The craft of needle felting, done by hand or machine, uses the repetitive motion of a needle moving through wool in order to push and pull the material to the point that it becomes tightly packed. Needle felting techniques vary according to the expertise of the crafter, from simple shapes to complex scarves.
Felting Flat Shapes
Practice the basics of needle felting by felting a flat shape. Draw a simple shape of a heart or circle on a piece of paper and cut it out. Pull off a selection of wool slightly bigger than the shape and place it on a square of foam. Push the needle up and down through the wool and the foam.
Pin down the flat paper shape on top of the wool and push the needle up and down around the edge of the shape. Doing this creates an imprint of the pattern. Remove the paper, do the up and down motion on the inside of the pattern to press down the fibres within the outline. Fold the wool outside the outline into the pattern and push it down, too, to become part of the interior.
Unpin the felt from the foam and flip it, repeating the up and down needling to pack down the fibres on that side. Keep flipping the shape until all of the fibres have been sufficiently packed.
Holiday Theme Projects
Create a holiday-themed needle felting project for decoration or cute homemade gifts. Make ghosts, pumpkins, autumn leaves, or a black cat for Halloween. Create felt gingerbread houses, snowmen, or ornaments for Christmas. Give the one you love a felt heart for Valentine's Day.
When giving gifts, package your creation in a nice clear boxed wrapped with ribbon that coordinates with the craft. Wrap the entire box in wrapping paper or slip it into a gift bag with tissue paper.
For more advanced needle felting projects, create your own fashions. Create a purse by first needle felting a simple, one colour purse, then drawing a pattern on paper and using that as a template for a multicoloured felt applique.
Create a beautiful striped scarf by alternating yarn needling by length and width. Make an entire scarf using this method or improve on a store-bought length of wool cut into the shape of a scarf.