Introduction: Felted Bag

Picture of Felted Bag

Here are instructions on how to make your very own felted/fulled bag. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "fulled", it's basically shrinking wool. You know that sweater you accidently shrunk in the wash? You fulled it.

Step 1: Knit 2 Circles

Picture of Knit 2 Circles

Loosely kint your piece. You can make whatever shape you'd like - I chose a circle. I used a medium weight 100% wool yarn and size 10 needles.

Step 2: Full Baby, Full!

Picture of Full Baby, Full!

In the smallest cycle possible, and in hot hot water, with 1 or 2 tablespoons of dish soap, drop your bag in. You should put your piece in a pillowcase. Though I haven't had problems clogging up my machine, others may have. Better to be safe than sorry - use a pillowcase. Check on the bag every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn't overfelt. Don't let it run through the spin cycle because it will cause permanent creases.

Step 3: Shape It

Picture of Shape It

After about 2 cycles, this is the result. Pull the bag into shape and roll it out on a towel. It's now about 14" in diameter. See my felted ball too?

Step 4: Stuff It

Picture of Stuff It

Stuff the bag with plastic bags to give the it a rounded shape when it dries.

Step 5: Stuff It Good

Picture of Stuff It Good

It may take a few days to fully dry. I put this guy out in the sun on the second day, and it was good to go!

Step 6: Ta Da!

Picture of Ta Da!

Cut a slit 2" down from the top of the bag. Instant handles! Now you're ready to show off your creation. Enjoy!


Cloud9-Crafter (author)2016-10-19

Would it be possible to make a wallet instead of a bag?

michele.teitelbaum.5 (author)2015-01-03

I sent you a message through revelry as well. I love the colorful ruffled circular bags featured on revelry. Do you have instructions or a pattern for those?

doodlecraft (author)2014-07-09

That's amazing! :)

margotam (author)2012-01-29

I have made a pouch size piece and sewed it inside the bag ... but after I washed the bag, you can see from the outside the outline of the pouch. Does anyone here know how I can sew the pouch without showing the outline???

fusha (author)2011-01-03

Yes, can you share this pattern. It is list as "free" on
I really like, and would like to try it. Im new to felting, an thought this purse seemed faily easy to start with.

Thank you

scoochmaroo (author)2010-11-08

Could you share the pattern you used for the circular bag?

co2h2o (author)2010-03-19

I don't know how to knit, but have a big, wool sweater I'm about to donate to my cat. After seeing your instructable, I bet it would make a great bag. Is there a way I can sew a shape (say a circle since yours is so cute) and turn it into a bag without risking it coming unraveled when I cut it? 

aleji77a (author)2010-03-07

This may be stupid to ask, but.... how did you make the felted ball????? i've always wanted to do felted jewelry :(
and another lame question... does it HAVE to be done in a machine? can't it be washed by hand?

thanks ^_^

janetsellers08 (author)2009-12-20

 I take it you knitted the two circles together/ how did you get them together to make a bag?

kellylou (author)2009-12-07

An inexpensive way to get 100% wool yarn is to un-weave old sweaters and re-use/re-purpose that yarn.  The yarn can be a little kinky, but great, especially for felting projects.   I found a really ugly bad 80's style cashmere sweater at a the Goodwill for $2.99 and made a really soft and lovely scarf.  Would make a great "green" Christmas gift.

erragh (author)2009-03-17

Help I am so dense!! Did you sew the two circles together or is the beginning knitted piece one connected piece ? If one bag of 2 knitted together circles - how is this done...I am a beginner when it comes to the process. Thanks abbie /erragh

studio305 (author)2008-02-25

Great idea for using all those wool thrift-store sweaters I felted a few months ago. I too found out that a sweater bag is necessary when felting -- got a free lesson in washing machine repair. I refused to lay out the $ for a professional. If you are persistent, you can find out how to get into your machine (the mfr really didn't want me to open the thing!) on the net and unclog your impeller, which is where the fuzz clogged up my machine. Anyway, nice project!

Dalya (author)2008-01-08

I'd rather just find an old knitted sweater around the house or a second-hand shop. Then follow your steps. It's such an adorable bag. You make it look incredibly simple :D

arwen (author)2005-09-13

What a great idea! Now I'm starting to wonder what I can make out of all those accidentally felted items I've made:-)

gia (author)arwen2007-10-21

When ever I have accidentally felted something, I've then shrunk it again and then made other items from them - so e.g. really nice pot holders, kettle warmer, mug warmer, a blanket for cat and toy mice for cats. Oh, and you can sew a bag or a backpack out of an accidentally felted sweater.

handmade.annie (author)arwen2007-07-04

I have seen a lot of old wool sweaters felted down and then sewn into purses post felting :) they look really cute

Hey hey hey, that makes sense... I could go buy an old sweater at the Salvation army, felt it, cut it up, sew it into a bag... that way you don't even have to knit it! SWEET!

