Earlier this week I mentioned that I recently learned how to wet felt in my most recent Show & Tell post. I want to take you through the simple process of making felted Christmas ornaments so you too can learn how to make them if you are looking for easy, homemade gifts to give loved ones this year. I hand-rolled a big bundle of beeswax taper candles last night and have been felting ornaments like this Christmas tree to give Stella’s teacher and a few of my close friends. I think the combo of the honeycomb candles + felted ornament would make a really lovely gift for someone special. Here’s how you make them.
What You’ll Need:
- Roving wool – I ordered ours here
- Felting needle
- Cookie cutters
- Fork (for wet felting)
- Thick string or yarn
- Sewing needle
- Kettle (for wet felting)
- Shallow basin or baking sheet (for wet felting)
Wet Felting Step 1: While you heat the water in your kettle, prepare your work station. Place the cookie cutters you’ve selected for this craft in your basin and select wool in various colors to make your ornaments. Tear off pieces of the roving wool and place them in your cookie cutter, arranging them so it fills up each nook and cranny. You are looking for enough to fill it so it stick up a bit, but not so much that it overflows.
Step 2: When your water is good and hot, pour it over the cookie cutters coving the wool completely.
Step 3: After the water has been poured, use a fork to poke the wool, pressing it straight down with a quick 90 degree motion. You will do this repeatedly, focusing on the sides of the cookie cutter so it takes on a good shape.
Step 4: Once you’ve spent a good amount of time piercing the wool with your fork, gently flip the cookie cutter with the wool inside over and repeat the process. I’d say you will spend roughly ten minutes per side felting.
Step 5: Flip once more, and keep pressing the sharp point of the fork into the wool binding the fibers together. One ornament should take you around 30 minutes or so from start to finish, and you can make it as puffy or well-bonded as you like. You can flip as many times as you want to felt tighter if you prefer.
Step 6: Once you have wet felted your ornament as much as you would like, take it out of the water and press it between your fingers to squeeze out any access water. Next, remove from the cookie cutter and set somewhere warm to dry overnight.
Step 7: Technically you could be done at this point. You do not have to embellish your ornaments like how I’ve left the golden star plain and simple, however if you’re doing something with more detail like a Christmas tree you can move onto the needle feting process. I’d also like to mention you could totally skip the wet felting process and use the cookie cutters as your outline for needle felting if you want to. Both methods are great, just different. I’ve detailed below how to needle felt if you want to go that direction or if you want to add details to your wet felted ornaments.
Step 8: To needle felt on top of your wet felted ornament, you’ll need a felting needle + roving wool + grab a seat somewhere comfy. Find something to use under your ornament as you needle felt so you don’t poke yourself. A piece of wood, soft foam or a big ball of yarn works well for this. Take very small pieces of the roving wool and place them on top of your ornament. Make repeated 90 degree pokes with the felting needle on top of the wool roving binding the wool fibers together. You will notice the loose wool becoming one with the felted ornament very quickly. Felt this as much as you like, keeping in mind that the more you poke the wool with the felting needle the smaller it will become as it binds with the felt under it.
The more you poke the wool with the felting needle, the tighter your ornament will become. Just keep working away and soon your creation will start to take shape and resemble something other than a fluffy blob. When making long, skinny pieces like the angel’s braid in the photo above, I’ll tear off a longer piece of wool and twist it tightly. Next I lay it down on top of the felt where I want it to go and press the felting needle into it, poking like a sewing machine with my fingers. It should stitch right in. To add buttons or eyes like on my snowman below, I do the same process but instead of tearing off a long, skinny piece of felt I just use a very small amount about the size of about cotton swab. You will get the hang of it!
Step 9: Once you are pleased with your ornament, take a piece of yarn, twine or string and thread your sewing needle. Loop the string through the top of the ornament, remove the treading needing and tie.
Step 10: Give to someone special or hang on your tree!