Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rolled Felt Beads

So, select your merino/ wool roving you want for the centre. The thicker the 'rope' the thicker the centre. I've chosen 'Kiss Me' red.

Sort your work space. I have bubble wrap to work on, bubble side up. A bowl of warm water with a bar of soap in it.

The 'rope' of merino is already in a sausage shape so all I do is briefly get it wet and lift onto the bubble wrap where I gently, without pressing, roll it backwards and forwards. This compresses the felt and pushes the air out. It's just like rolling pastry, just lighter. If you press it, you can't roll it.
You will see it begins to compress into a more solid roll.
Lay it onto a bed of merino in another colour. Again, the thickness of the next colour is determined by how much merino there is.

Roll it up in this white layer, as tightly as you can but don't fret. As long as the merino is even, pleats and creases generally felt out. It can be fiddly, you'll get better at it.

Check for thin areas which you can see at the right, patch by applying more white. Roll some more till slightly firmer.
Next colour- grey.

This time I just roll and roll, backwards and forwards, feeling it firm up. ( Sorry about the language)
I put it in warm water to help the felting process along. You can roll it in your hands or onto bubble wrap.

Getting smaller, it's supposed to.

You are aiming for it to be completely firm, it won't be rigid, it's fibre after all.
Mine needed more felting so into a sink of very hot water, then into cold, then into hot.....
When it keeps it's shape, slice how you like with a very sharp blade or knife.

Sometimes, you have to kick your own butt into gear. I needed to make or do something but with limited time, so a roll of felt to cut into beads for a bracelet and earrings. Have a go too, very satisfying and something to add to the stash. The ends of the rolls cut into eyes for Kookie Kritters.


  1. Wonderful tutorial Jacinta. Very nice idea, and as you say, small amounts both in goods and time, but excellent results. Must try some wet felting, but will wait until warmer months. You are very creative.

  2. Hi Jacinta,

    I did this from your tutorial on Saturday and it turned out great. After I cut it I used glass beads in bewteen the felt rolls to make a necklace and I had lovely comments from my fellow classmates (Box Hill Dip Tex Art) about how effective it was. Thanks

  3. Thanks Jacinta for sharing this. I must try it. Before I failed as too loose.