Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tutorial: Wet felted cell phone cases

I've been making wet felted camera, Blackberry, and cell phone cases recently. Today, I added a large size, that will be a good size for an evening purse. Here's the three different sizes:

My son wanted a case for his cell phone, so I taught him to make his own today. His is the smallest one in the picture above. And here's how he did it:

First, he took three sections of red wool roving, and pulled them open to spread them out.

Then he wrapped them around a river rock that was about a quarter again bigger than he wanted his finished product to be. The first layer wrapped longways, the second sideways, and the third longways again. He moved the fibers around so there were no bare spots, then put wisps of black wool roving around the outside for decoration.

Then I helped him wrap the rock and wool bundle into the cut off leg of a pair of nylons.

We went outside for the messy part. We got two bowls of hot water, and put a squirt of dish soap into one of them. He soaked his bundle in the soapy water.

Then he threw the bundle back and forth between his hands until the fibers started to migrate through the nylons. At that point, he carefully peeled the nylons off. The surface of the felt had started to hold together.

He put a squirt of soap on his hands to keep the fibers from sticking to them, and started carefully throwing the felt back and forth between his hands. Gradually, he could use more force. Eventually, much of the 'squish' had disappeared, and the felt was holding together and shrinking down around the rock.

At this point, he decided which way was up, and which was the front of his case. He cut halfway around the rock in a straight line, about 2/3 of the way up the front of his case.

He slipped the rock out...

...and put in a smaller piece of slate that was the size that he wanted the inside of the finished case to be. (I also use blocks of wood cut to the right size.)

Then he dunked the case in hot soapy water again, and molded the felt to the slate with his hands. Once things were in place, it was time for the final felting. He threw the case back and forth between his hands for some of it.

Rubbing the case up and down a washboard helped to shrink and form the felt as well.

And after an hour or so of work, he had a case!

At this point, it is sitting in the window drying. Tomorrow we can add a button and loop closure.

I'm experimenting with straps, and with clips for the back, so these can be used as purses or belt pouches. But I have one that I made several years ago, that has been living in my front pocket as a digital camera case ever since. They wear like iron!

Congratulations, Kevin! Nice job.


  1. Fabulous tutorial! It came out great. :)

  2. Thanks! It is much easier to take pictures of someone else doing the process, than trying to take pictures of myself. :) Kevin was a good sport about it.

  3. Great tutorial! I have only ever made felt balls using this technique. I make felted items, would love for you to visit me and check some them out!

  4. Thanks, folks!

    Maureen, your owls are adorable. And I could see a little boy just loving that VW bug pillow in his room. :)

  5. This is so cool! I love the colors that were used, too...

  6. This is such a beautiful art


  7. Thanks, all! Today I taught Kevin to sew on the button and loop closure, so he is all done with the project. I'm not sure who is prouder--him or me.

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