My 3 tips on how to create your own wet felting style

Feb 18, 2024

When we start a new hobby, the natural tendency is to imitate someone else’s style. And there’s no reason to feel bad about it. We all do it. I did it too. When I was discovering wet felting, I had no clue how I could explore it. Following what other felt makers were doing was the only way to learn and grow.

So, it’s absolutely natural. Throughout History, if you wanted to learn how to paint, you’d start by copying some else’s paintings. This would teach you their techniques and processes, so that you could develop your own later.

But there comes a time when you don’t want to be LIMITED by imitation anymore. Instead, you want to grow and create your own style. It may not be well defined at first, but slowly you start seeing your character, preferences, and your ‘touch’ in the pieces you make.

How about you? Which stage do you think you’re in? Do you feel like you’re getting close to that fork in the road? If you are, I have a couple of tips that may help you get there faster.


1. Master the techniques and study the wool types available for wet felting

Techniques and wool are the tools of our trade. So, obviously that’s where you need to start. One thing is to do a couple of experiments or to follow someone else’s instructions. Another is to have a deep understanding of a certain technique.

Of course, there are many techniques in wet felting. And you don’t need to know them all. Just choose a couple of favorites and work on them until they become second nature to you.

Let’s say you’d choose differential shrinkage. Don’t just do one project with differential shrinkage. See what you can get out of the technique. Stretch your imagination to see:

  • How you can use it to change shape,
  • What happens if you change the number of layers and the thickness,
  • What happens if you change the wool type,
  • How much impact does color make,
  • What happens if you make different cuts and pull on the felt in different ways?


These 10 pieces were all created with differential shrinkage. Can you come up with your own?

Give yourself the assignment of working on one technique for some time and see how many different projects you can create. You’ll be amazed at the progress you’ll make!

Some years ago, I challenged myself to felt as many pieces as possible during a month by only working with one round resist. It was such a growth moment for me!


Different felt makers have different wool preferences. Mine is extra-fine Merino. I’ve tried many others, and I always come back to the same.

Of course, you don’t need to stick to one wool type like me. But, at least at the beginning, try to work with one or two of them and understand them deeply.

Different wool types create different results. They react differently in terms of

  • how fast they felt,
  • how easy they are to shape,
  • what kinds of projects they’re adequate for,
  • how much they shrink,
  • how they behave when you cut them

and so much more.

So, your favorite wool types will certainly help define your style.


2. Bring your love for other topics into wet felting

Start by asking yourself the question: what do I like? If you’re thinking “What? I know what I like!”, let me tell you a story.

Years ago, during a photography course, the teacher asked us to create a mood board to help us identify our style. I had never created one before and I was a bit irritated by the exercise. I thought “I already know what my style is. I just want to go on with the class.”

But this was a huge eye opener for me. I was really surprised about the mood board I came up with. And it not only helped me with that course, but it went on helping me with other things I did later.

After 10 years, this same mood board is still relevant. I still look at it now and again when I’m searching for inspiration. I actually think it says a lot about me. (In case you’re curious, you can find it among my Pinterest boards here.)

The fact is I’ve never stopped making mood boards after that. I was sold on the idea! And I really can’t overstate how much this has helped me in defining my wet felting style.

Let me show you some examples that illustrate my love for ceramics and tiles.

And these are pieces that resulted from my passion for weaving and Nature.

So, yes, I am suggesting that you start making mood boards. It’s so easy to do with the internet. My favorite resource for this is, of course, Pinterest.

Next time you’re planning a project, avoid the temptation of looking at what other felt makers are doing. Instead, explore what moves you and spend some time looking at those images you’ve gathered. You’ll be surprised at how many original projects you can come up with that really mirror your character.


3. Study color

Regardless of which materials you use for your art, some artists’ work is marked by neutrals, and others by strong color palettes. And this helps define their style as well.

To understand this better, have a look at this interesting article on “The 4 master artists who used nature-inspired color palettes”.

Thankfully, we felt makers have a huge amount of choice when it comes to color, since suppliers have done a great job in providing us with many different shades of the same hue.

If you don’t have much experience with color exploration, feel free to have a look at the series I created for you on this topic last month.


Bonus tip: let your ideas mature

Brainstorm, look at art books and the internet, fill your mood boards, and let your imagination run wild.  

When you feel like a first idea is forming, focus on it. See what you like about it, and even if there’s something similar, that may appeal more to you. Or even that may make more sense in the context of the technique you want to work on.

Think about which colors would be better for what you have in mind. Personally, I don’t really have favorite colors. I just love them all (or nearly all) and I think they come alive when we combine them with the right ones.

Then, give yourself time to let your ideas mature. Don’t jump into your new project straight away. For me, the first few days during this selection process are chaotic. Then it becomes about removing and distilling the many ideas into something cohesive.

After a couple of days, you’ll probably start noticing ideas popping up in the shower or first thing in the morning when you wake up. It’s like something is running in the background, without you being conscious of it.

I’m willing to bet that, when you engage in this creative process, you’ll get much more satisfaction out of wet felting, and you’ll be on your way to creating your own style 😊

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