Basic Needle Felting (A Tutorial)

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Yep….I’m still felting. Starting out with the small projects and working my way up! Needle felting is the process of felting/tangling one piece of wool to another using barbed needles. The needles take the wool fibers from one piece and drag them through the other piece where they tangle and attach the two pieces. There are two types of needle felting:

Applique felting: attaching wool yarn, wool felt or wool roving to a flat piece of wool fabric or felt.
Sculptural felting: creating a three dimensional piece of felt from wool roving.

In this tutorial I’m doing some sculptural felting….3-dimensional hearts….and a matryoshka (babushka) doll:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

…..using 100% wool roving (wool pieces that have been combed) and a felting needle pen. If you are doing a free form you might need a needle felting mat too.

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used a heart shaped measuring cup as my form:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I filled the cup with bits of wool roving (mixing colors for some of the hearts I made) and started using the needle tool to carefully punch the needles through the roving. It’s not necessary to punch the needles all the way through…..only into the center because you’ll eventually flip the felt over and punch from the reverse side.

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

The needles’ barbs tangle the pieces of roving making the wool thicker and denser with each punch. Every once in a while I removed the heart shape and flipped it over to the other side in the measuring cup:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

The felt gets thicker  and thc

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Keep felting until your shape is the density you want it:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

For free form sculptural felting, I made this little matryoshka doll:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I started out with a base of 2 different sized felted balls (see tutorial here)….but you can roll felt and use a needle to create a form from scratch too:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used hot pink roving to connect the two balls….putting pieces around the center and using my needle tool to punch and connect them:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I started using small wispy pieces of hot pink roving to cover the balls….the felting needles barbs intertwines the fibers as you punch:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I kept punching and adding wool roving until the felt was completely uniform:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

The base of my matryoshka:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

I used some natural roving for the face:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

…..and for the dress bottom:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Tiny pieces of wool roving I balled up and punched with a felting needle pen for details…you can remove all but one needle for very small details:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

When I needed a VERY small amount of a certain color (eyes, mouth, hair), I used fabric markers to color some natural colored roving:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

The finished matryoshka doll:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

Oh….one MORE thing you can make. While making felt balls (using wet felting), I made this longer oblong piece of felt:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Once it had a full day to dry….I pinched it at the bottom like so:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

And then used my needle tool to connect the sides:

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

And the result is a heart!

 

Basic Needle Felting Technique - DIY Tutorial via lilblueboo.com

 

Click here to see other felt and fiber art tutorials I’ve done!

I purchased all of my felting materials and tools at Dharma Trading….click here to see their selection!

 


 

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Comments

  1. 1
    Lori Hollon says:

    You are so totally awesome and such an inspiration :)

  2. 2

    Ah! So cute!! I LOVE that you posted these last two felting tutorials, thank you! I have been wanting to make a rug out of felted balls, I think I can tackle it now :) Cheers!
    -Kristi
    PS The Matroyshka doll is especially adorable, nice job!

  3. 3

    This is so cute–you make it look so easy.
    I love the little doll, what little girl would not find a bunch (or even just one) of the little felt dolls to be a sweet little treasure.

  4. 4

    Glad you had a productive day. I look for your blog daily to pray for you.

  5. 5

    Oh, cool. Thank you! I’ve always wondered what needle felting was. This helps! And it’s always good to know that you are feeling well enough to do some crafting… Yay!

    :)

  6. 6

    Oh wow! These are awesome!

  7. 7

    My sister and I have always wanted to learn how to do this. I cannot wait to pass this tutorial along and both get started. Your creations are just adorable!

    Happy V-Day to you and your sweethearts!

    Megan

  8. 8

    I love to needle felt, but I do stab myself quite a bit. Very ouchy!

  9. 9

    This is one craft I haven’t tried. It looks fun and would be fun for my granddaughters to do with me. I’m glad you felt well enough (no pun intended) to be crafty today.
    Hugs and prayers.
    Cindy

  10. 10

    That matryoshka doll is too much!! I’m going to have to give in and buy supplies for another craft. I’ve been wanting to try felting for quite a while. Thanks for the fun series of inspiration!

  11. 11

    I adore your matryoshka doll! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at needle felting. Seems like something I could get hooked on like crochet and hand embroidery!

  12. 12
    Meghan Grace says:

    The little doll is adorable! I’ve always wanted to learn how to do this. Thanks Ashley for sharing!

  13. 13

    Very cute! I recently fell in love with needle felting. There’s that odd moment of total peace while your forming the object through the repetitive stabbing with the needle. . .

  14. 14

    Your felting series is really interesting to me since I help create and sell felted soaps. When wool roving is felted over soap, it’s fun since then the wool continues to felt (shrink) as the soap shrinks. Then the wrapped soap acts as a built-in wash cloth. I’ve got some pictures on my sagewood soap facebook page, too.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.101936369899962.2877.101934903233442&type=3

  15. 15
    Lisa Renata says:

    Ha! Coincidentally I learned to make my first needle felted heart this past Monday! a very talented friend tought me how. You can see the photos in instagram or on my facebook page: facebook.com/saboracajeta. I totally want to try the matryoshka doll!

  16. 16
    Claudia Méndez says:

    Que lindaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!, la verdad yo no encuentro lana de fieltro para realizar estas bellezas, pero me dieron un tip : con un rallador de queso, rallar el fieltro que venden por metros, para obtener la lana.

    La verdad no lo he hecho, pero me parece congruente la idea, tengo una revista para hacer joyeria con bolitas de fieltro y cosas espectaculares, tal vez me de tiempo y lo haga.

    Ashley: Te felicito siempre tienes algo para nosotros para hacer.

    Ten un hermoso dia.

    con amor Claudia.

  17. 17
    Karen Nelson says:

    These are so cute

  18. 18

    I have really come to love needle felting but always have a problem getting mine to look quite as finished as yours. Your matryoshka doll is absolutely fabulous! Thanks so much for generously sharing your talents.

Trackbacks

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