Making a Felted 2D Bird’s Nest

Welcome to to the Felt-Ed blog. We often create short 2 hour projects for our monthly workshops.
Here is a short tutorial showing how to create a small wet felted picture.

Prep: create your space and Gather your tools and fiber.

You will need:

  • A flat surface and water friendly space to work
  • Room temp water with access to both hot and cold water
  • Water delivery system (a sponge, ball browser, a water bottle with small holes drilled into the lid
  • Soap-any soap will do-low sudsing is preferable-liquid soap is easiest
  • An absorbent towel, or 2
  • Non skid mat 25% larger than your project
  • 2 Thin plastic pieces (bags or sandwich wrap) to cover the mat 
  • Fine mesh (like tulle) to cover your project while wetting out
  • A 12″ length of pool noodle
  • Felt-able fiber (wool roving is most common)


    Set-up

  1. Lay out your towel, place your non skid mat on top, 1 piece of plastic next.

  2. Layout background fiber in an even but thin, wispy (not wimpy) layer of shingles covering each preceding shingle by 1/4 inch (you are building back to front), At 90° to the first layer place your second fiber layer using the same technique of wispy overlapping shingles, turn your project 1/4 turn (90°) adding a third wispy layer.

  3. Now add your design (in this example-a bird nest with eggs) place your netting over your stacked fiber, remove all unused fiber from the work area.

  4. Add a small amount of soap to your water, wet down your fiber with the slightly soapy water (you want the fiber wet through but not swimming) press straight down (no rubbing-to maintain design integrity) from middle to sides ensuring all your fiber is wet through, gently pat using your palms (still no rubbing) pat for 10 minutes.

  5. Gently lift your netting to ensure your fiber is not getting too cozy with it. You should begin to see a change in the consistency of your fiber. Is it beginning to cling together? If so replace the net with your second piece of plastic wrap, add a little soap to your hands, glide them on top of the plastic (without applying pressure or disturbing your design) in a circular motion from the outer edges in towards the middle, gently continue this for 10 minutes.

  6. Check under the wrap, press your finger straight down on your fiber then wiggle it slightly, are the fibers moving together? If so replace the wrap and add a small amount of pressure continuing a circular motion from the outer edges in towards the middle. Give it another 10 minutes or so.

  7. Use the 2 pieces of wrap to flip your project over, massage with soapy hands through the plastic on the backside for another 10 minutes still outer edges to middle.

  8. Lift off the plastic wrap pick up your pre-felted piece and give it a gentle little tug. There should be no danger of it pulling apart. You may now start repeatedly rolling your noodle over your project in earnest with or without the top plastic. Count or time your rolls to maintain even shrinkage. Assume 30% to 50% for your finished piece.

Note: Your fibers will shrink in the direction you roll or rub. This can be used as a design technique by spot felting more in one area than another.

Congratulations. you have created  a non-woven fabric.


The final product:



Felted Robin’s Nest With Eggs

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