Needle felting is a craft that takes very sharp needles to felt pieces of wool together. The needles stab the wool pieces and stick them together without the use of water or heat. You can needle felt flat appliques or three-dimensional pieces on their own; it is also useful to attach wool doll hair to a sewn doll head. Always be careful when using needle felting needles because they are extremely sharp. This is not an appropriate activity for young children for that reason.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Doll's head
- Needle felting needle
- Wool roving or locks
Position your doll on a table in front of you. Her head should be stuffed with wool in order for the needle felting to work properly.
Pull off a thin piece of wool roving (a slightly twisted roll of sheep's wool) or locks for the doll's hair. Place it on her head and stab through the hair and into the head with your needle felting needle so that you push the hair into the head. Continue to jab around a small spot until you can pull gently on the hair and it stays in place. One jab may be sufficient, but it is best to poke each section or strand of hair a few times to make sure it stays in well. The more you jab, the more the wool inside the head attaches to the wool hair for a secure connection.
Place another piece of wool or locks onto the doll's head and repeat step two. Continue this process until you have covered the doll's head entirely with hair. For a standard head of hair, start in the front of the head and jab the strands of wool in a line down the centre of the head; this will create a centre part. If you want the hair to be short, use small tufts of wool and poke them into place next to one another all over the head. For a side part, stick longer strips of roving and jab them along a straight line down the side of the scalp.
Tips and warnings
- Try to stick the needles in at random points in the doll's head and layer the wool on top of itself so the needle felted spots will be less noticeable on the finished doll. This style will leave you with an all-over full head of hair rather than a parted style.
- These dolls will not withstand heavy play from a child pulling their hair; they should be for display only.
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