11.24.2010

Craft Project: Needlefelting (3D)


mneedle

hneedle

Here is a closer look at my latest needle felted projects, mini Mule and mini Harold. Cute, huh? Each one measures to be about 2" long and they are completely made out of unspun wool fibers and one pipe cleaner. Needle felting is an easy, fast way to sculpt small objects without sewing, stuffing or wire. Scroll down, and I'll explain how it works.


Needle felting is a technique that compacts and interlocks unspun wool fibers (roving), using a special barbed needle. Each time the needle is poked  through the top layer of felt, it condenses and presses the fibers into desired shapes to create wool sculptures.

Materials needed: wool roving, barbed felting needle, an 6" square or larger foam pad (I cut mine from a roll of foam padding, but you can find a needle felting pad at the craft store), pipe cleaners (optional, but helpful if sculpting people or animals), scissors.

Get Started: To sculpt a shape, gather a small ball of roving and place it on your foam pad. Using your felting needle, poke through the ball in a straight up and down motion. You'll notice that the fibers will become firm and compacted. Turn and rotate your wool to sculpt whatever shape you're after.

The best way to learn is to watch a video tutorial. I got the general gist by watching this video on how to make a cute owl. If you remember, last year I did a needle felting post too, and blabbered on in awe about how incredible it was to watch this little owl materialize from a ball of fuzz. I wrote: "I honestly could not wrap my mind around how it worked. Then I watched some lady on YouTube wad up a ball of wool, stab the shit out of it with a needle, and like some sort of craft room voodoo magic, her sad little hair ball transformed into an incredibly cute, fuzzy owl. Just like that! You just poke a hair ball with a fancy needle. Shut up, no way, get out. But I promise, it works" Not only does it work, but I've come to find out that it is quite addictive.

If you'd like to try a dog or cat, I suggest making a simple frame by twisting together a couple of pipe cleaners to form the body, tail and legs. Then, you can wrap wool around the body parts and felt them accordingly. You can also sculpt the body parts and features separately and attach them with the needle, by just poking them into another piece and interlocking the fibers. Once you have the general shape created, you can add details. For example, I poked in small patches of contrasting colors to form our dogs' spots, mouths and eyes,


needle felted toadstool ornament

My first project was this little toadstool. I've made a few more since, because I think they're cute on our Christmas tree.

You can also add needle felted details to flat, woolen textiles. To learn more about that, check out my post and video tutorial on the subject. In the video, I giggle a lot and make woodland themed pillow covers,

3 comments:

  1. holyshit this is awesome! i've seen these tiny felted dogs on etsy but i never thought i could do it. i'm going to give it a try thanks to this post!

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  2. these are ridiculously cute. their tiny faces are so expressive!

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