I finished my first needle felted play set, which I posted about a couple of weeks ago. It definitely took some unexpected turns, as things didn’t form quite the way I had envisioned. Also, Dora grew really impatient for me to finish the set and rushed me on some of the finishing touches. Dora is very enchanted with the set, however, and has even taken to “needle felting” her own things with wool and a dull embroidery needle.I am hardly an expert needle felter, I’ve only been feting for about one year now and have only finished a handful of projects, but I guess there just must not be that many needle felters out, because people are constantly asking me questions about needle felting. So I thought I would show you how I made one of the bunnies from this set. I really, really, really want to emphasize that I am not an expert and I have no formal training and so please take this tutorial with a grain of salt. I have kind of formulated my own approach to needle felting from reading other people’s tutorials, looking at other people’s work, and experimenting on my own.The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies. I am going to provide you with links to the Woolery, whose products I have been very pleased with, but whom I am in no way affiliated with. You will need some sort of protective surface to felt on, which protects your work surface (AKA “my lap” in my case) from getting stabbed by the needles and helps to protect your needles from getting broken. You will need wool roving in whatever color you want your bunnies to be. You will need needles, I use up to three needle gauges for my projects. I use a #36 at the start of my bigger projects. It felts quickly, but coarsely. I then clean things up with a #38. Finally, I may put the finishing touches on my projects with a #40. . You may or may not want a needle holder. If I am only using one needle, I just hold the needle in my bare hand, but I also have a tool that holds four needles, which is nice when I am trying to felt a large amount of wool. Take a bunch of wool roving, there is no right or wrong amount. Just know that the wool will felt down to about 1/2-ish the size of the amount of wool roving you start with. Separate the strands of roving and kind of criss-cross them in layers, so that they aren’t all facing the same way. Now start stabbing the wool. As you stab, be sure to lift your roving off of your work surface, or you will felt it to your work surface. Also, you will want to roll it and rotate it so that it gets felted evenly on all sides. Shape the wool as you go, by stabbing it in the direction you want it to go (I think of it as being like working with modeling clay). You want to aim for a shape that looks something like this body shape.This is the rough “outline”, so a general shape is all that is needed. It should be fairly firm, but not rock hard. Now, take a smaller amount of wool and start to shape the head of the bunny. Leave some strands of wool loose on the end where the head will attach to the body.Wrap those loose threads around the end of the body and felt the head to the body. You will now have a rough outline of the body and head that looks like this:Now take small bits of wool to make two hind and two front legs.Attach the legs to the bottom of the sides of the bunny’s body.Looking at your bunny from the bottom, it should look something like this:Now, felt a small round ball for the tail and attach it to the bunny’s rear end.Now make two ears shapes, leaving some of the end fibers loose to help attach them to the bunny’s head. If you want to line the ears with another color, this is the time to do it.Try not to use too much wool when lining the ears….…because it may show up on the back of the ears. In my case, since I was using pink to line white ears, I had to add more white to the back of the ears to hide the pink that came out the backside.Attach the ears to the head.You will now have a very roughly shaped bunny. Now is the time to add more wool, as needed, to fill out the shape and then clean things up with your finer tipped needles. And now you have a little bunny to play with! Note that these bunnies are meant for gentle play and should not be given to children who still put things in their mouth.
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