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How to Make a Wet Felted Rose

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials & techniques are as individual as she is — unique, experimental and always interesting.

A Red Rose

Red rose on a hat

Red rose on a hat

More About This Simple Tutorial

This tutorial was designed for those new to wet felting. Not only is it simple but it can be made to look different using a variety of flower shapes.

Merino Wool was used for this tutorial. It is perhaps the easiest of all wools to felt and is perfectly suited for beginners to this amazing art form.

Items Required for this Tutorial:

  • Small quantity merino wool roving in red and green
  • Ronson pipe cleaners (white cotton)
  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Squeeze bottle
  • Hot soapy water (Fairy liquid soap)
  • A rose template (Your size guide)
  • Bubble wrap if making more than one flower
A template for a rose

A template for a rose

Items required to complete this project

Items required to complete this project

Trace the Template

  • Trace this basic template for a rose which has five petals. Transfer it to a piece of cardboard and cut it out.
  • This template will be used as a guide for making the right size petals for the rose.
Cut a cardboard template

Cut a cardboard template

Hint

  • When you transfer the design to bubble wrap, use a complementary color felt tip pen.
  • The ink will likely transfer some of the color from the pen to the wet wool fibers.
  • A white rose for instance, will benefit from this subtle coloration and help to make your rose look more realistic.
  • You could even paint a little acid dye directly onto the front and back of the rose with a paint brush once your rose has been assembled.
Wool fibers laid out on the template and then place them on a sushi mat

Wool fibers laid out on the template and then place them on a sushi mat

More than one rose at a time!

Cut out the template.

If you are making several roses at a time, you may wish to transfer the design for the rose to a sheet of bubble wrap.

Draw around the template on the smooth side of the bubble wrap as many times as desired.

Wet with hot soapy water.

Cover with bubble-wrap, bubble side down and roll in the bubble wrap instead of the Sushi Mat.

For the purpose of this tutorial we will concentrate only one rose.

Use the Template as a Guide!

  • Place a fine layer of wool fibers onto the top of the cardboard template. The fibres should be placed evenly but sparingly so that you end up with a rose which not only looks delicate but is realistic too.
  • Remember that once you add warm soapy water, the fibers will flatten out and if you do see any large holes in the Petal add a few additional fibers just to these areas before you begin rolling them inside the sushi mat.


Rose Petals on a Sushi Mat

  • Transfer the two petals from the template to a sushi mat.
  • A sushi mat helps provide a very simple method to turn wool very quickly into felt. The mats are invaluable for small projects such as this one.


Wet fibers with hot soapy water

Wet fibers with hot soapy water

Roll the fibres up in a sushi mat

Roll the fibres up in a sushi mat

Wet the wool

Wet the wool with hot soapy water. Use a small squeeze bottle to do this.

The Petals

  • Carefully roll the petals up inside a sushi mat.
Roll roses in the sushi mat for around a minute

Roll roses in the sushi mat for around a minute

Just for a Minute!

  • Roll for a minute and then open the sushi mat very carefully.
  • The wool may stick to the bamboo a little. Gently extract the petals and then turn them so that the direction of the roll has been changed. This will ensure that the fibres shrink evenly from all sides.
  • Repeat this until you are satisfied that all the fibre has fused together.
Open the mat and turn the flowers and roll in the opposite direction

Open the mat and turn the flowers and roll in the opposite direction

Rolling the Fibres!

  • Change the direction in which you roll fibres.
  • The shape of your finished petals will be better maintained if you do this.
Turn the petals and roll again

Turn the petals and roll again

Rinse in Hot and Cold Water

  • The fibers have fused together and the petals are ready to be rinsed in hot and then cold water.


Arrange the petals by gently tugging with at the wool with your fingers.

Arrange the petals by gently tugging with at the wool with your fingers.

Place a cotton pipe cleaner on top of the thin layer of green fibers to make the stem

Place a cotton pipe cleaner on top of the thin layer of green fibers to make the stem

The stem

Lay down a thin green strip of woollen fibres and place a pipe cleaner on the top.

Hint

Roll the pipe cleaner until the fibers are firmly attached to it.

Roll the pipe cleaner until the fibers are firmly attached to it.

