I am not the craftiest of crafty individuals. My skills with a needle are typically limited to my ability to hold still during my annual blood donation. But once in a while a new craft comes along that challenges me to up my game. I present to you: needle felting!
This technique involves sculpting shapes from unspun wool by manipulating the fibers with a special needle until they interlock and become dense. There’s really no limit to the cute little treats, animals, plants, and toys you can create by jab-jab-jabbing at some wool for less than an hour.
I decided to make a tiny pink pig with the materials I had on hand. It seemed like the easiest project for a beginner like me, since it only requires two colors of wool.
What you’ll need:
- 1 felting needle (these are sharp, barbed blades that you can find at a craft store)
- 1 toothpick (for holding the wool in place to spare your fingers!)
- 1 foam cushion (to use as a workspace and to absorb the needle jabs)
- wool roving in various colors (pink and dark brown for my piglet)
What to do:
Tear off enough felt to make the pig’s body, and roll it into a loose ball with your hand. Then take your felting needle and poke at it repeatedly. You’ll notice that the longer you jab at it, the tighter the fibers become.
Once you’ve needled the body, it’s time to make its little snout! Tear off a small piece of wool and press it against the larger piece using your toothpick. Jab at it until it sticks, and then needle it into a snout shape.
Next, make his eyes! Tear off the tiniest two pieces of dark brown or black wool, pin them to the body, and keep on jabbin’. (Definitely use your toothpick for this–your fingers will want to get in the way.)
The ears can be a little challenging because you need two pieces of felt that are roughly the same size. So, rather than pulling off two pieces of felt, I just pulled off one piece and split it in half. Then I did the same thing I did for the eyes.
And voilà! What do you think of this little guy? He’s not the prettiest pig at the party, but he’s mine all mine.
Want more felting ideas? Buy Carnival of Feltmaking by Gillian Harris at your favorite retailer.
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