Felt heart keyring tutorial

Felt heart keyring tutorial

Try your hand at a new skill by following this step-by step picture tutorial and make this adorable felt heart keyring.

Try your hand at a new skill by following this step-by step picture tutorial and make this adorable felt heart keyring.

Felt heart keyring tutorialFelting is the matting together of wool fibres into a tougher and more durable material: felt. You can use any 100% animal yarn to felt, including alpaca, cashmere, merino, mohair and sheep’s wool.

Felting terms

Batt: a length of pre-felt prepared commercially using a carding machine. See Roving.

Blending: mixing fibres of different colours or different types together.

Felt: a wool fabric in which fibres are matted together and entangled.

Felting needle: a long needle with barbs on the end. The barbs on the needle hook into the fibres and interlock them with each other.

Inlay: technique in felt design in which pre-felted pieces are placed on a background batt of wool fibres and the whole piece is then felted together.

Merino: a breed of sheep producing fine wool that is ideal for felting.

Resist: a plastic template used when making hollow seamless felted forms to prevent layers of fibres felting together, eg bowls, bags, slippers.

Roving: a long thin rope of wool fibre that can be used for spinning or to make felt.

Scales: the hooks that can be seen on the wool fibre under a microscope. The wool becomes felt when these hooks interlock and tighten into fabric.

Types of felting

Dry felting: wool fibres are matted together using a felting needle. The needle has a barb on the end to hook and disrupt the wool fibres, creating stiffness and form that can be manipulated into desired shapes.

Wet felting: wool is manipulated in hot soapy water. This is ideal when making simpler shapes such as felt balls or simply felting the fabric into a flat piece from which you can make a variety of items.

Machine felting: you can felt wool in your washing machine. You can create a piece of felted fabric by washing a 100% (or high) animal-fibre garment, such as a jersey that has shrunk or has holes in it. You have less control over the resulting shape though. Washing wool fibres on a high temperature will shrink and matt the fibres together. You can then cut the jersey into workable pieces to fashion a new item.

Common felting toolsCommon felting tools

Felting needles have sharp, barbed blades that tangle fibres into felt with a repetitive stabbing motion.

L-shaped needles have an ‘L’-shaped end and come in different gauges and blade/ barb configurations.
Felting needs to be done on a foam pad to protect your work surface and your felting needles. Stiff foam or a small brush mat (ask your craft store or haberdasher) is ideal.

 

 

You will need

  • merino or wool roving in colours of your choice
  • felting needle
  • needle holder or straw
  • foam pad
  • heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • keyring

How to

  1. Position the cookie cutter on the foam pad.

Felt heart keyring - step 1

2. Take a generous amount of roving and squash it into the mould

Felt heart keyring - step 2

3. Position the straw near the edge of the heart. Make repeated stabbing motions throughout the shape and around the hole.

Felt heart keyring - step 3

4. Turn it over and work the back of the shape too. Turn 4-5 times until your heart becomes stiff. Stab evenly in all the areas to achieve uniform stifness

Felt heart keyring - step 4

5. Once your item holds its shape, remove the cutter and neaten the edges. Stab at any wispy pieces to work them into the fabric.

Felt heart keyring - step 5

6. Attach your keyring and repeat with your favourite colours.

Felt heart keyring - step 6

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