How to make a Wet Felted Poppy:materials required:
wool roving (black and red for the poppy)
soap and water (just a few drops of dish soap in a bottle of warm water)
bubble wrap -at least a 12 inch square
2 rubber bands
netting or tulle-a 12 inch square
Start by making a felt ball for the center:
Lay out a piece of roving about 6 inches long. Roll this up into a tight ball, hold tightly in your hand and wet the ball with warm, soapy water.
Begin to roll the ball with your finger tips VERY gently. As you continue to roll you will feel the ball firm up. It is important to not squish the wool out of the ball shape, as the ball firms up you can press more firmly while rolling. Set ball aside.
Next you will begin laying out the fibers for the flower petals:
Place a thin layer of wool roving on the bubble wrap, about 8 inches wide, with all the fibers running horizontally.
Make another layer of wool with the fibers running vertically, and then another third layer going horizontally.
Cut three 1 1/2 inch sections of roving and lay them atop each other, altering direction of the fibers. Cut a circle from this black fiber and place in the middle of the layered red wool.
Place netting over wool, and wet it with warm soapy water. Press the wool down with your hands, making sure all the wool is wet. Holding the netting still with one hand, rub over the top of the netting with the other. Do this for about one minute, making sure to rub all areas of the wool.
Roll up the wool, netting and bubble wrap tightly and secure it closed with two rubber bands.
Roll the bubble wrap back and forth on the counter for about a minute. Unroll wrap, remove netting. Flip wool over and rotate 90 degrees so it will be rolled perpendicular to the direction it was rolled at first. Re-roll wool and bubble wrap, secure with rubber band and roll for about one more minute.
Unroll bubble wrap and begin to rub the felt across the bubble wrap, changing directions every few strokes.
Rinse wool and cut into a circle, remembering that flowers are not perfect! Add warm soapy water and continue to rub the felt across the bubble wrap. Pay extra attention to the edges you just cut, reverse direction and flip over felt frequently.
Place the black center ball over the black center of the felt flower, cupping the felt into a flower shape. Place rubber band around flower to keep ball insode and rub center of flower across bubble wrap for a few minutes to shape it. This will shrink up the center and make the flower curl up a bit. Rub edges of flower to firmly felt them. When flower feels firm, rinse with cold water.
To finish the flower you may wish to bead the center ball with seed beads. Then stitch it to the middle of the flower, and you are done!