Some of my favorite Wet Felting Tools

The conventional and the not so conventional tools which can be used for wet felting.

Top of my list is this Plastic Window Blind





Wooden or Glass Rolling Pin covered in Sushi Mats



You can go the expensive route and buy a ridged rolling pin or you can use your regular wooden rolling pin with sushi mats rolled around it. Place a few elastic bands around the mats and you will have a very useful tool for felting with at a fraction of the price. Remember to exert pressure on the fibers as you roll. The wool will felt more quickly if you use one.

Rubber or Elastic Bands



Use these to hold projects rolled in Bubble-wrap together or alternatively use them to attach Sushi Mats to the Wooden Rolling Pin above.

Velcro



Velcro can be used instead of elastic bands.

A Tumble Drier



Can be used on either a hot or cold settings. Can be particularly useful for Nuno felting. A whole project can be bundled in bubble wrap and tied with elastic bands or Velcro - before putting into the Tumble Drier.

Tumble driers can be used very effectively for felting wool. Hot air reduces the time it takes to felt wool, but the felting process is not as easy to control.

I regularly use a tumble-drier, especially if I want to speed up the felting process. The resulting felt feels a little firmer than can be achieved with hand rubbing.

Sushi Mats or Bamboo Blinds



I love using Sushi Mats for felting. I find them particularly useful for making flat pieces of felt, or for making felt flowers.

The trick is to keep changing the direction in which you lay the flowers down inside the roll of bamboo. If you do, you will achieve a more even finish.

More recently I started used Sushi Mats to make Felt Liquorice Allsorts. The fibers were rolled into a sausage and then wrapped in a sushi mat and then rolled. The result was a very nice firm sausage which could be sliced into sweets.

Sushi Mats are great for small projects – bamboo blinds are more suitable for large projects.

The Gertie Ball



This inflatable ball is great for making hats and is perfect for felt hat making with children. They can bounce them around the table or floor to help the felting process.

Inflate the ball and add several layers of wool. Dampen down with hot soapy water and put into a stocking.

Knot the ends of the stocking and put into the tumble drier until the wool is felted.

Keep checking the progress of the wool and remove before the wool begins to attach itself to the stocking!

Remove the water and deflate the ball. Remove the ball Please visit my felting a ball with children tutorial for more details:-

http://sallybea.hubpages.com/hub/Hat-on-a-Ball-A-Wet-Felting-tutorial-for-Children

Balloons



Cheap party balloons can be used to make a variety of projects. They are very useful for making Bird Pods or Felt Vessels.

The more unusual the shape is, the more useful they can be.

The balloon can so easily be removed from the project.

I sometimes quarter fill the balloon with water before I add the wool fibers to it. Adding water gives the balloon more weight and makes it easier to work with. It will not blow away!

Polystyrene Head Lasts and Wooden Hat Blocks



Used to shape or block hats on. Vintage hat blocks are usually made of wood. They are a real must for people who intend making a lot of hats.

Wooden, Resin or Metal Shoe Lasts



These are great for helping to maintain the shape of shoes or slippers.

You can felt the wool direct onto them or just use them for shaping afterwards. A well-shaped shoe is one which has been allowed to dry on a pair of shoe lasts.

Duct Tape



Duct tape can be used very effectively to create your own custom shoe lasts!

Please see http://sallybea.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-make-Duck-Tape-Shoe-Lasts-on-which-to-create-Wet-Felted-Slippers-or-Boots tutorial on making your own shoe lasts.

They can be particularly useful for people who for whatever reason cannot wear regular shoes.

I used my duct tape shoe last in the tumble dried. They survived very well - in spite of them coming into contact with a lot of soapy water.

A tumble drier was used to felt the duct tape slippers in the above tutorial.

The Microwave Oven



Use when a project gets cold. The application of heat really does enhance the felting process.

Never put your project into the microwave if the wool is dry. It should always feel wet. Only heat it for a minute or less if the project is very small).

Better to be safe rather than sorry! You can always put it back in for a few more seconds afterwards.

Aqua Shoes





Plastic Aqua or Jelly Shoes can be used very effectively as shoe lasts.

Please see some of my tutorials for several different ways to use Aqua or Jelly Shoes for felting shoes.

These shoes are so easy to work with. They are not only cheap but they are flexible.

They are also very easy to remove from a project.

Buy a few pairs and you can use them for shaping slippers made using bubble-wrap templates.

‘Marigolds’ or Kitchen Gloves



I gave a lot of thought to how I could create gloves which had fingers and these The glove'lasts' were the result of this experiment!.

I played around with using kitchen rubber kitchen very successfully.

The gloves not only fitted well, but they kept my fingers warm!

Kitchen Drawer Liners or Mats




These mats are generally bought for lining kitchen drawers with. I roll felt balls on them. I do find the holes in the mat give me a lovely non-slip texture on which to work. The balls felt very quickly on them too.

