Wet Felt Picture

How to make a picture:

Wet felting is an ideal way to make a picture. You can also wet felt a background, and then use needle felting to create finer details.

Wet felting is a method of using soap, warm water and agitation to tangle fibres together to create felt. It is different to needle or dry felting. 

There are many ways to wet felt and you will find your own favourite methods. Here is a simple method to make a picture for which you will need:

  • soap (try our Handmade Soap Pieces, olive hand soap or even a gentle washing up liquid such as Ecover),
  • hot water (as hot as you can stand, cooler if felting with children)
  • a spray bottle if you have one
  • fibres to felt
  • an old towel
  • a sheet of pre-felt - this makes an easy and strong base for your picture
  • a top and bottom piece of our Wet Felting Mat (you can fold it over or cut into 2 even pieces) which are slightly bigger than your prefelt (old bubble wrap packaging is also perfect!)
  1. Lay the pre-felt onto a layer of Wet Felting Mat or bubble wrap (bubbles upwards)
  2. Using thin layers of colour, just enough to cover the background, layer up the picture onto the pre-felt, starting with the background first, such as sky, mountains etc, then work your way forwards through the picture.
  3. Wet the whole picture with a mixture of warm/hot water mixed with a little soap (a spray bottle is good for this).
  4. Lay another layer of Wet Felting Mat or bubble wrap over the top. Spray a little of the water mixture on top to help your hands slide.
  5. Start gently rubbing over the Wet Felting Mat or bubble wrap, very gently at first, in little circles. Once you have rubbed over the whole picture, you can go again, a little stronger this time. Repeat, building up the strength of the rubbing as the fibres begin to felt. You can lift the Wet Felting Mat or bubble wrap to check on your picture below.
  6. Try pulling at a few fibres to see if they are felting together.
  7. Once the felt is fairly strong and the fibres are fixed into place, both layers of Wet Felting Mat or bubble wrap plus picture can be rolled up, with an elastic band placed on each end.
  8. This 'sausage' can then be rolled backwards and forwards 20-30 times.
  9. Unroll the sausage and look at your picture, which will have shrunk horizontally. Pull the picture back into shape a little, then turn it a quarter turn and roll it back up.
  10. Roll the sausage 20-30 times. Repeat turning and rolling two more times.
  11. Rinse your picture, first in water as hot as you can stand (cooler for little children), then in very cold water.
  12. Press dry with a towel, then pull into shape and leave to dry.
  13. A Wooden Roller can also speed up the wet felting process.