Felting Tutorial - Wet Felting Twizzles

Make your necklaces and brooches sizzle with twizzle

Twizzles are quite simple to make but, as with new felting projects, you may need a little practise first. The end result may not always come out as you expected – but don’t throw these away, as you never know when they may be useful for other projects. This Twizzle will be folded in half to make 2 tendrils!

You'll need:
  • 0.75-1g Merino Wool
  • 30cm skewer (metal or wood)
  • 21cm square template (basically a piece of paper the width of an A4 sheet of paper)
  • No8/4mm knitting needle
  • A piece of Bubble wrap measuring about 25cm square
  • Soapy water (a squirt of Fairy Liquid in a small bowl)
  • PVA glue, or similar
  • 2 Mini pegs
  • A towel – to mop up any water spilled

Instructions

Top Tip

Read the instructions through before you begin. It really helps!

Forming your Twizzle

Lay down your 21cm square template.
Take 1g Merino wool and tease it out into an even layer to fit the 21cm square template. It should look like a gossamer spider’s web – very thin, evenly spaced and very fragile. Lay this onto the template. 
Now comes the tricky part as you have to roll this ultra thin sheet of wool onto the skewer, as evenly as you possibly can.

wet felting wool

Top Tip

If it isn’t even, your finished twizzle will have lots of bumps, so do this carefully.

Rolling your Twizzle

Take your skewer and lay it across the bottom edge of 21cm piece of gossamer wool, and fold a very small amount over the skewer, so that it can grab onto itself.
Use one hand to twist the handle of the skewer (like a clockwork key); use you other hand and guide the wool so that it catches and rolls smoothly onto the skewer.
It will spread out a bit but don’t worry.  The wool does need to cover the whole length of the skewer. Be gentle with it, as it is a fragile thing.

Tightening

Once it is on the skewer, place the wool covered skewer in the palm of your hand, close your fingers around it and gently carry on turning the skewer so that the wool tightens around it.

Top Tip

If you tighten it too much to hard and it will be impossible to pull off the skewer. If you don’t tighten enough it may fall to pieces before you even start felting it.

Pulling off Skewer

Very gently pull off the skewer. If it gets stuck slightly. If you are using a wooden skewer, it can get caught on a splinter or you may have twisted it too much and it is too tight.
Either way, put the skewer back in the palm of your hand and unroll it a tiny bit by twisting in the opposite direction. 
As you ease the wool off the skewer it will pucker up slightly, but the skinny rope should eventually all come all in one piece.   
Pull the skinny rope out gently until it measures about 25cm. Try and keep the thickness as even as possible. 

Felting your Twizzle

Place the skinny rope on top of the Bubble wrap and add a small amount of soapy water. Gently roll it with your fingertips, being careful not to squash it flat.
After a couple of minutes use the palms of your hands, rolling in into an even skinny rope. Gradually increase the pressure until your twizzle is firm – both ends should tapered.
Now you can pick the rope up and really roll it around in the palms of your hands until it is very firmly felted. The skinny rope should be even and may well be about 27cm long and no more than 5mm wide.
Rinse the skinny rope out in water, to get rid of the soap suds, then roll in a towel to dry excess water.

Top Tip

TIP The longer and skinnier the twizzle is, the finer the tendril will be. If the rope is short and stumpy, the tendril will be short and stumpy too.

Forming the Curls

Mix up a 1 part PVA to 6 parts water, to make a setting solution. (You may have other glues that work just as well).
Dip the rope into the solution, making sure that it is well saturated, then run your fingers down the length of the skinny rope to get rid of some of the excess liquid.
Take a size 8 (4mm) metal knitting needle.  Secure one end if the skinny rope using a mini peg, then roll the skinny rope around the knitting needle and secure the other end.

Top Tip

This is my preferred size, but you could use fatter or thinner knitting needles too.

Finally - a Twizzle

Stand the knitting needle in a jam jar and leave to dry before taking the Twizzle off the skewer.
When you take the pegs off, your wool Twizzle may have stuck to the knitting needle. Gently giggle it around a bit to loosen it. Slide off the knitting needle – and there you have it. You can gently tug the Twizzle out if the spiral is too tight.
Fold the Twizzle in half and sew the centre in place behind a flower to form a couple of tendrils.
Your Twizzle can become tendrils, curly hair, earrings or used for other forms of decoration.

twizzle skewer

Top Tip

Your Twizzle needs to hold the spiral shape but still have a loose natural look if you are using it as a tendril. Earrings for example might need to be more solid. The more PVA Glue you use the harder and brittler it will become.

Felted twizzles
Various Felted Twizzles
necklace with twizzzles
Twizzles on a Necklace