I taught myself how to needle felt by watching
loads of different YouTube videos.
I'm not fond of sewing~ this has been the
perfect way for me to make little characters from
the books I write and illustrate.
There are many approaches to needle felting...
I'll share mine~
These are the products I use.
I purchased mine from a gift shop that sells
wool/tools for rug hooking, products for punch needle,
wool roving (which I use for felting) yarns etc.
If ever you're in Canandaigua, NY
you should stop in at "Liberty Cottage."
Popular craft stores like JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby
now offer this same line.
I like to purchase wool locally.
Amy Klee has the dearest farm!
Stone Edge Fibers phone 315/548-2032
I get MOUNDS of wool for the same cost
as a small tuft from the craft store chains.
It all starts with a tiny felting needle.
Please be very careful. They are sharp and HURT!
It's not a little pin prick... the needle has tiny barbs.
Some people felt on this blue foam.
I prefer the brush. I had this sample left from a class
I taught... it is more economical but the wool felts to it.
Gather a tuft of natural wool and compress
it to the basic shape of your design.
Dyed wool is more costly...
...Begin felting by inserting the needle
over... and over... and over... etc.
Keep in mind the shape...
Now you have a basic shape.
(Zillions of needle jabs later...)
If you needle felt lightly~ your piece will be fluffy.
If you needle felt A LOT~ your piece will be solid.
The more needle work the tighter...
Time to add color.
Take a very thin amount of dyed roving...
Notice in the photo how thin/see through my piece is?
It doesn't take much to cover.
Needle... needle... needle... etc.
Again... several different ways to add leaves.
I'll show you two.
First... four tufts of green roving.
The need for speed... (ha! ha!) Impatient Michelle...
This tool has five needles in it! The plastic guard
keeps you safe and protects the needles from breaking.
It stays extended until you apply pressure.
Felting the green roving into flat leaves.
Felt one side, pull it up, turn it over... felt the other side
until you have a compact tuft.
Shape with a single needle...
Watch your fingers if you're not working
against the pad...
Add the leaves. They'll felt to the strawberry.
The barbs in the needle... it's magic! :)
So I only made four leaves the first way. I'm not a
symmetrical person. I design with odd numbers.
I left this space to show you another way to add leaves.
Gather a small tuft of green wool...
Start felting the shape of a leaf to the berry...
They will look a little different...
I have my leaves on... I need to cover the top.
Needle... needle... needle...
Stem or loop... I'm making a loop.
To make the stem from the same roving...
A small tuft of wool, roll it in your fingers and needle
to the pad, continually turning, rolling etc.
I leave the ends a bit feathery so the fiber can
mix in and attach strong.
Needle... needle... needle...
I added a few little tufts in between the larger leaves.
You can add seed beads, yellow stitched X's etc.
The two links for the leaves show strawberries
I made that have seeds on them.
I hope I wrote this tutorial in a way that
will encourage you to try! It is very easy... fun...
Like all art~ each piece is different, unique and perfect!
I will try to answer questions as you begin...
The YouTube videos are helpful. Watching all of the
needle... needle... needle... work helps you understand
how long it takes to see results.
Hope your weekend is sunny and sweet!