My friends and family know how much I love, Love, LOVE crafting! My newest obsession is “needle felting”. The possibilities of what you can needle felt are literally endless. One of my favorite things about this particular craft is that it requires very few tools and it’s a craft you can pick up right away, unlike knitting or crocheting which takes lots of time and practice. I’d love to be able to explain to you exactly what felting is, but let’s face it: explaining things to death is sometimes boring *yawn*…
Tools of the trade
So in layman’s terms, felting is “poking” wool roving into an adorable animal or other shape. Let’s break that down.
Wool Roving: this is clean wool that has been “carded” or combed into a long, continuous cord.
Felting Needle: this is what you poke the wool with. The more you poke the wool roving with this tool, the tighter and more compact the wool becomes.
Felting Pad: this is what you lay the wool on as you’re felting, so as not to break the needle on your table.
Multiple Needles: this beauty allows you to felt faster, or to felt broader pieces.
Time for Needle Felting!
YouTube is my BFF when I’m learning something new. Learning how to needle felt is not different. Tons of needle felting tutorials exist to guide you through making farm animals, fairies, people, etc.
In essence, there are very few steps when it comes to needle felting.
- Have a YouTube tutorial, book or pattern ready for your guide.
- Lay the wool roving on your needle pad.
- Following your tutorial, book, or pattern of choice, begin rapidly poking the wool with your needle. It becomes apparent quickly at this point that the more you poke the wool, the tighter the wool fibers get.
- Follow the directions and continue shaping the wool as you needle felt the pieces together. Viola!
Here’s a pic of what my 12 year old and I needle felted last weekend:
Baby Girl felted the baby chick and I did the mama rooster. It’s been years since I felted but doing the rooster, with the aid of a book, was fun and super easy. What I loved most about that day is it allowed us to sit side-by-side at my crafting table. Over the hour or so that we made our adorable farm animals, we laughed and chatted about Anything and Everything. We also poked ourselves a few times with the needles and got frustrated when the felt wasn’t taking shape the way we wanted. However, we shared our satisfaction when we ultimately overcame those crafting obstacles and created animals out of the ether.
Words of advice from my crafting pro, a.k.a. Baby Girl
“Be careful!” When you stick your finger with the needle, it hurts! So it’s probably not a good idea to watch TV while needle felting!!
“It’s hard to get going, then it gets easier and easier.” That’s true. Basically when you first start felting, it takes a while to get the loose wool roving to firm up. After a few minutes though, the fibers of the wool catch enough that the loose wool takes firm shape. THAT’S when the fun begins!
“You get to brag when you’re done because not a lot of people know how to do it“. That’s what I love about art–it’s so beautiful to share your artistic and material gifts with others. I personally love to create and then share what I’ve made with others.
How about you–have you tried needle felting? What do you like to make? Tell me in the comments below!