Roll Well

  • Roll the wet wool covered pipe cleaner on the sushi mat. Use your fingers to do this. You will soon start to feel the fibres tighten beneath your fingers as you roll.
Making the center of the rose

Making the center of the rose

The Central Bud

  • Pluck a few fibres from a piece of wool roving. These should be about two inches in length and about an inch in width.
  • This size and width do very much depend on the size of the flower you have chosen to make. Larger flowers will require a slightly bigger bud in the middle in order to appear realistic. Sometimes they may require a further layer of petals too.
  • Measure the distance between the middle of the flower to the edge of the rose and use this measurement to gauge the size of the central bud.
Wet the fibres which will soon become the center of your rose

Wet the fibres which will soon become the center of your rose

Roll inside the mat but avoid the top section of the wool.  These fibers must not be rolled yet.

Roll inside the mat but avoid the top section of the wool. These fibers must not be rolled yet.

Keep the End of the Stem Dry

  • The dry end fibres shown here should only be attached once the bud has been formed.
  • The dry ends can then be added to the bud, made wet and felted.
Leave the top unrolled for now but continue felting the lower part.

Leave the top unrolled for now but continue felting the lower part.

Roll the loose fibers over the top of the pipe cleaner.

Roll the loose fibers over the top of the pipe cleaner.

Attach the Stem

  • Attach the top of the stem of the rose to the central bud.
  • Do this by folding over the loose fibres and only then roll up the Sushi Mat the whole way to include the stem.
  • Roll for a minute and check to see if the stem is attached. If not, continue rolling for a little longer.
Roll the center bud of the rose inside  the sushi mat, Include the pipe cleaner once the lower end has been felted.

Roll the center bud of the rose inside the sushi mat, Include the pipe cleaner once the lower end has been felted.

Roll inside the sushi mat

Roll inside the sushi mat

Hot and cold water.

  • Plunge the petals and the stem first in hot and then cold water, repeat twice.
  • Rinse carefully.
  • Make the central bud of the rose by twisting the small piece of red felt around the stem.
  • Needle felt or sew a few stitches at the lower so that it does not unravel.
  • Make a hole in each of the petal layers.
  • Push the stem of the rose up into the center of each petal..
  • Now arrange the petals around the central bud and shape the rose as desired.
  • Complete the rose by adding a few of stitches below the petals.
Assemble and shape the petals to complete the rose.

Assemble and shape the petals to complete the rose.

The Rose on the Back of a Hat

The Rose on the Back of a Hat

The Rose on the Back of a Hat

Close-up of the rose

Close-up of the rose

The rose is enhanced by the use of very fine layers of wool. Delicate Filigree Petals

The rose is enhanced by the use of very fine layers of wool. Delicate Filigree Petals

Bud detail

Bud detail

Another 3D Flower Tutorials in this Series

Comments

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 25, 2018:

The rose is a good first-time wet felting project. I am sure you will try it sometime in the future.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on February 25, 2018:

Hi Mary, This simple rose might be a good starting point. Thank you for stopping by to comment.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 25, 2018:

The rose just made the hat really stand out. I did not realize how much work goes into this. I have to start learning this.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 26, 2014:

Hello Jo,

You are one special lady! Yes, I definitely have some ideas for an outdated umbrella - watch this space Jo - that is, if you don't beat me to it:)

Sally

Jo_Goldsmith11 on August 26, 2014:

Hi there :-)

I so have to try this one too. It looks so much fun. You know, you have allowed me to enjoy some quiet alone time trying some of your amazing and fun projects. :-) Shared, tweet and up she goes.

Any ideas for an outdated umbrella?

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on August 07, 2014:

imtii

I appreciate the thumbs up and my thanks to you for helping to guide your craft loving sister to my pages. I appreciate the very kind comment too.

Thank you.

Sally

Imtiaz Ahmed from Dhaka, Bangladesh on August 07, 2014:

Ok this is not my thing but My like these things very much. This a hub for my sister she is good in doing stuff like this. So, I am going to show it to my sister. But I am giving you a thumbs up ;)

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on July 29, 2014:

The Dirt Farmer,

Enjoy! Check out all my felting tutorials, this one is probably one of the easiest so you are at a good starting place. Thanks for you comment and the visit, both are much appreciated.

Sally

Jill Spencer from United States on July 29, 2014:

What a great finished product! I love wearing hats. I'd have to buy a sushi mat, but I'd love to try it.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on April 08, 2014:

teaches12345

The Wet Felting Project really is very easy - especially once you realize that the only thing that you can do wrong - is not apply enough friction to the item before you drop it into hot water. You should always use the pinch test to see if any of the fibers come away in your fingers before rinsing the project in hot and then cold water.

