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Try Something New Every Month – Needle Felting

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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.

{This post contains affiliate links, indicated by an asterisk*. Please refer to ‘legal stuff’ in the top menu for more info.}

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

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Shawn

Thursday 5th of March 2015

I should say 'newer' but I only discovered them recently. :D

http://www.simplicity.com/p-11898-misses-costume-jackets-wings-and-hat.aspx

http://www.simplicity.com/p-12110-misses-knit-dress-tunic-and-top.aspx

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 6th of March 2015

Ah ha! That explains it :) Those are very cool, thank you for linking them :)

Shawn

Wednesday 4th of March 2015

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!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 4th of March 2015

Hmm what patterns!! I just looked on their new releases and didn't see anything. I'm intrigued!

Kelly J

Thursday 5th of February 2015

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!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 6th of February 2015

Thanks for joining in :) I agree, I will be doing some ornaments this year!

Rebecca

Wednesday 4th of February 2015

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!

Deanna {sewmccool}

Tuesday 3rd of February 2015

Isn't it fun? I tried it for the first time this month too and really loved it! I think I'm a little addicted.

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