Felted Wool Projects to Sew

Felted Wool Projects to Sew
Wool that has been felted and wool felt are quite different products. Wool felt is a nylon product as seen in the familiar colorful felt squares available in fabric stores and craft departments used for crafting projects. Wool felt has a specified amount of wool added in the milling process. Wool that has been felted is made from carded wool, raw fleece, or true wool garments or wool pieces deliberately washed in hot water and dried to shrink and mat the wool fibers closely together. As the scales on the wool swell with the water they become locked tightly together as they rub against one another. A dense fabric is created although much smaller than its original size.

To make your own felted wool place an all wool fabric or a wool garment (at least 80% wool is best) that will be used for making the felted wool in your washing machine (one with an agitator is best as front-loading machines do not agitate the wool sufficiently to felt), fill with hot water, agitate the fabric on the long cycle and set the rinse cycle for cold water. Machine dry for about 30 minutes using the regular heat setting or air dry flat. When dry, if the wool seems not quite felted enough, repeat the cycle one more time, however the amount of shrinkage may be only slightly more than before.

Cheery Pillow
Two 14-x-14-inch squares of felted wool
Pearl cotton or embroidery floss
Polyester fiberfill
Felted scraps to make trees, geometric shapes, flowers, animals or assembled scenes.

Pin and baste stitch your felt scraps onto the felt piece that will become the pillow front. Blanket-stitch around the pieces using contrasting thread colors for a rustic look. Then, stitch the pillow front to the pillow back right-sides together using a 3/8 or 1/2-inch seam allowance leaving an opening for stuffing. Firmly stuff the pillow with fiberfill and whip stitch the opening closed using very small stitches.

Teen Purse
One-half yard (approx.) felted wool.
Contrasting color pearl cotton or embroidery floss
Thick craft cording or decorative purchased purse handle

Consider the finished size of the purse you want to make; using a rectangular or square shape is easiest. Cut the felted wool three times the finished size in length and the exact width of the purse shape. One-third will become the back of the purse, one-third the front, and one-third the flap closure. Fold the felt into thirds to create the purse pouch and flap. Leave the flap as is or cut into a slightly rounded shape, V-shape or just straight across and slightly less in size than the purse front. Hand-stitch the purse front and back together wrong-sides facing each other and of course minus the purse flap (reinforce the outer opening edges slightly at the point where the purse pouch becomes the purse flap by taking a few extra stitches). Use a contrasting color embroidery floss thread or pearl cotton thread and apply a simple blanket stitch around all edges. For the purse handle, cover a length of thick cording with felt and hand stitch around edges enclosing the cording. Attach to the purse with several hand stitches or attach a purchased purse handle using the manufacturer instructions. Apply a decorative button to the outside of the flap if desired.

Gift Tags and Ornaments
Using simple large cookie cutter shapes as templates, cut two of a snowman, tree, bell or star shape, place the two pieces wrong-sides together then hand-stitch about 1/4-inch (or less) in from the edges using embroidery floss or pearl cotton. Use a contrasting color for emphasis. Embellish as you’d like and add a gold cord for attaching to a wrapped present or to hang later on the holiday tree.

Penny Rugs
Dating from the 1800s, penny rugs were not really rugs to walk on at all but were made from scraps of wool and used as table runners, to decorate walls, and dresser tops. Originally coins or pennies were used as templates to draw circles (pennies were quite large then) hence the name penny rugs. They are an inspiring example of thrifty folk art.

For some interesting felted wool projects:

Felting Projects from Martha Stewart

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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