Category Archives: Needle Felting

Our Summer Gnomes

Summer GnomesI finished our summer gnomes some time ago and then forgot to post about them. For those who have missed my previous posts, Dora asked me to make a gnome for each month of the year. We put them out on our nature/seasonal shelf with our days-of-the-week gnomes and weather gnomes. Dora doesn’t know the names or order of the months, but wanted a gnome to associate with each calendar page of our family calendar. With five children, three of which are in college, our calendar plays a central role in our life and is prominent in our kitchen. You can go to these links to see my previous posts about our winter gnomes and spring gnomes.

I really struggled with the summer gnomes. From the beginning, I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do with the winter, spring, and fall gnomes. The summer gnomes – not so much. Some readers gave me some suggestions and I kind of bounced off of some of those. I was trying for a hot and fiery look. To make their hats, I needle felted a “skull cap” for the gnomes, but left the tops of the caps unfelted. I then kind of twisted the tops to make them resemble a candle flame. I’m not 100% happy with them, but have yet to come up with a better idea (other than perhaps make felt sun caps, which I may yet try).

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Maureen

Labels: Gnomes, Needle Felting, Peg Dolls, Rhythm, Summer
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

A Spring Felted Play Set and How to Needle Felt a Bunny

Needle felted Spring Play Set From Homeschool Mo 4I 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.Needle felted Spring Play Set From Homeschool Mo 1I 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.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 1The 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. Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 2Take 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.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 3This 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.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 5Wrap 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:Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 7Now take small bits of wool to make two hind and two front legs.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 9Attach the legs to the bottom of the sides of the bunny’s body.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 10Looking at your bunny from the bottom, it should look something like this:Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 12Now, felt a small round ball for the tail and attach it to the bunny’s rear end.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 14Now make two ears shapes, leaving some of the end fibers loose to help attach them to the bunny’s head. Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 15If you want to line the ears with another color, this is the time to do it.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 16Try not to use too much wool when lining the ears….Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 17…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.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 18Attach the ears to the head.Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 19You 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. Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 21And 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.
Needle Felting a Bunny From Homeschool Mo - 22Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Maureen

Labels: Needle Felting, Spring
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Felting My Days Away

Needle Felted Angel

This most likely will be my last post of the year. It is hard to believe that 2012 is almost over!  As I have been able to do less of the physical activities that I am used to doing for stress relief lately, I have been finding myself more and more attracted to needle felting. Not only is the act of stabbing wool a great stress reliever, but I can do it and play with Dora at the same time. Honestly, I don’t find stress relief from stabbing the wool, like I would if I were out running, instead I find that the rhythm of needle felting seems to calm my nerves, while molding the wool focuses my mind on things other than the physical discomfort I am currently in. This week, I have been working on two projects. I am trying to finish the angel above for Dora’s music teacher. I was inspired to make an angel for her after hearing her sing in class once. The kids convinced to her sing as a high a note as she could and suddenly I was overcome with the beauty of her voice. I normally don’t like the sound of sopranos, but she really does have the voice of an angel. At the same time, she is so good with the kids, she also has the patience of the saint! I am going to weave some tiny glass beads into the angels gown, to give her some luminosity. I am unsure, however, what to do about the angel’s face. As a Waldorf-inspired creation, I would normally leave her face blank (Waldorf educational philosophy encourages blank faces or faces with neutral expressions, so that the child’s imagination can be unhindered). At the same time, I am unsure how Dora’s music teacher will feel about a faceless angel, if she has no idea what Waldorf is all about.

Needle Felting a Gingerbread Man 3

The other project that I worked on this week was this gingerbread man. I told Dora the story of the gingerbread man and then Dora wanted to recreate it with puppets and dolls. We had plenty of animals and a dollhouse grandma and grandpa, but nothing that really worked as a gingerbread man. So I made this guy in about 15 minutes. Making a gingerbread man in a wonderful beginning needle felting project.

Needle Felting a Gingerbread Man 1

To needle felt a gingerbread man, you just need a cookie cutter, a felting surface/foam, a felting needle, and some brown wool (I so happened to be using alpaca wool that is naturally the same color as gingerbread cookies). Completely fill the cookie cutter with wool all the way to the top, as the wool will get much flatter as you work. Put the cutter on top of your foam and start stabbing away. Be sure to flip the cutter every few minutes or you will felt your gingerbread man onto your foam. After a while, the wool will get denser and you can remove the gingerbread man.

Needle Felting a Gingerbread Man 2

Felt any loose fibers by poking them into the side of the gingerbread man. Roll a tiny ball of wool for the eyes and buttons. Stick the balls of wool where you want them and gently poke them on to the gingerbread man until they have felted on to him. For the mouth, roll a small amount of wool into a tiny worm shape and felt that, just as you did with the eyes. I angled mine to make it a bit smiley. And there you have a cute felted gingerbread man. You could easily poke some thread or very thing ribbon through his head with a sewing needle to make a lovely tree ornament or gift tag. Or you could do what we did and just play with him. Just be sure you don’t leave him where any cats can get him. Our cats are absolutely obsessed with destroying my needle felted creations!

Needle Felting a Gingerbread Man 3

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, filled with lots of comfort and joy!

Please note my left sidebar for all the awesome link-ups that I am participating in.

Labels: Needle Felting
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff