How to Make a Wet Felted Rose
A Red Rose
- 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
A template for a rose
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.
- It will be used as guide for making the right size petals for your rose.
Cut out the template
- 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 just as a guide!
- Place a fine layer of wool fibers onto the top of the cardboard template. They should be placed evenly but sparingly so that you end up with a rose which not only looks delicate but is realistic.
- 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 in the Sushi Mat.
Place fibers down on 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. They are invaluable for small projects such as this one.
Wet wool fibers with hot soapy water
Wet the wool
Wet the wool with hot soapy water. Use a small squeeze bottle to do this.
Roll the petals up in a sushi mat
Carefully roll the petals up in a sushi mat.
Just for a minute!
- Roll for a minute and then open the Sushi Mat very carefully.
- The wool may stuck 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 fibers shrink evenly on all sides.
- Repeat this until you are satisfied that all the fibers have fused together.
Turn the rose petals and roll again
Rolling the fibers!
- Changing the direction in which you roll the fibers. The shape of your finished petals will be better maintained if you do this.
The fibers have fused together and the petals are ready to be rinsed in hot and then cold water.
Pulling the petals into shape
Making the stem of the rose
Only cotton pipe cleaners should be used. Synthetic pipe cleaners will not allow the wool fibers to attach to them.
Lay down a thin green strip of wool fibers and place the pipe cleaner on the top.
Rolling the pipe cleaner
Roll the pipe cleaner
Roll the wet wool covered pipe cleaner on the sushi mat. Use your fingers to do this. You will soon start to to feel the fibers tighten under your fingers as you roll.
Make the center for the rose
The central bud
- Pluck a few fibers from a piece of wool roving. These should be about two inches in length and about an inch in width.
- This size and width does depend very much on the size of the flower you have chosen to make. Larger flowers will require a slightly bigger bud in the middle to look 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 your central bud.
Wet the fibers
Roll in a sushi mat
Don't roll the whole way yet!
- The fibers shown here should not be rolled yet. They must only be rolled once the fabric for the bud in the middle of the rose has been felted. The loose fibers can then be turned over the green stem.
Attach the red fibers to the stem.
Attach the stem now
- Attach the stem of the rose to the central bud.
- Do this by folding over the loose fibers 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.
Roll the central bud of the rose between the sushi mat
Roll and enclose the central bud
Hot and cold water.
- Plunge the petals and the stem first into hot water.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.