Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hand-felted mug cozy

I made this little guy last week for a coworker's birthday, and decided to give hand felting a try. The last time I made one of my mug cozies, I used the washing machine to felt it. It worked fine, but I felt guilty using all that hot water just for a couple bits of crocheted wool (and lets be honest here -- throwing in towels just gets the felt all linty and, just possibly, dog hairy. ahem). It turns out, hand felting is actually faster than using the washing machine and uses way less water.

It's super easy, too -- I just followed the exact steps I took when I accidentally hand felted a lambswool sweater my freshman year in college. Put a few inches of super-hot water in the sink, add a bit of detergent to open up the wool fibers, and swish your piece around in the water. Wear gloves so you can get the water really hot, and you might want to scrub the wool pretty hard. I took the wool out, rinsed it under very cold water, then put it back in the hot water and dumped in a kettle of boiling water. The whole process only took about 15 minutes and left me with this:

The final result was very easy to sew up, and I arranged the buttons to resemble a panda (not Mickey Mouse) for my panda-lovin' coworker. I love this pattern because the wraparound design makes it adjustable so you can use it on multiple sizes of coffee mug. This one works on everything from a regular mug to a bowl.


  1. perfect! i was having the same guilty feelings about felting in the washer. thanks for the alternative idea! i do want to try those felted xmas trees...

  2. let me know how the xmas trees turn out if you do them! they look really cute.

  3. Thanks for these instructions. I just tried felting some upcycled wool in my washer along with the clothes I washed and they didn't really puff up enough. I think I'll try this next.

  4. Anna - I hope it works well for you! I've never (purposely) felted anything upcycled, but let me tell you, the sweater I accidentally felted in college was very thick and puffy. You just have to be persistent and patient.
    The mug cozy was made from unstranded wool (? you know, the kind that is just a thick string of fuzz, rather than several little threads wound together), so that made it easier to felt.
    Good luck with your project!


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