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How to Make Wet Felted Coin Purses: A Free Tutorial

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials and 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

A Group of Coin Purses in the Making

A small group of felt coin purses.

A small group of felt coin purses.

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.

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. The 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 Arch Kiss 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

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

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Feltmagnet

Wooden Wool Carders

Wooden Wool Carders and some blended waste woolen fibers

Wooden Wool Carders and some blended waste woolen fibers

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

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.

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%.

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.

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.

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

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

The Wrapped Party Balloon

The wrapped party balloon

The wrapped party balloon

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.

The Wet Wool Covered Party Balloon

Wet wool covered balloon

Wet wool covered balloon

Multiple Balloons Make for Multiple Coin Purses!

Multiple coin purses in the making

Multiple coin purses in the making

Party Balloons Covered in Combed Waste Fibers

Wool covered party balloons

Wool covered party balloons

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.

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.

Stocking Covered Balloons

Party Balloons covered in tights

Party Balloons covered in tights

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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

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

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.

wet-felted-coin-purses-easy-tumble-dryer-method-make-multiple-items-fast

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.

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.

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

Arch Kiss Frames

Arch Kiss Frames 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

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

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on April 26, 2018:

Rebecca, thank you very much! It is always lovely to receive such positive feedback. If you find the time it would be lovely to hear how you get on. Enjoy!

Rebecca Scudder from Upstate New York on April 26, 2018:

These are lovely tutorials. I'll try the wet felted coin purses as soon as my frames arrive from Amazon. Thanks for writing them.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 13, 2018:

You are very welcome Karen, it so nice to receive such great feedback, thank you.

Karen from Columbia, Missouri, USA on February 13, 2018:

Thank you so much Sally! This is fabulous! Your tutorials are so thorough and easy to follow!

Karma Veranda on March 21, 2017:

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

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on November 13, 2016:

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

DeeAnna on November 13, 2016:

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.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 10, 2016:

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.

trypanosoma on March 10, 2016:

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

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 09, 2016:

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.

trypanosoma on March 09, 2016:

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?

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 07, 2015:

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

Claudia Mitchell on September 07, 2015:

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!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on September 06, 2015:

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 from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on September 06, 2015:

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!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 31, 2015:

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 from England on August 31, 2015:

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

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 29, 2015:

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

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 29, 2015:

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