Tools to Use: Felt

craft felt Felt is one of those materials that reminds me of my childhood. It brings me back to story time and felt boards. Oh, remember felt boards?! The boards were covered in felt and then people, trees, houses and many other things, also made of felt, were stuck to the board. They were a great prop that aided in telling of a story.

Today, felt is a cheap material that comes in many colors. Mostly used for kids crafts and plushes, not all craft felt found in big box craft stores are 100% wool. Most are made of some synthetic fiber blend such as acrylic or polyester.

So what to do when you want to use felt in your projects and not use fiber made from plastic? There are several options to green your craft project and feel good about your materials:

  • Look for 100% wool craft felt. One hundred percent wool craft felt is available at stores such as JoAnn and Michaels, you just have to look at the label.
  • Buy organic wool felt. La Lana Wool offers organic wool felt, dyed with natural plant dyes.
  • Make your own felt from carded wool. Felt is made through a process of matting natural fibers together. Gleason’s Fine Woolies Ranch, has an excellent and easy to follow tutorial on how to make felt. All it requires is some carded wool, hot water, dish soap and a bit of elbow grease.
  • Make felt with your knitting. Using 100% wool yarn, knit up a swatch in stocking stitch or garder stitch. Put the swatch in a pillow case and throw it in the wash with lots of jeans and hot, hot water.
  • Go thrifting. Many a sweater found at thrift stores are in need of a new life. Look for sweaters that are 100% wool and cut out shapes you want and repeat the process of felting knits above.

What do you use felt for? Leave your crafts in the comments!

Image credit: Aetna Felt Corporation

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.


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  1. I like to felt thrifted sweaters and turn them into winter handbags. Thanks for reminding me about felt boards for kids – I think my four-year-old twin nephews may be getting one of those soon!! 🙂

  2. I just want to make a note that there is another way to feel good about your craft projects that use felt. Kunin is one manufacturer of “eco-spun” or “eco-fi” felt which is made from 100% post consumer waste recycled pet bottles. It’s also vegan-friendly.=)

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