Felting tutorial - making a Felting Pad

A felting pad to stop you stabbing your knees, fingers, table and dog.

If like me, you get through felting sponges quite fast, here is another type of felting pad that you can make at home, hopefully with materials you already have.
You will need a small amount of sewing skills, but it really is not too difficult to make.
These rice filled felting pads are really useful and will last a LONG time. You can make different sizes for different projects – very useful.

I have now made myself 2 pads. The finished measurement were 4.5”x6” (11.5cmx15cm) for the smaller one and 6”x7.5” (16cmx19cm) for the larger one.
I am already using the smaller one for projects like Needle Felting a TOMTE and the larger one for putting inside a Beret when I add the design.

Should take less than an hour.

Small pad before the Tomte
Small pad with some Tomte
Pad inside Beret
Beret; the other side

Top Tip

As with a felting brush, you will need an extra felt or heavy duty cotton square to cover the pad while you are felting. This will extend the life of the pad and stop your felted piece sticking to to pad.

These instructions are for a SMALL felting pad, finished size 4.75”x6.25” / 12cmx16cm.
LARGE pad amounts are in (brackets)

You'll need:
  • Tight’ish weave Hessian/Burlap:-
    8”x11” / 20cmx28cm fabric for SMALL pad size –  finished size is about 4.75”x6.25” / 12cmx16cm
    (9”x14” / 23cmx35cm fabric for LARGE pad size – finished size is about 6”x7.5” / 16cmx19cm) 
  • Uncooked dried rice:- 250g for SMALL pad  (450g for LARGE pad)
  • Needle & thread or a sewing machine
Large and small pads

Instructions

Fold the Fabric

Fold the fabric in half to form a rectangle measuring:
6”x7” / 15cmx18cm for SMALL pad 
(9”x7” / 23cmx18cm for LARGE pad)

Felting pad
Fold the Fabric

Sew the Seams

Sew a seam around all three sides – leaving a 2” (5cm) gap on one side (as you need to fill the sack with rice).

Sew felt pad
Sew the seams

Top Tip

Make the seams as strong as possible.  Overlocking will give them strength or sew a double seam and turn the bag inside out, or turn over a seam and leave on the outside.

What I did!

I folded my seams over twice, then machine sewed the 3 sides, leaving a 2”gap for the rice.
  Because the seams were doubled over, the corners became too bulky to sew, so I snipped off the sharp corner first before folding them.  
After I had added the rice I folded over the rest of the seam and machine sewed all the way round the 3 sides again. 
I actually left the seams on the outside by mistake, but quite liked it, so left it as it was.

Add Rice

Fill with uncooked rice (a small jug made the process quite easy, but beware grains of rice going all over the place by putting the sack in a bowl first)
250g for SMALL pad  (450g for LARGE Pad) 

felt pad
Rice filled pad
The Rice!

Finishing off

Sew up the final 2” on the sack

Top Tip

Don’t overfill the sack.  It should be about 2/3rd full and still a bit squidgy.

What I did!

The fabric I used was some sort of chair lining, the fabric used in re-upholstering chairs, the plain fabric which covers the springs etc, and goes under the patterned top fabric.
The rice I used was from an out of date packet of Thai Jasmine rice, but you can use any dried uncooked rice.