I taught a felt flower workshop last week at Don Drumm Studios and Gallery in Akron. We crafted flowers from recycled wool sweaters that I had pre-shrunk in the washing machine. We added bits of ribbon, vintage buttons, and several participants embellished their flower with needle felting. It was a beautiful day in the secret garden at Don Drumm!
Process and resources:
100% wool sweater(s) from the thrift store, washed in a top-loading washer with just enough hot water to cover it. Add a half a cap of laundry soap and set it for the longest and most vigorous agitation cycle. When it’s through the first agitation, check it before the water drains to make sure it’s well felted. If you can still see the knitted loops, run it through another agitation cycle and check again. You may have to do this two or three times. Note: The wool may shed quite a lot – you may want to put the sweater in a zipper-top pillow cover to help contain the fibers it throws off. You can either let the sweater air-dry or you can put it in the dryer for additional felting.
Cut the sweater up into two or three sets of petals, ranging in size from large to small. Make the petals any petal-like shape you want. Sew the largest petals on to a circle of craft felt. then stagger the second row of petals over the first and sew through all the layers. You can add ribbon, a third layer of petals, your button – whatever strikes your fancy. Sew on a pin back or hair clip and enjoy!
The needle felting tool and mat that I use are made by Clover. There are a lot of other tools and vendors who sell these types of supplies but here’s a link to the Clover website so you can get an idea of what they offer. http://www.clover-usa.com/products/453737?n=0 Lots of people also sell the wool roving that’s used for needle felting. As the workshop participants saw, you don’t need a lot of roving to make a big impact on your flower. Participants: If I wasn’t quick enough to snap a photo of your flower please send me one and I’ll be happy to post it. You all did a great job!