might want to think about writing a book about wet felting.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      BlossomSB

      That would be very kind. I have around 25 or more on felting so I am sure there is something she would enjoy doing.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by to comment.

      Kind regards,

      Sally

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 20 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      I've never tried this craft, but it sounds interesting. We have a person who comes to our artists' group and this is what she does instead of painting. I must tell her about this hub as you have some great ideas.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      WiccanSage

      Glad you like this. Felting is becoming much more popular. The ideas are my own. I am always looking at easier ways to achieve the best results.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 20 months ago

      Wow, very cool looking. I love crafting but I've never heard of this, voted up, thanks for sharing!

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      Larry Rankin

      A very satisfying project! It is so nice when a plan comes together and it has such a satisfactory ending. I very much appreciate your stopping by to comment on this wet felting tutorial. Thank you so much!

      Sally

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very cool project.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      MsDora,

      Beyond you! I wish I lived just around the corner. I would have you Felting in no time. All it requires is a little Merino Wool and a lot patience, I am so glad you like the finished product.though:)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 20 months ago from The Caribbean

      Sally, even though this stuff is beyond me I like to follow your creativity and am intrigued by the beautiful felt products you turn out. This coin purse is simply delightful.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      purl3agony

      You are right, they would look great beaded or decorated. Of course, they could be decorated with silk fibers as well or needle felted too. I still have to complete all the items I made yesterday. Who knows I might get around to putting some finesse into this little group this week. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. \

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      Hi DJ,

      I hope you are well!

      No, sadly I was not at the Bonefish Grill ib June the 21st but the Hat sounds great. It is high time that I made another hat, perhaps one with lots of flowers:)

      Thanks for the comment, it is always nice to have you stop by.

      Kind regards,

      Sally.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 20 months ago from USA

      I adore these little purses! I need to get my materials together and try your tutorial. I think these little pouches would be so much fun to decorate with embroidery, buttons, and beads. Thanks for another great tutorial!!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 20 months ago

      Sally, this is another fantastic hub. You amaze me with your felting

      talents.

      We live in horse country and where there are horse races, there must be

      women's hats. My husband and I were going into a restaurant and we met a lady coming out who had on a felted hat with different color flowers all over it. I would have loved to have had time to say a few words to her about her hat, but our area became quickly crowed and she

      was gone before I could get to her.

      You were not across the pond at a restaurant by the name of Bonefish Grill on June 21st., were you???

      You are so very talented, my friend.

      DJ.

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      Kristen Howe,

      Thank you so much for your very kind comments. I am glad you felt that I succeeded in my ability to demonstrate this well.

      Thanks for so much for the vote up and awesome. It is much appreciated.

      Sally

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 20 months ago from Norfolk

      billybuc

      No I did not Billy, I don't much like the idea of Amazon owning any part of my writing. It is my hope that one day a publisher will want to publish a book of mine one day soon.

      Happy Thursday to you to my friend.

      Sally

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 20 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Sally, this was an awesomely beautiful hub on how to felted coin purses. You've demonstrated it real well with your tips and photos to accompany it. Voted up for awesome!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Did you ever publish an ebook of all your wet felting ideas? I know I mentioned it before but I don't remember hearing that you had done it. Well if you haven't....why haven't you? :)

      Happy Thursday my friend.

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