Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Easy and Fun Wool Flower Tutorial and Wool Giveaway!
I have such a fun tutorial for you to try. As you can see, these fun flowers can be used to top your next pincushion, pinned on your favorite jacket as a brooch or used to adorn your own creation.
I swear, once you get all of your materials together, it will take you 15 minutes of play time to create your own flower. Don't stop at one- make bunches! I think you will find the process addicting!
You say that you don't have the materials? I will be giving away enough wool to make many adorable flowers to the lucky winner! I will also provide the names of my favorite shops so the rest of you can find these luscious wools, great felting materials and inspiration galore!
(Kits include felted wool fabric, beautiful wool batt samples along with instructions. Felting tool and mat are not included.)
To win just comment below. I will chose the winner on November 18th!
Don't forget to leave contact information so I can find out where to send your kit!
Here is what you will receive!
I included a wonderful variety of wool roving, wool batts, textured batts with firestar and silk, and 4 pieces of lovely woven wool for your flower base in cream, fuschia, bubble gum pink and red wine.
You can find downloadable instructions here.
You will need these tools-
A Wool Felting Tool with multiple needles to speed things up. You may also use a felting needle but it may take much longer to fully felt your wool fabric.
A Wool Felting Mat
Felting Tool and Felting Mat can be found at New England Felting Supply on Etsy
You'll also need these materials-
Felted wool fabric
Wool batts or wool roving
Mild soap found at New England Felting Supply
Perle cotton or Embroidery thread
Begin by making your pattern for your circle shape. You will need 2. One should be larger than the other. The patterns shown are 2 1/2 inches and 3 inches. You don't need to be exact. Any size will do!
To make it easy, I used the cardboard spool ribbons come on. They make finding the center easy! A jar lid, compass or any small circle form will do.
Cut your wool fabric to the size of your pattern. You don't need to trace the lines. They are just there to give you an idea of where to cut your petals later. Cut 2 circles or more if you like. Each one should be progressively larger. Do not cut the petals just yet. That comes after the felting.
Add 2-3 layers of wool batt and wool roving.
If you are not sure what the difference is between wool roving and a wool batt, look at the picture below.
Wool roving has longer, smoother fibers. They often come in braids when hand painted. They are beautiful! I like Merino but check with your supplier to see what they recommend.
I ordered the roving shown from Edgewood Garden Studio on Etsy. I also order solid colors from Purple Moose Felting also on Etsy. Caryn is a sweetie! I've ordered felting needles from her as well. Most wool shops carry both the needles and the mats.
Wool batts are kinky and sometimes chunky. They felt up quickly and are fun to use. They are easy to pull apart and work into your wool projects easily. You will find little nubs and bits of other colors which makes your project fun and easy.
I recently purchased my batts from Grey Fox Felting. Erin was great to work with! She has many colors to choose from. You will find some of the flowers use this amazing purple! I used this color for the tutorial. Water Lily Pink
She has lovely ornaments and wool felted creations
Okay, Back to the Tutorial-
Felt the layers down thoroughly. Each time you add more wool you must felt it completely to the wool fabric base. Take your time here.
Be careful! Those felting needles are sharp! Ask me how I know- Ouch!
The following photos show the progression.
Once the top is fully felted, turn the circle over. Fold the excess wool over the edge and felt. The next photo shows how fluffy the bottom of the circle will be. That just won't do. Felt the bottom until it lays flat. Then turn the circle back to the front and give it one more round of felting.
Repeat this process for both layers.
This is the hardest part. Not too difficult is it?
You can make your wool flower a bit more wild by adding wool yarn to the process. I just cut lengths of yarn the width of the flower. From the back, felt the yarn onto the top layer. The felting tool is all you need. I don't have this step pictured, but you can see the affect on the largest flower which sits on top of the pincushion.
