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How to Make a Wet Felted Rose
A Red Rose
More About This Simple Tutorial
This tutorial was designed for those new to wet felting. Not only is it simple but it can be made to look different using a variety of flower shapes.
Merino Wool was used for this tutorial. It is perhaps the easiest of all wools to felt and is perfectly suited for beginners to this amazing art form.
Items Required for this Tutorial:
- Small quantity merino wool roving in red and green
- Ronson pipe cleaners (white cotton)
- Bamboo sushi mat
- Squeeze bottle
- Hot soapy water (Fairy liquid soap)
- A rose template (Your size guide)
- Bubble wrap if making more than one flower
Trace the Template
- Trace this basic template for a rose which has five petals. Transfer it to a piece of cardboard and cut it out.
- This template will be used as a guide for making the right size petals for the rose.
- When you transfer the design to bubble wrap, use a complementary color felt tip pen.
- The ink will likely transfer some of the color from the pen to the wet wool fibers.
- A white rose for instance, will benefit from this subtle coloration and help to make your rose look more realistic.
- You could even paint a little acid dye directly onto the front and back of the rose with a paint brush once your rose has been assembled.
More than one rose at a time!
Cut out the template.
If you are making several roses at a time, you may wish to transfer the design for the rose to a sheet of bubble wrap.
Draw around the template on the smooth side of the bubble wrap as many times as desired.
Wet with hot soapy water.
Cover with bubble-wrap, bubble side down and roll in the bubble wrap instead of the Sushi Mat.
For the purpose of this tutorial we will concentrate only one rose.
Use the Template as a Guide!
- Place a fine layer of wool fibers onto the top of the cardboard template. The fibres should be placed evenly but sparingly so that you end up with a rose which not only looks delicate but is realistic too.
- Remember that once you add warm soapy water, the fibers will flatten out and if you do see any large holes in the Petal add a few additional fibers just to these areas before you begin rolling them inside the sushi mat.
Rose Petals on a Sushi Mat
- Transfer the two petals from the template to a sushi mat.
- A sushi mat helps provide a very simple method to turn wool very quickly into felt. The mats are invaluable for small projects such as this one.
Wet the wool
Wet the wool with hot soapy water. Use a small squeeze bottle to do this.
- Carefully roll the petals up inside a sushi mat.
Just for a Minute!
- Roll for a minute and then open the sushi mat very carefully.
- The wool may stick to the bamboo a little. Gently extract the petals and then turn them so that the direction of the roll has been changed. This will ensure that the fibres shrink evenly from all sides.
- Repeat this until you are satisfied that all the fibre has fused together.
Rolling the Fibres!
- Change the direction in which you roll fibres.
- The shape of your finished petals will be better maintained if you do this.
Rinse in Hot and Cold Water
- The fibers have fused together and the petals are ready to be rinsed in hot and then cold water.
Lay down a thin green strip of woollen fibres and place a pipe cleaner on the top.
- Roll the wet wool covered pipe cleaner on the sushi mat. Use your fingers to do this. You will soon start to feel the fibres tighten beneath your fingers as you roll.
The Central Bud
- Pluck a few fibres from a piece of wool roving. These should be about two inches in length and about an inch in width.
- This size and width do very much depend on the size of the flower you have chosen to make. Larger flowers will require a slightly bigger bud in the middle in order to appear realistic. Sometimes they may require a further layer of petals too.
- Measure the distance between the middle of the flower to the edge of the rose and use this measurement to gauge the size of the central bud.
Keep the End of the Stem Dry
- The dry end fibres shown here should only be attached once the bud has been formed.
- The dry ends can then be added to the bud, made wet and felted.
Attach the Stem
- Attach the top of the stem of the rose to the central bud.
- Do this by folding over the loose fibres and only then roll up the Sushi Mat the whole way to include the stem.
- Roll for a minute and check to see if the stem is attached. If not, continue rolling for a little longer.
Hot and cold water.
- Plunge the petals and the stem first in hot and then cold water, repeat twice.
- Rinse carefully.
- Make the central bud of the rose by twisting the small piece of red felt around the stem.
- Needle felt or sew a few stitches at the lower so that it does not unravel.
- Make a hole in each of the petal layers.
- Push the stem of the rose up into the center of each petal..
- Now arrange the petals around the central bud and shape the rose as desired.
- Complete the rose by adding a few of stitches below the petals.