To make a felt flower fairy, you will use a technique called needle felting, which turns wool roving into felt. Felting needles are thin, barbed needles which are thrust in and out of the wool roving, binding the fibres to create fabric. You can use this technique to create three dimensional creations, including fairies. Starting with a ball of natural wool roving, you then add finer, coloured wool in layers to create your fairy. This craft takes some patience and skill, but is also very forgiving and inexpensive.
Assemble your wool roving. Wool roving is combed wool that can be used for spinning and felting. Natural roving is undyed, and this is what you will use to make the body of your fairy. You will also need a few handfuls of coloured wool to finish your fairy. Wool roving comes dyed in a large range of colours and is available at many craft shops. Choose a selection of colours that match the flower you choose for your flower fairy.
Place a handful of natural wool roving about 6 inches long by 3 inches wide on your foam pad. Stab your roving with the multipurpose felting needle in quick short jabs, over and over, being careful not to stab your fingers. Turn the wool as you go to needle felt on all sides, keeping the figure round. Create a long body, then, continuously needling the roving, create a neck and a round head. You will notice the roving will become firmer and take on more body as you continuously needle the roving. It is becoming felted as you go. You may need to add more natural roving to your project to fill in areas that have become flattened.
Place a handful of natural roving about 5 inches long by 1 inch wide on your foam. Needle felt this roving into a long, thin solid tube. Place this tube across the back of your fairy body and attach by stabbing the needle through both the tube and the body. This will become the arms of your fairy. You now have the rough shape of your fairy.
Use your detail felting needle to colour your fairy and add small details. Take small handfuls of coloured wool and shape into long petal shapes and attach these to the neckline of the fairy to create a "flower dress". Take small, dime-sized bits of wool and needle felt them onto the fairy's hands to give her a flower bouquet. Be creative and add bits of colour as you feel inspired.
You will now felt your fairy's face. This can be a bit difficult. Take a small, quarter-sized amount of natural wool (or other skin colour) and very gently, using the detail needle, felt this onto her face to give it a smooth, round appearance. Take 2 very small, perhaps ¼-inch pieces of coloured wool roving for her eyes. Place one of these on her face, and, using the detail needle, gently and carefully felt the eye. You may need to redo the eyes several times, so stay patient. When both eyes have been needle felted on and you are satisfied, you may decide you are finished with the face. You may add a mouth, but do consider that this may not be necessary.
Add hair. Choose wool roving in small strands and, using the detail needle, felt these strips onto the hairline of the fairy, adding one strip after another until your fairy's head looks complete.
Add wings. place 2 pieces of wool roving in the colour or colours you would like her wings to be on the foam pad. Shape them into oval shapes and, using the multipurpose needle, felt the roving into flat wings, in any shape you like. They can be butterfly wings, or dragonfly wings, or anything you can imagine. As you needle the roving, it will stick to the foam. Just gently tear it away and move it every so often. As you continue to needle the roving, it will become felt. When the wings are felted, place them on the back of your fairy and felt them to her back.
See Resources for ideas for different flower fairy designs.
Needle felting is not appropriate for children under 10.