I have wanted to learn for some time now how to make felt stone rugs, and when visiting the glorious spa waters of Bath, UK over the weekend, I finally found the missing answers.
I spotted an artisan craft market on Queen Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Bath, designed by John Wood.
One of the crafters was a felt artist who made exquisite felt scarves and one-of-a-kind felt bags. She operates under the name of TUFT, or Tuftfelt at Etsy. Her scarves and bags were all gorgeously bejewelled in naturally cheery colors. But in the center of her stand, she had something that peaked my interest even ore than the jewel scarves. A whole basket full of felt stones! Ahh.
If you know a bit about felt stone, then you realise that a lot of stones are hardened wool. Some even have an actual rock in them. But these felt stones here in this basket were…
The Missing Bits of Info on How to Make Felt Stone Rugs
I know instantly that this lovely lady would be able to help me make felt stone rugs. We had a yarn about how she made them and she very generously shared here wisdom:
- She makes them in a big tub, many at a time.
- The center of each pebble is made with quilt batting – the size of about 2-3 wrist-fulls.
- Various gray and other natural colored wool roving, plus the occasional interesting strand, is very loosely wrapped around the core. When ready to dip into the soapy water, looks is a bit like a wooly sphere the size/shape of a small pilates block.
- She roams around with her arms in the big tub, gently moving them about, til they are felted enough.
Tip: Because the core is spongy, I would use soap sparingly.
- Take them out. Squeeze out the water and let dry. Her dried felt stones averaged 2.5 x 3.5″ in size, I’d say.
- That’s it. Go make ‘m.
Want more info first? Ok. To learn how to felt, review this ‘How to Make a Felt Scarf Pattern‘- a free workshop with 14 videos that takes you through every step in the process. Then you’ll know just about everything there is to know about felting, in detail.
How to Make Felt Stone Rugs
Once you have the dried pebbles ready, it becomes time to create the rug.
- Enough pebbles to cover the size of the rug you are after. To make the pebbles you’ll need wool roving (natural white color) and natural brown. More colors, like grey, saffron, etc. can be found there as well.
- Rug Backing (find the size you need, or get backing for a couple of them.) I can’t believe it, but this is currently sold out. Anyhow, this is the very canvas you’ll need. Also known as ‘latch hook canvas’.
- Couple of good size (straight/curved) large needles and extra-strong thread. This yarn/needle carpet repair kit has exactly what you need in it.
Step-by-step Guide on How to Create Felt Stone Rugs
- Layout the pebbles in the way you want your rug to end up. Mix and match colors to create a pleasing color field.
- Create a balance between the various stone sizes and shapes as well. Be sure to fill up gaps between larger stones with smaller pebbles.
- Once you have created the overview of the rug, you are ready to create it. Sew on rock by rock. I suggest you first sew adjacent pebbles together before attaching them to your backing. Start in one corner and keep adding them one by one. Squeeze them a bit once they are onto the backing before adding the next one. Over time, your rug will flatten and fill out the spaces between pebbles somewhat. As well, you want to make sure you’ll have enough pebbles and that they look naturally onto the floor when sewn on.
- From time to time, stand back and see that you are happy with the result.
- Before putting it on the floor, consider spraying your rug with dirt and moth repellent sprays. It might help keep your investment look great a bit longer.
And there you have it. I look forward to hear how your projects are coming out!
I have written a lot of tutorials on how to make rugs on the blog, including:
- DIY River Rock Mat (with real pebbles)
- Crochet w Recycled Plastic Bags a Sleeping Mat for the Homeless
- DIY Suzani (pattern-painted) Rugs
- Eco-friendly Bath Mats DIY
- Square version of Eco-friendly Bathroom Mats
- DIY Pompom Rugs
- DIY Zebra Rugs
- Floor Mats & Rugs
- DIY Woven Rugs
- Bathroom Mats
- How to Paint Rugs
- Travel themed rugs for kids bedrooms
- Grass Rugs (crochet pattern)
- Handmade Ruffle Rugs
More about the Bath artisan fair: bathartisanmarket.com.