How to Make Wet Felted Apples in a Tumble Dryer
Wet Felted Apples
Waste Wool Roving
Waste Not Want Not!
Every felt maker acquires some waste yarn along the way. Some like me purchase it especially for projects which we want to be cost effective. If they are anything like me, you abhor waste and are always looking for ways to use this waste wool.
Needle felting is a popular choice for many. Waste yarn can be used to make numerous items such as small animals and birds. It can also be used to add decoration to small or very large projects.
I enjoy tumble dryer felting. True, the results can sometimes be unpredictable but there is no doubt in my mind that this is a fun easy way to make multiple items all at once
If I were a teacher in a school, I would be looking for ways to teach children more about this art form. I would encourage the children to try this apple project which could be done over a few periods with no harm done by having a break between stages.
Multiple apples can be created by the children over a period and put into a tumble dryer all at once. The only difficulty might be the problem of discovering which item belongs to which child. I think I would encourage them to add a piece of ribbon or a name tag so that their project can be identified.
I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I welcome any comments or feedback.
Come, Let Us Make Apples!
Things You Will Need for This Project
Waste wool roving
Decorative merino wool roving or wool tops in a colour of your choice
Dish washing liquid
Large eyed needle
Thin sock knitting needle
A few strands of 100% pure knitting wool for the stems
A Note on the Waste Yarn Which Was Used Here.
The waste yarn shown here is designed to be used for spinning rather than wet felting. but it made a good 'stuffing' or base for the apples. The superior shrinking ability of the decorative merino wool fibers placed on the surface of the apples held the softer fibers in tightly. Use whatever waste yarn you have handy but remember that pure merino yarn will felt quicker than the fibers shown here. Use white fibers if you have them, they will save you one additional step below.
Waste Spinning Wool
Tie a Knot in the Waste Roving
Wrap the Wool Tightly Around the Knot to Form a Ball
The Tight Ball of Wool Roving
Substitute White for Brown if You Have It.
If your waste yarn is made up of light or white yarn you will not need to do this step.
Cover the Brown Surface with White Roving
Dip the Ball into Very Hot Water
The Woolen Ball Soaking up the Hot Soapy Water.
Use a Wooden Spoon to Remove the Ball from the Hot Soapy Water
Plunge the Hot Ball into Cold Water
The Ball Removed from the Cold Water.
Roll the Ball on a Towel
Add White Roving to Conceal the Brown Ball for an Improved Look
Plunge into Very Hot Soapy Water
Plunge into Cold Water
Roll on a Towel Just to Achieve a Nice Round Shape
Getting the Stocking over the Ball
Put the stocking onto your hand and place the ball onto the stocking. Pull the stocking over your hand as shown and then give it one shake downwards to ensure that the ball falls nicely into the bottom of the stocking.
Put the Ball into a Piece of Cut off Tights
Wool Ball Inside the Cut off Tights
Knot the Cut off Tights so That It Can Easily Be Opened Later
Multiple Balls Ready for the Tumble Dryer
Put the Balls into the Tumble Dryer
Put all the balls into the tumble dryer and tumble for a few minutes. Check the balls every now and then to make sure that the wool has felted sufficiently to add the top layer of wool.
Now Add the Decorative Layer to the Felted Apple
Covering the White Layer
You might want to dip the ball first into the warm water before you begin placing the fibers it. Roll the new fibers gently on the towel or spray and roll as you work. Once the ball has a good covering of wool over the white, roll gently until it looks like the image below.
Spray the Decorative Layer with Hot Soapy Water
Roll on a Towel
Put the Ball into the Cut off Tights.
Shake the Ball into the Bottom of the Cut off Tights
Knot the End of the Cut off Tights so That It Can Easily Be Removed Later
Remove Tights After Wool Has Felted, Tug Gently if the Fibers Have Become Attached
How to Make Stems for the Apples
Requirements for Making the Stems
Strands of pure knitting wool
A few brown fibers
A large eyed needle
A thin sock knitting needle with point on both ends
Things You Will Need to Make the Stems
Making the Stems
Pull off two strands, sufficient to make 2 apple stems at a time.
Place a piece of brown roving down on the sushi mat and then put down the knitting yarn on top of the first one.
Saturate with hot soapy water and roll gently with your fingers.
Place into the sushi mat and roll.
Please note that you can make several rows of these and put them into the sushi mat at once to save time
Making the Woolen Stems
Cover Wool Yarn with Roving and Spray with Hot Water as Shown
Roll with Fingers on Sushi Mat
Put into Sushi Mat and Roll Until Felted
Cut the Length into 2 Stems as Shown
How to Insert the Stems into the Apples
Visual of the Items Required to Compete the Process
Using the Knitting Needle to Make the Hole
Push the knitting needle firmly but gently until it just comes through the other side. Try to keep the outer hole small as this will help keep in the stem. Pull the wool to one side and re-insert the needle to come out the side as shown. The hole can be massaged with hot soapy water to seal them completely.
Needle Threaded with the Uncovered Part of the Yarn
Take the Yarn Through the Hole and Back in Again and Through the Side of the Apple
Pull the wool firmly and then cut the end off very close to the apple surface. Massage the holes with hot soapy water.
You may wish to make a green leaf for each apple. Make a flat piece of felt using a few colored green fibers in a sushi mat. Wet with hot soapy water and when felted cut the leaves out with a pair of pinking shears. Sew or needle felt them onto the stems.
The Wet Felted Apples
Close up of the Apples.
More Wet Felting Projects with Sallybea
Please share you felting preferences.
What type of felting is of the most interested to you?
© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen