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Try Something New Every Month – Needle Felting

Needle Felting Beginner

I’m not sure I knew needle felting was a thing until I was pregnant with my first son and shopping for mobile ideas (I used felted wool balls in the DIY mobile I made). When I made one of my very first toys, a whale with a mouth opening, I thought it would be cool to needle felt little fish to put in its belly and snagged some clearance wool roving from Hancock Fabrics… and then never touched it again.

Which is part of Try Something New Every Month! Trying new crafts, techniques, and ideas AND using the supplies and stash that I have otherwise been ignoring. If you’re new to #TSNEM check out this post for more details.

Have you ever needle felted? Seen anything needle felted? It truly looks like art in the right person’s hands; check out this tweet from @Poopycakes for possibly the prettiest needle felted fiber art I’ve ever seen and read on to see what I tried and the products I used. If you want a visual of the process, here is a nice Youtube video.

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Wee Felt Worlds Needle Felting Book

I won a copy of this needle felting book,”Wee Felt Worlds: Sweet Little Felt Scenes to Needle Felt“* by Amanda Carestio, from Craft Buds’ Craft Book Month link-up back in September, and was intrigued. I followed their basic ‘getting started’ instructions and stole an idea from one of their tutorials, using a cookie cutter as a mold for my first attempt. I used this wool roving* – but I bought mine on super clearance at Hancock Fabrics last year.

Needle Felting Kit

I bought this $5 needle felting kit off Ebay (what is the glue stick thing??). I’m not normally an advocate for dirt cheap China wares, but my local craft stores didn’t carry any supplies and most of the starter kits I found online either included materials for a project, which I didn’t need, or were $25+ which I didn’t want to spend when I wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

Needle felted star

After taking pictures and looking online at other projects, I think I needed to pull the roving apart more in the beginning. It looks less felted even though it’s very firm, and that’s the only solution I can think of!

Cookie Cutter Needle Felting

Needle felting needle

I especially liked the little finger guards, they worked really well. This seems like just a plain old piece of foam – so I’d skip buying a special mat and get some extra-dense foam scraps from a home improvement store.

Needle felted caterpillar

The little star built my confidence, so I decided to try something free-form. A caterpillar seemed like a good fit for my skill level and the colors I was working with – I think it turned out pretty cute!

I’ll admit, I put off trying it because it seemed so… loosey-goosey. Grab a hunk, stab it a bunch, you’re done! But there is a beauty in the un-quantifiable aspect, I think. However, I’m not sure I’m going to go nuts trying to make a bunch of adorable needle felted animal sculptures – especially because I’m not sure what I’d do with them.

I am really happy that I tried it and still have a ton of roving left over to continue experimenting. I think needle felting will make cool ornaments and I’ve been brainstorming ways to incorporate it with embroidery or to use it as an embellishment. I especially love this combination of needle felting & embroidery combo in Japanese craft books, like this one on Etsy.

What do you think? Have you needle felted anything? Plan on trying it? Check out more tutorials and ideas in this post!

See what other bloggers tried this month!

Rebecca at Hugs are Fun – Sashiko Embroidery

Kristy at Simply This Life – Knit Latvian Braid

Crystal at Stitched By Crystal – Wood Burning

Vicky at Vicky Myers Creations – Using a Serger/Overlocker

Kelly at Just Another Project – Sewing with Piping

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. My kids and I love needle felting. The kids take whatever cookie cutter shape they want and get to work. We have also added kids’ initials to the felted shape (like your star) and then sewn a pin on the back so whomever we’re giving it to can wear it. We’ve included necklace cords with the pin as well so it can be a pin or a necklace. It makes a great DIY personalized gift, and I love that my kids enjoy helping make them.

  2. I’ve seen some lovely needle felting, but haven’t yet tried it. I think I’d have to have a project in mind before I started. I hand sewed a zip this month. Have sewn oodles of zips in the past, but never one by hand.

  3. I need to find a set of those finger protectors! I like the little bit of needle felting I’ve done, but it definitely makes me nervous!

    I found the whole process of needle felting so fascinating, it was crazy how quickly a puff of wool roving turned into an actual object!

  4. Thanks for organizing the TSNEM again! I like your idea to make needle-felted ornaments–I think I’ll put that on my “try something new” list for closer to Christmas!

  5. Needle felting was recently brought to my attention because it’s featured on a few of the new Simplicity Patterns – now I can’t wait to give it a try!

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