This advice would apply to any felting project you do, whether you use a tumble dryer, a sander, bubble wrap, or a sushi mat as a means to apply friction to the wool roving. I am glad you thought the project was sufficiently well explained.

Thanks for your continued support.

I love the red color too:)

Sally

Dianna Mendez on April 07, 2014:

You make it look so easy! Love that red color. Thanks for the tips.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on April 05, 2014:

Suzanne Day

I do hope that you find some free time to take up wet felting very soon. Thank you for the vote up and awesome.

Sally

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on April 05, 2014:

Another very useful felting hub that I'll be referring to when I finally am free to take up felting! Bookmarked for future use and voted awesome!

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 28, 2014:

FlourishAnyway

It is always a pleasure to have you come and visit my Hubs.

Thank you very much.

Sally

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 28, 2014:

This is beautiful. Even though I am not a wet felter, I enjoy seeing the magic you lay out before us.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 28, 2014:

Glimmer Twin Fan

You are very welcome - enjoy! I am confident that you can do it.

Sally

Claudia Mitchell on March 28, 2014:

Ok Sally - I think I'm ready to give this a shot. Now I just have to go out and buy some supplies. Thanks for another beautiful hub.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 27, 2014:

tirelesstraveler

No, it does not have to be Merino Wool though I do find it easier to work with as the fibers tend to be a little shorter and easier to felt. It may just take a little longer but it will work. Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear how you get on.

Thanks for the visit.

Judy Specht from California on March 27, 2014:

Now this may be felting I can handle. Does it have to be Merino wool. I have alpaca and lama wool available.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 27, 2014:

BNadyn

This project really is designed for people starting out with wet felting. It really is very simple . I promise you that the Sushi mats will have that wool felted in no time. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Have a go - so little wool is required to make this felt flower - you will lose nothing by attempting this easy project except a little time.

Have a fun time

Sally

Bernadyn from Jacksonville, Florida on March 27, 2014:

What a creative idea and it came out beautifully! I have a couple sushi mats that rarely get used and I've been crafting my own flowers to add to pillow décor and other things around the house, usually just using cotton fabric. You laid out such nice instructions but I am a bit intimidated to try this project! I would love to make a couple of those flower for projects for Mother's Day, though, so maybe I'll give it a try. Great job on this. :)

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 27, 2014:

MsDora

Interesting that you mentioned my writing a book about wet felting. I have begun to think that this might be a very interesting project for me to tackle in the future. I don't have the experience of doing so but I imagine it is just a matter of putting ones mind to it.

I appreciate your input as always.

Thank you

Sally

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 27, 2014:

Great tutorial. I hope that you intend to write book, or make some videos. Your work has such great quality. Thank you for sharing.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 27, 2014:

DDE

Thanks for the congratulations. I am delighted to have won one of the prizes for my Pansy Tutorial. Thanks for the vote up, beautiful interesting and useful.

Best wishes

Sally

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 27, 2014:

Congratulations on : How to use a Wire Frame to make a 3D Wet Felted Pansy a superb achievement. Now you have got me with another of your great hubs. Your ideas are amazing. Voted up, interesting useful, and beautiful.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 27, 2014:

Beth Eaglescliffe

Thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback.

Sally

Beth Eaglescliffe from UK on March 27, 2014:

This is so pretty. You have so many creative ideas. Thanks for an enjoyable article.

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

Faith Reaper

I am quite sure anyone could pull this one off - even a child under instruction from an Adult. Thanks for the tweet, pin and the blessing.

Many thanks

Sally

Faith Reaper from southern USA on March 26, 2014:

I just love your beautiful rose you have created, Sally!!! It looks amazing on the black hat. As always, great job with clear and concise instructions. I can just picture my granddaughters wearing such a hat with this rose but I am not sure I can pull it off as well as you have here. Up and more, tweeting and pinning. Blessings, Faith Reaper

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

Billy

That complement about my writing means more to me than does the idea of my seeing you busy making a felt flower - everyone to their own! It is just very nice to be appreciated for who we are!

Thank you

Sally

Sally Gulbrandsen (author) from Norfolk on March 26, 2014:

tobusiness

I appreciate your visit and your comment regarding my work. I am sure even a youngster could be taught how to make the flower.

Sally

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2014:

As you know, Sally, I know nothing about wet felting, but I do know something about quality writing...and for that I give you an A+. :)

bill

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on March 26, 2014:

Very creative. I simply loved that hat, but I wouldn't even pretend that I might be able to attempt it. Beautiful work.