DIY Knitted and Felted Totem Tote

What is a DIY Knitted and Felted Totem Tote?

A DIY Knitted and Felted Totem Tote is something that combines two skills, Simply, it’s just knitting something oversized and throwing it into a washing machine to shrink. Knitted felting or Fulling as it is sometimes called is a great way to make something versatile and thick. You can make anything from bags, hats or slippers. All you need is to know how to knit, and how to use your washing machine.

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Here’s what you need to make your own DIY knitted felting tote bag. This post does contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.

Don’t forget about the resource library – there are plenty of downloadables available for this blog post and others. Each week we add more to the list so be sure to check back often.

DIY Knitted Felting Totem Tote Materials

  • Super chunky Wool (I used Highlander Grande in a total of 6 balls for the main color and 1 ball for the contrast color)
  • Circular knitting needles size US 10.5
  • Double Pointed knitting needles size US 10.5
  • Tapestry needle
  • Pattern available in the resource library

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DIY Knitted Felting Totem Tote Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1 – The first thing you need to do is find a pattern or make your own to knit up. There are a lot of free patterns for felting on Ravelry, or even in a simple google search. For this project, I found a nice pattern on called Felt Bag in Twilleys Freedom Wool which I placed in the resource library for you to download. I liked the way it looked in the picture and it looked easy enough to adjust if I needed to.

Step 2 – Next gather all your supplies. I know that in the pattern itself it called for a wool yarn not available in my area so I substituted similar wool. Any Super Chunky Wool would work. As long as it’s 100% wool as that is the easiest to felt.

Step 3 – Once you have your wool and needles all you need to do is knit your tote according to pattern. This can take a few days or more, depending on how often you knit up the pattern. I finished mine in about 3 days.

Knitted Project Before Washing

Step 4Now comes the easy and fun part. Take your knitted piece or pieces and put them in the washing machine with the hottest water possible. Add a tiny bit of detergent and let it run. Depending on the project, you can check every 5 to 10 minutes to stretch out the knitting and shape it. Continue to let the tote go through the wash and spin cycle.

Step 5 – Once that is done you need to let your project dry in a well-ventilated area, otherwise you might get some musky smells. Once dry, voila! you have a sturdy tote bag.

Knitted and Felted Totem Tote Finished Project

DIY Knitted Felting Totem Tote Reading Suggestions

Learning a new skill is a lot of fun and reading more on the subject is always a good approach to being good at it. I assembled a list of books I think you will truly enjoy.

Feltique: Techniques and Projects for Wet Felting, Needle Felting, Fulling, and Working with Commercial Felt

Pursenalities: 20 Great Knitted and Felted Bags

Four Felted Bags: Knit and Crochet Patterns for Felting

DIY Knitted Felting Totem Tote Video Ideas

Learn to Felt – Knitted Purse

How to knit and felt a bag

Knit then Felt a Tote or Purse or Market Bag

Last Word on DIY Knitted and Felted Totem Tote

I really loved this project. It wasn’t over complicated and I easily knit up the project while binge-watching some shows on Netflix. I really needed a new project bag to carry my knitting projects around and found this turned out to be a perfect bag. It was exciting for me to see the finished result come out of the washing machine and I couldn’t wait for it to dry so I could start using it. I’m eager to find another pattern to make another!

Don’t forget to download the pattern from the resource library. There are many other downloadables there for you as well. They are all FREE – nothing to buy!

I do hope you have enjoyed this project, please share your results in the comments below or on the BettesMakes Facebook page.

Bette will be back tomorrow..


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How to Make a Knitted and Felted Totem Tote

Carina Grace
Carina Grace

I have been crafting and making things all my life. I'm particularly fond of knitting, sewing, wool crafts and any odd or fun that teaches me something new.