Small but Tricky

Since we’ve been traveling a lot this winter, I wanted a small project to work on. I’ve had a  frame for a small coin purse sitting around for a while. So, I decided to try that.

Unfortunately, the first one I made was too thick.  I had used three layers, the middle layer corriedale. I set it aside and when I returned I tried again.

I like the idea of using silk inside.  I had some yardage from a shop in Florida I purchased last year.  It was close enough to the turquoise batt I had on hand from another project.


The first one was also a bit larger than I wanted. I’m always looking to lighten my handbag.  So, I had adjusted the resist to be a little smaller and used two layers. I also cut the silk to overlap so there wouldn’t be any gaps with the silk.  Of course, there is no guarantee it won’t shift during felting.


I used mulberry silk to embellish it.

When I finished felting, I carefully cut the sides to match the curve of the frame.


Then came the challenge — getting the felt into the frame and staying long enough to sew it on.  I tried Gorilla glue, but that made a mess and didn’t work.  I ended up using a blanket stitch around the edges then a nail file to push it into the frame.

The frame had holes on one side and a longer solid piece on the backside.  In order to get the needle through to the back, I had to run it on an angle while making sure the felt stayed in place.  Very fiddly!

Doing the second side was more of a challenge because the felt kept slipping out. I did manage to finish it without throwing it to the ground or out.  It seems to be fairly sturdy despite using a single cotton thread.

20160326_120537 20160326_121101

I’m pleased with it, but it was a lot more work than I had anticipated.  I have trouble with working small in tight spaces.  My hands were not happy. We’ll see how well it wears.  But I can guarantee there are no more coin purses in my future unless I design my own without a frame.


Have you made these?  Is there a trick I was missing?

This entry was posted in Wet Felting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Small but Tricky

  1. Teri Berry says:

    The finished purse looks great Marilyn, it’s great when something so difficult and fiddly turns out so beautifully. I have a couple of these frames in my collection, you have inspired me to give them a go!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Teri! It’s a small coin purse so working small was challenging for me. Be sure to share your purse story and pics with us. Have fun!

  2. says:

    The purse turned out great, Marilyn. I believe fitting felt into the frame must be quite fiddly. I remember seeing a master class on the internet and just found it. It’s in Russian but with the translation option on your computer you’ll be able to understand how this lady approached this However, she was using a frame with holes for stitching. I found another video where she used a frame similar to yours. You can see it here (watch the end part). Maybe you find some useful tricks there. If I get a nice frame I might have a go but I will certainly look for a frame with holes for stitching.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Nada for the compliment and the resources. I wish I had thought to look for a video before I did it. But it turned out fine. I only found the frame with holes on one side and a flat metal on the inside. It was one of those impulse buys at the craft store. If I do another, I’ll look for an alternative that might be easier for me to manage.

  3. Wonderful! Such tenacity! Mine would have definitely ended up in the bin. Beautiful blue also – well worth all your effort.

  4. Margie says:

    I have been wanting to make a coin purse, just didn’t know how.You made it look so easy, Thank you so much for sharing. It’s beautiful.

  5. The purse turned out wonderful. I have no idea how you managed to sew it when you couldn’t put the needle right through. I thought they had holes on both sides wen they where the sew on kind. I want to make some too. There are a couple of our readers who use frames I hope they have some tricks to share.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Ann! It definitely was fiddly because I had to sew at an angle and try to get into holes. I look forward to seeing what you make and be sure to let me know where you find two hole sided frames. 🙂

    • so far I have only found them that have a shorter inside piece so it would be easier. I did see one that said it came with the paper twine to stuff in to hold the fabric. Felt is much thicker than fabric.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      I haven’t seen any with the twine, but I haven’t done a lot of research yet. Thanks.

  6. Frances says:

    Very nice – but not a project I will try unless I could find a frame with holes on both sides 🙂

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Frances! I’m sure there are the two sided hole frames, I just didn’t realize what I had bought.

  7. Jackie says:

    You little purse is adorable. Looks great! I have made several small purses but never used a frame like that. I make mine with a flap and use a magnetic closure which I cover with some sort of embellishment. I like doing small projects when on the road in our motor home and little purses and flowers fit the moment. When I return home I can then spread my wings and make larger things.

  8. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Jackie! I had an old leather one that had seen better days, so I thought this would be a fun project. A flap and magnetic closure would also be lighter to carry. Please come to the forum and show us your projects.

  9. Lyn says:

    Love the colour and mulberry silk topping – can’t go wrong with ‘sea/sky’ colours!
    It seems daft to only have the holes on one side of the frame and I’m impressed that you managed to stitch it.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Lyn! I’m sure there is a reason for the way it is. However, it escapes me. And yes, I love the sea/sky colorway as you well know. I’d definitely do more if I could find them with holes on both sides.

  10. luvswool says:

    Great job on the coin purse, Marilyn! And having seen this adorable purse in person, I can attest to the fact that it looks very professionally done. Your ability to work with such a small size (and not throw in the towel!) amazed me.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Cathy! I was tempted, but I don’t give up easily as you know.

  11. Alice Reidel says:

    Good that you warned about the process because it looks very tempting to make!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Alice! Give it a try, it wasn’t impossible. :-). And let us know how it turns out.

  12. ruthlane says:

    Your coin purse turned out great. Perseverance is the key to many things. I have not made one of these before so thanks for the tip of what to look for if I decide to try it.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Ruth! You’re welcome. I’m going to try to find a source for a double holed frame.

  13. Karen Lane says:

    I’ve often see nothing these frames for sale but it’s not something I’ve tried. Your purse looks beautiful so it was well worth the effort!

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Karen! Give it a go, but look for the frames with holes on both sides. 🙂

  14. The easiest way to make a coin purse is to use balloons or polystyrene balls with a little help from a tumble dryer. I have written several tutorials on how to make them.

  15. Francoise says:

    Hi .Thank you for your post. I enjoy very much reading them even if I’m not a very active felter! I also plane to felt a purse. I saw a wile ago a purse made using a tennis ball as a resist. The site was Japonese? may be .All the making was filmed . So no need to understand:) Unfortunately didn’t have the chance to try it on yet. May be this summer. Will let you know.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Francoise! Good luck with your purse. I look forward to seeing your creations.

  16. I don’t know if it would work with wool, but I watched a sewing tutorial once where the sewist glued the fabric into the purse frame at the last step, using an awl to push the fabric into the frame and glue.

    • Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

      Thanks Andrea! I did try glue and it didn’t work with the felt and metal.

    • Sally says:

      Hot glue works well with metal and dry felt but think that these purse frames are best sewn on through the little holes, unless of course you use the frames which are designed to be glued rather than sewn.

  17. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Sally! I hadn’t thought of hot glue. The sewing worked in the end. It was just a bit fiddly.

  18. zedster66 says:

    That turned out really nice, Marilyn 🙂 Well done for persevering! I thought zips were hard enough. I’ve seen these frames in the craft shops and thought I’d get some, but I just stood looking at them, thinking ‘huh?’. Maybe I’ll have another look next time!

  19. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    Thanks Zed! I’d make more if I could find the kind with the holes on both sides. Give it a go!

  20. Leonor says:

    Very cure purse, Marilyn. I can well imagine how fiddly the sewing was, but the end result was very worth it. Maybe you’ll make more after you’ve forgotten how much work this one was 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.