threecheersfornick (author)2007-07-29

I just wish I was good enough at knitting to make the bag. :P

bug_mama (author)2006-02-19

I actually used these instructions to make this as a birthday present for my sister in law. I made a few changes though. One, I couldn't find a pure wool yarn in my area exept for the "Fisherman's Yarn" from JoAnnes Fabrics. This is a natural colored yarn that sells for $8.99 in my area. The result was very nice and this yarn felted, or fulled as it were, very well. Also, since I can't knit to save my life I had to adapt a crochet pattern recommended for making round pilllows. Feel free to emial if you have any interest in the pattern or seeing the final product.

momcat (author)bug_mama2007-01-20

I would love a pattern(s) for felted crocheted pocketbook(s). I am having the hardest time finding any on my own - they're all knitted! Also, I'd like to make a full-sized pocketbook - not a lipstick-sized one! If you have any and would forward them to me, It would be greatly appreciated.

handmade.annie (author)momcat2007-07-04

I have been playing with felting crochet and while I don't have a pattern per se I have made a snazzy satchel style bag (no camera sorry). I used worsted weight wool and a g hook - you can get (50gram balls of wool of the andes on for $1.99) Chain on about 50 stitches and single crochet about 30 rows into a nice rectangle. This is your base and should be about 10-20% longer and 25-30% wider than you want your end project. From the end of the last row instead of turning your work you will start working half double crochet around the rectangle to the left. Try to place a stitch in every gap between rows and a stitch into every clumpy bit between gaps keep a note of how many you make on that side so your opposite matches. Keep working hdc's around and around in a continuous circle without adding any stitches until your height is about 25-30% bigger than you want your bag. Decide which side looks nicest and this can be the front (if you added colors for stripes try to do it all on one side so that can be the back) Line up the corners on your base the neck will be wider than the original base so you can use a ruler and mark on the back where to make your flap based on the corners of the base. On the back of the purse start working hdc side to side between the 2 markers to make your purse flap, you turn your work normally now. You can make a straight flap like a messenger bag or you can make a half round by decreasing etc. I did a kind of accidental scallop edge by not chaining before my first stitch on each row and not stitching into the rounded last stitch. I made my flap about 10 inches at the base and 5 inches at the tip. After felting in the washer I will sew on a snap and add some premade straps. You can cut a button hole and also cut or grommet holes for a felted icord handle. Try googling free knit felted purse patterns for ideas. HDC works best so far, single is a bit stiff and double leaves little gaps for me

NewCrochet (author)bug_mama2007-04-17

Hi there, Could you send me the way you made the crocheted bag / felted bag? I am hopeless at knitting and perfer crocheting. That said, I'm not great at it! I would also love to see pictures of the bag! Any help would be appreciated! I think I am on to a new obsession!

IngridG (author)bug_mama2007-03-24

Hi, Would you be so kind and e-mail me the pattern and if possible an image? Thanks in advance, Ingrid

Drtymama (author)bug_mama2006-09-07

I'm learning crochet and wuld love to see your finished product. I would really appreciate you sharing the pattern if you still have it available! Many Thanks!

dthneece (author)bug_mama2006-09-04

Hi there, I am hoping that you might still be able to put your hands on the pattern for crocheting the round pillows for the felted bag on I just came across your post and that would work much better for me than trying to knit the circle. If you still have it, could you please send the pattern/instructions? Thanks very much!

MyGraphiz (author)bug_mama2006-07-04

I would love to have your directions for this purse as well as a photo of yours. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you have done a great job.

mlj1954 (author)bug_mama2006-04-12

Knitpicks is a great place to get wool. they have great stuff.

chouser (author)2005-09-14

This is a great pattern! Thanks! Do you have a blog/website?

nguyenle (author)chouser2007-05-20

Sure, yes I have a photography site -, that has a bit of my knitting on it, and I have a knitting shop -

squillace (author)2006-02-02

That's actually called 'fulling' because you're working with a knitted item rather than fibre, but it's a cute bag.

nguyenle (author)squillace2007-05-20

Thanks for the clarification - I've made the change in my instructions. :)

SMRUDOLPH (author)2006-09-27

BE CAREFUL! I felted two sweaters without putting them in a bag and it cost me $150 to have the washing machine fixed. The clumps of lint clogged the drain pump. You can get mesh bags (for washing pantyhose and lingerie) at the grocery store -- they're cheap and handy. Better safe than sorry. That said -- the bag is adorable!

nguyenle (author)SMRUDOLPH2007-05-20

Oh my gosh! I am SO sorry you that this happened to you. I've done this a number of times, and never had a problem. I just modified that part of my instructions so it doesn't happen to anyone else. Again, I am sincerely sorry.

myles (author)2006-08-20

hey cool, but how would you do the circular knitting with a poncho? would it be the same process too?

eveningstar (author)2006-07-25

I just joined and have to tell you how pretty this bag is. I am definitely going to give it a try. Thanks so much.

wordsmith (author)2006-02-21

Looks great! Just fyi, you probably didn't need to mod the crochet pattern -- crocheted yarnworks felt up just as nice as knit ones. As long as the pattern calls for relatively dense stitches, crochet patterns can be felted, and I find crocheting is a lot faster than knitting. In general, a knit item ends up approximately 85% of its original width and 75% of its original length after felting. With a crochet piece, on the other hand, it'll end up with approximately 80% of its original width and 95% of its original length after felting. If you're winging it and just want something that's generally circular or oval-shaped, though, it doesn't matter too much.

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