Wet & Needle Felting Tutorial:
Pouch for Cat Lovers
As I’ve promised you in last week’s post, today I’m having a tutorial on making a cat pouch by wet felting technique. It will show you a basic way of making wet felted pouch (which can easily be applied to making a bag), and how to embroider features with needle felting technique. The tutorial is long (sorry!) but each process is easy, so hope you enjoy making one!
What You’ll Need
(For wet felting)
- wool roving
- soapy water
- a pair of plastic gloves
- two pieces of bubble wrap
- rolling pin
*For soapy water, I use kitchen detergent (you can use pretty much any kind of soap); thin down the detergent by adding warm water by 1:10.
(For needle felting)
- felting needle
- felting mat/ kitchen sponge
- wool roving
1) Let’s start by making a cat template. Draw a cat (I know, my template looks silly and wonky…) on a piece of bubble wrap. I want the pouch to be small, and it’s about 15cm x 11.5cm in size. You can make the cat to be whatever shape or size (as long as it fits in your tray), but remember that the wool will shrink by about 30% at the end.
2) Cut out the template with scissors.
3) Spread a piece of bubble wrap (bubble side down) in your tray, and place the template on it. The bubble wrap should be big enough to cover the template when it’s folded in half.
4) Gently pull off a tuft and lay them on the bubble wrap horizontally, one on top of the other, until it completely covers the template. Make sure that the edges are not thin, especially around the ears!
5) Lay tufts to cover the first layer, but this time lay them vertically.
6) Lay the third layer of tufts horizontally, the same as the first layer.
7) Gently sprinkle warm, soapy water over the tufts. Put the plastic gloves on, and push the tufts down carefully so that they take up the water. Gently (very gently) stroke the surface for a few minutes.
8) Fold the bubble wrap in half to cover the wool.
9) And turn it upside down.
10) Gently open the bubble wrap, and fold the edges inside.
11) Lay 3 layers of tufts (horizontally, vertically and horizontally) again to cover the template.
12) Sprinkle soapy water over the wool, and gently stroke the surface. When the wool’s surface stops shifting when you stroke it, rub it hard until it holds together. Turn the wool over, then repeat the step until the fibres hold together. You can see when it’s completely felted by pinching it; if the layers don’t lift up when you pinch it, it’s ready. If not, keep rubbing the wool. I know it’ll take a while, but give it a good elbow grease and you’ll get there!
13) When it’s felted enough, cut the bottom part with scissors and take out the template.
14) Put your hand and rub the inside of the pouch. If your pouch is big enough, turn it inside out to rub it all over. If you don’t felt the inside enough, it will stick together later. It will be bitterly disappointing, I tell you!
15) Next, together with the bubble wrap, roll the felt around a rolling pin, then roll it backwards and forwards for about 50 times. Unroll the felt and spray some soapy water, and flatten the surface. Turn the felt through 90 degrees and roll it up again, then roll it backwards and forwards for about 50 times. Repeat the process until the felt has shrunk by about 30 percent from the original size.
16) See how much it shrinks? When you’re done felting, rinse the felt in cold water and pat it dry using old towels.
17) Put a hand towel in the pouch, then iron the surface with low heat for smoother finish.
18) I promise you, the end is near! Put a felting mat inside the pouch. If you don’t have a mat that’s small enough, use a clean kitchen sponge (it works just fine).
19) Place a small amount of wool between your palms and roll it so that the fibre holds together.
20) Place the fibre on the pouch, then stab the felting needle into the fibre and the pouch; each stab will push fibres through the pouch.
21) Keep on stabbing until your design is complete.
22) Say hello to my kitty! But it has a long neck, doesn’t it?
23) I sawed on some pearls. If your cat has a long neck like mine, it’s worth the effort!
25) I also sewed on a pair of snap buttons at the opening (sorry it’s hard to see in the picture).
Finally!! Yes, wet felting takes a while to make it, but I’m sure you’ll get addicted like me :)
And what am I using the pouch for? She’s my new business card holder, and I can’t wait to use it!