I felt wool. Using an age-old technique called needle felting, I can make sculptures using wool and a barbed needle. Not just sheep have wool when it comes to needle felting!
Needle felting uses barbed needles to pull fibers of wool together. You can make flat sheets (like the kinds sold at craft stores), firm balls, logs, triangles, and any other shape you dream up just by rotating and consistently poking the wool.
I use different size barbed needles depending on what stage of the sculpture I’m working on. The finer needles are used for forming the shapes and binding them together. The courser needles are used for finishing the sculpture.
A variety of different needle holders are made to make needle felting easier, faster, and safer. A foam block is a necessity when needle felting. It protects the surface your felting over from the sharp needle and it also keeps the needle from breaking.
Sometimes I find harder foam good for making smaller parts of my sculptures, like ears, or skinny legs.
You start with a loose wade of felt, and then just keep poking it with your needle, trying not to hit the foam to much (that pulls the wool into your foam block). Eventually it will get firm from the fibers being pulled together.
Needle felting kits are also available with all the necessary tools to get you started along with instructions. Above are projects that I completed out of two Dimensions needle felting kits.
This chicken was made from a kit put together by another needle felter, Teresa Perleberg. I absolutely loved her kit and if you would like to see other kits she sells along with her amazing needle felted sculptures, click here.
You can make all sorts of things using your imagination! I made the donuts above by wrapping the felt around the end of a pencil and felting around the pencil to create the hole.
Make a Christmas scene or take on the challenge of needle felting the Christmas Nativity!
I especially love needle felting birds! I use wire for the legs, but be careful felting around the wire, as your needle could break if it hits the wire too hard.
I use pipe cleaners for adding antlers to deer or arms to snowman!
Small plastic eyes or noses can be purchased at craft stores to use for your needle felted sculpture!
I made these fish using another technique called wet felting (I’ll save that for another post). I then felted the designs on them using my needle.
Have a great week!