Now its time to cut the petals. I usually make one cut then make another cut on the opposite side. Note that I am not cutting all the way to the center. Follow the lines on the pattern above. You can cut your petals as wide or as thin as you like. Try not to be perfect here. This should look like nature had a hand in it's creation. Try not to cut them too thin where they near the center. If you have to make a cut or two more shallow than the rest, its not a big deal. Repeat this for the second layer.
Once you get both layers of wool felted and cut, you can felt them together. Just put the smaller circle on top. Then use your felting tool to join them. You shouldn't have to add more roving but you can if you like.
I added one more step to the large flower on top of the pincushion. I added a felt ball to the center! Well, half of a ball. Just cut a felt ball in half so you have 2 pieces. I wrapped the ball in some wool batt and felted it down.
Then I placed the ball half on center of the top flower layer. From the back of the wool fabric, use your felting tool to bind them firmly together. Add the larger circle to the small from the back by felting. To give it even more realism, I felted the petals up along the base of the felt ball near the base. This draws the petals around the center which looks much like the zinnias in my garden.
This next step just brings the petals to life. You can skip it if you like, but I totally recommend that you wet felt your flowers to make them more durable and more beautiful!
Add a bit of mild soap to a dish with water. Soak the flowers well until they are completely wet. Then massage the petals until the wool begins to felt further. Start off gently. Once you get your petals nice and soapy you can get a little more rough with your flower. I roll it around in my hands a bit so the petals begin to felt together at the base a bit more. Notice how the petals have changed. The tips are a bit rounded and not so fluffy.
Rinse the soap out completely. To even further the felting process, alternate between the hottest water you can handle. Then make the water very cold and rinse again. Go back and forth between hot and color water a number of times till all of the soap is rinsed out.
There are 3 ways to felt wool.
1. Needle Felting
2. Hot water- ever wash your favorite wool sweater in the washer? - its like that. If you change the temperature of the water it speeds up the process.
3. Soap to break down the wools natural fibers and friction to to bind the fibers together.
After your flower is rinsed, squeeze it between layers of dry toweling until it is simply damp.
You can allow your flower to dry naturally or if you are impatient like I am, just toss it into the dryer. This will bring back some of the fluff. Don't add anything else to the dryer. Allow it to bounce around gently.
Once you are finished with your flower, you can embellish it as you like, or leave it just as is.
I added some pretty glass beads to the red flower.
I added a fun vintage button to my pink flower.
I embroidered a few french knots and running stitches to the small purple flower using perle cotton.
I added the largest flower to a wool pincushion.
The possibilities are up to you!
Here are a few more of my creations using wool fabric, wool roving and batts and wool yarn. You can find them and more at my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious!
To enter to win a free flower kit, leave a comment along with contact information below.
The winner will be notified on November 18th.
Here is a list of my favorite Etsy shops. I hope you visit them and see the beautiful materials they have to offer. I recommend them highly for their fast and friendly service.
Lovely Hand Dyed Wool Fabrics-
Quilting Acres Beautiful Hand-dyed wool fabrics!
Ruby Mountain Dye Works on Etsy (this is a new shop for me. She is dyeing my wool as we speak.)
Wool Batts, Wool Roving and Wool Felting Tools.
Grey Fox Felting Stunning Batts
Purple Moose Felting So many colors of roving!
Edgewood Garden Studio
Woolie Bullie A crazy selection of intense dyed wool.
Wildethyme Beautiful Batts with sparkles, silk and other exotic materials and inclusions!
Wool Balls and Wool Felt
Crafty Wool Felt This shop is just too fun!
Wool felting tools
New England Felting Supply Everything you need is here from needles, soap, carding tools and so much more!
WildeThyme is running a sale right now. I have this batt called Radioactive. So lovely and the sparkles and inclusions make for fun felting!
Make sure to drop on by!
Watch for my Frilly Pincushion Tutorial link on Sew Mama Sew coming this month. I am so honored to be featured on this amazing site!
You may purchase the pincushion shown above at my Etsy Shop, Fiberluscious. I'll have it listed soon.
Thanks for stopping by!
Good luck on my giveaway!