How to Needle Felt - a needle felting tutorial for beginners
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Needle felting for beginners can seem quite daunting, but it’s actually very simple and once you’ve mastered the art, you’ll be hooked ! If you’ve ever thought “how do I needle felt”, then this tutorial will help you.
As a beginner, you will need very few tools. Just some felting wool, some felting needles, and a foam pad or sponge. Here at Blooming Felt, we can supply all of the equipment and tutorials you are likely to need – just click on the relevant categories above to find everything.
Needle felting takes 2 forms – sculptural, where you create a 3D figure such as an animal or person, and flat, where you can create 2D pictures, decorate an item of clothing or a purse or bag – actually, the possibilities are endless. Both methods require the same tools / equipment so it’s easy to get started and soon you’ll be an expert !
If you didn’t want to spend too much money on buying supplies to start off with (although it’s actually not that expensive to get going), then there are many kits that you could try.
Needle felting for beginners would probably take the form of either a kit or creating a 2D picture or decorating an item of clothing or an accessory. You will find many tutorials for both types of felting both here and online.
When choosing which wool to use (for both flat and sculptural needle felting), I tend to find that a coarser wool is better as it catches the barbs on the felting needles and enables you to felt more quickly. Our own New Zealand wool is perfect and is available in a wide range of colours. If you require a smoother finish, then our merino wool tops and corriedale wool is a good choice.
Felting needles come in a range of gauges. A 38 star felting needle is a good, robust needle that is perfect if you are a beginner. If you are going to create a flat piece of art, you will also need a backing material and we would suggest using a felt sheet as it has a looser weave than a cotton fabric and the wool will adhere itself to it more easily.
Place your felt sheet over your foam sponge (ensuring your foam sponge is on a hard, even surface). Tease a small amount of the wool from the wool batt and lay it onto the felt sheet. Then, using a “stabbing” motion with the felting needle, “stab” the wool onto the felt sheet, holding the needle at a 90 degree angle to the felt sheet. Then it’s just a case of building up the colours and textures of the wool to create the picture you desire.
I tend to find that 2D felting lends itself particularly well to landscape type pictures as the wool can be beautifully blended to create great results.
We have a couple of needle felting tutorials which can be found on our blog “News from Shedquarters”. Alternatively, a google search for “Needle Felting Tutorials”, “Needle Felting for Beginners” or “How do I needle felt”, will bring up a whole host of results and you will find numerous visual needle felting tutorials and videos that will be very helpful.
If you wanted to try sculptural 3D felting, I would recommend buying a kit first as it will have full instructions with it (as well as everything you will need to make your creation). We have a number of kits available on our website – all of which are great value for money and will give you a great starting base.
And that’s just about it ! So, whether you are a beginner or are a more confident needle felter, I hope we have explained the art of this exciting hobby in a relatively easy way. Don’t forget, you can buy all of your felting equipment and supplies from us here at Blooming Felt.