Want to learn how to felt wool? It’s so much easier than it sounds. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to felt wool using a washer and dryer.

how to felt wool

Do you have an extra 30 minutes that you could use to learn something new?

Something that sounds so much harder than it is?

Something that will make you look like a master crafter?


Those are the best new skills to learn.

The ones that look hard and sound fancy (but are SO MUCH EASIER than you ever thought they could be).

Today I’m going to teach you how to felt wool with sweaters from the thrift store or the attic or even your closet.

And then?

I’m going to show you how to make a felted wool wreath for fall.

Are you ready?

Want to get started?

Here are my best tips on how to felt wool.

how to felt wool sweater

Q: When learning how to felt wool what type of wool is best for felting?

I love using wool sweaters for felting.  Mostly because they are cheap (or free if they came from your closet). You can find sweaters like this at the thrift store or your mother’s house. The key is finding one that’s knitted from mostly wool or all wool.

Here are a few things you want to note when choosing a sweater to felt.

  1. All wool sweaters are not created equal. You want to check the blend on the label.
  2. Make sure the sweater has at least 70% wool. If it’s 100% wool, that’s even better.
  3. Make sure your sweater has a tight-knit. Tighter knits felt better. If the knit is too loose (if you can see through it) there’s not enough weave to felt well.
  4. Colors typically stay pretty true after felting, so choose a color that works with your project.

how to felt wool washer and dryer

Q: What supplies do you need to felt wool?

This is all you need.

A washer and a dryer.


See. I told you. It’s SO MUCH EASIER than it looks. Here are some simple tips to use a washer to felt wool.

  1. You want to set it on the HOTTEST longest cycle that you have with a tiny bit of laundry soap.
  2. Felting happens with the friction of the washer, so the longer the sweater is in the washer, the more felting will occur.
  3. Remember when your mother told you never to wash wool in the washer because it would shrink? That’s why we are washing it here. The fibers of the sweater shrink up, pull together and that’s when felting happens.
  4. You can also add an old pair of tennis shoes to help agitate the fibers.

Q: Do you dry the wool after you wash it?


Again. Do the opposite of what your mother told you.

When you take it out of the washer, you’ll notice that it’s shrunk just a little.


We want to shrink it even more.

Toss the sweater into the dryer (without the shoes) and dry it on the hottest setting possible until it’s completely dry.

how to felt wool laundry room

Q: How can you tell when it’s felted?

Sometimes the sweater doesn’t felt as much as you want the first cycle. When you pull it out and look at it, you’ll notice that the fibers still need to be felted more. My sister, Whitney, felts sweaters all the time and she says sometimes you have to wash and dry it at least three times to make sure it’s felted how you want.

You’ll want to check the sweater after you take it out of the dryer.

If you see the wool has tightened and shrunk with a rounded appearance, then you know your felted wool is done.

You will now be able to cut the wool without the edges of the wool fraying.

Q: How to felt wool with wool roving?

Felting with wool roving is another way to felt wool instead of using a sweater.

For example, I have another project on the blog that uses loose wool roving to felt soap. Instead of using sweaters and felting them, you can purchase loose wool roving from the craft store and use it to felt instead. With this project, the soap provides the friction to help felt the wool in place on the soap. It’s often referred to as wet felting.

You can see several projects using felted wool projects using wool roving here.

how to felt wool felted leaves

Q: What projects can you make with felted wool?

That’s where the fun comes in.

There are so many options for felted wool projects. The possibilities are endless. Just think of all the things you would make with felt.

Here are a few projects I have on the blog:

  1. How to make felted soap
  2. How to make a felted pumpkin
  3. How to make felted acorns garland
  4. How to make a sweater vase

And now?

Here’s one of my favorite new felted projects.

how to felt wool how to make a wreath

How to Felt Wool and Make a Wreath


old sweaters

wreath form

hot glue 


Step 1: Choose a color palette and felt the wool

Follow the steps above to felt several old sweaters.

You want to choose different colors and textures of sweaters to add dimension to the wreath.

Wash and dry the sweaters as many times as need to get a tight weave on the wool.

You should be able to cut out the leaves without the edges fraying.

how to felt wool wreath form

Step 2: Paint the wreath form

You want to use an 18″ wire wreath form about 3″ wide for this project.

Spray paint it white if you are using grays and whites like the wreath in this project.

You don’t want the green showing through.

how to felt wool felted leaves in different colors

Step 3: Cut out leaves

I have a paper leaf template here that I made for another project.

You could also just free-hand cut each leaf approximately the same size.

Each of these leaves is approximately 4″ long.

You will need 70-75 leaves for this 18″ wreath.

Step 4: Hot glue the leaves to the form

Add a drop of hot glue and wrap the leaf around one of the wires on the wreath form.

Repeat for each of the wires on the wreath form.

Keep adding leaves in the same direction.

Step 5: Keep adding leaves

Continue gluing leaves until you have completely covered the wreath form.

Make sure to alternate colors with your leaves.

When you are almost done your wreath will look like this.

Here’s the finished wreath in all its glory. I love the layers of sweaters and the textures of the leaves on the wreath. It looks so cozy and ready for fall.

And the best part?

I have extra leaves just waiting for a new project.

What about?

  • trees
  • topiaries
  • garlands
  • basket toppers
  • stocking toppers

And to think.

It all started with a free sweater. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Linda B Linda B

    Ha! I was about to grumble that I am not ready for fall on July 2 until I saw how cute this wreath is! I already have a ton of thrifted sweaters because I make smittens and wool patchwork quilts. Off to the sewing room I go! Great idea.

  2. Image for Judie Judie

    I love the felt wreath but I also love the tray behind it being used as a backdrop. Where is the tray from? If you made it can you post how you did it? ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Image for Jean from Georgia Jean from Georgia

    Just what I need. Cutest new project for me to start for fall Guess I will be late to work because I am going shopping at Goodwill first.

  4. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Love the felted acorn garland and since I volunteer at our church thrift shop I have access to all the sweaters I need for these felting projects. Since it seems to be the start of a hot humid summer I will be inside more and can do some fall projects. Thanks so much for the great ideas. As always you are a rock star!!!!

  5. Image for maureen maureen

    Yours is adorable and to think you made it in Texas in 100 degree heat! I am definitely going to make one of these! Hope you are all staying well!

  6. Image for Colleen Colleen

    I like this! I have never been sure what this"felting" is all about. So, the wool just shrinks and kinda mattes itself in the washer? Hmm..I will be on the look out for wool sweaters, but I honestly wonder if there will be any out there. I almost think wool sweaters are maybe a thing of the past...(hopefully not. ) great project, Karianne!

  7. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    What a great idea, you are so smart and talented, I have two old sweaters that i accidently put in a dryer and just couldn't get rid of them, i am so happy now i can make them into a lovely wreath, i hope!!

  8. Image for Kathy Kathy

    This is so pretty! I had never heard of felting even though I have felted a few sweaters by mistake. I want to try this! Your wreath looks perfect! Thank you for the idea!

  9. Image for Michele M Michele M

    Soooooooo gorgeous - and I love your neutrals on it - would fit quite nicely in my colorless universe. Thanks for tutorial. I absolutely love that wreath!!!!!

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