Kitchen Towels or Bath Towels



Great to soaking up excess water.

Try rolling felt balls on them. I like to use very little water when I make felt balls.

The rough cotton cloth absorbs a lot of the moisture and it really does seem to make the felting process a lot quicker.

Glass and/or Metal Washboards.



I have a metal. I don’t use it as much as I might if I had a glass one!

The metal ones are not as kind to the wool as glass can be.

Alternatively use the draining board of your regular kitchen sink. I am all for using the inexpensive things which we all have in our homes for felting.

Sandwich-Wrap



Wonderful for keeping the layers of wool separate.

Especially useful to making 3D Projects like Felt Flowers.

Use the wrap to separate petals from one another.

Cut a hole in the center of each layer and build up a core of wool in the middle of each flower.

Please see my flower tutorials and videos.

http://sallybea.hubpages.com/video/How-to-make-a-3d-Flower-using-wet-felting-techniques-a-Video-Tutorial

Beading Wire




One of the easiest ways to make 3D felt flowers is to use frames made from beading wire.

Use very fine wire to make these frames for petals and stamens.

Please see my tutorial for making a 3D Felt Pansy and Tulip:-

sallybea.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-use-a-Wire-Frame-to-make-a-3D-Wet-Felted-Pansy and

http://sallybea.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-use-a-Wire-Frame-to-make-a-Wet-Felted-Tulip

Plastic Play Mat



Used for Protecting non-waterproof tables for felting on.

I use one of these colorful mats often.

Children generally use them to keep paint off the carpet or floor.

I like to use them because they always have cheerful prints on them - they make me smile and give me a colorful background for my images.

Marble Table Tops
Not only a Marble Top but also a backdrop for my tiny Metal Shoe Lasts.



The ultimate waterproof surface for every felt maker to work on.

A marble table top is my felting table for small projects.

I love it because it is exactly the right height for me.

Water based glue



I use water based glue for making felt liquorice sweets and Brighton Rock.

Please see my Liquorice Allsorts Tutorial:-

http://hubpages.com/hub/Homemade-Christmas-Gifts-Liquorice-Allsorts-A-Wet-Felting-Tutorial

It makes them so easy to slice. It also gives them a different texture, much more like a real sweet than felt!

Thread the beads with Elastic Thread or a strand or thin leather.

Cotton Pipe Cleaners



Very useful for making Flower Sepals and Stamens.

Wet the pipe cleaners and wrap fine layers of Wool Roving around them.

Roll until the wool becomes felted.

Only Buy Cotton Pipe Cleaners for this purpose. Synthetic pipe cleaners will not bond with Wool Roving.

Needle Felting Tool



I use a wooden handled Needle Felting Tool because I love the way it feels in my hands:)

It can be used to add fibers to projects or to help repair felting which sometimes goes wrong.

You can needle felt thin spots and then felt them in the tumble drier.

Please see my tutorial http://hubpages.com/hub/What-to-do-when-things-go-wrong-when-Wet-Felting


The Electric Palm Sander

(This tool comes with a safety warning)



I sometimes use a Palm Sander for my Felting Projects.

Please always remember to abide by the accepted safety rules when working with electricity and water!

Make sure that the home has a ‘trip switch’ or circuit breaker before even considering using this method.

Wear rubber soled shoes as an added precaution and cover your working project with a thick waterproof plastic cover.

This will ensure that no water has a chance of reaching the Palm Sander.

I sometimes put the whole of my Sander into a plastic bag before placing it onto the plastic sheeting.

NB - Palm Sanders with dust bags are not suitable – only those without one.


Salad Spinner



Want to remove any excess water from the wool without agitating it so much that it begins to felt. The salad spinner bowl makes a great colander whilst the spinning mechanism helps remove any excess water from the fleece or wool roving. I use this when dying small amounts of wool. Simply place the wet wool in the spinner and spin. Pour off the excess water gathered in the bottom of the container and it is ready for dying.

Stainless Steel Bowls and A Potato Mashers for wet felting.



I love using cheap stainless steel bowls and a potato masher for damping down wet wool.

Butter Pat Maker

Can be used for rolling felt balls.

Comments

Photo comment By Jodah: Wonderful info and pics Sally. I am not into felting but my wife makes felted hats so I will show her this. Thanks.s
Photo comment By Sally: Thank you Jodah - I appreciate the comment and I hope your wife finds some of this info helpful.
Photo comment By Rosemary: Thank you so very much for all this information. You have inspired me to have a go. I bet your a really good Tutor.
Photo comment By Sally: You are welcome Rosemary, I hope you enjoy your felting journey.
Photo comment By Madeline: Thanks so much. This is very helpful!
Photo comment By Shona: Great ideas which I will try as new to felting.

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