In December last year while Christmas shopping, I stumbled across a book on Needle Felting.
I simply couldn’t resist the cute characters pictures on the cover and inside and the lure of being able to learn to create them was just too much for me so I bought the book.
I had heard of needle felting before but I had never even considered it as a craft despite loving all things’ wool. I put the book away until after Christmas then looked around to see what I could find as far as the equipment and wool that I would need to start one of the projects.
Shopping for Felting materials
It was rather unfortunate but I found it really difficult to find any felting wool or equipment in any local stores even ones further away from me and I do try to support local as much as possible especially our High Street stores.
I did however find a lot online through various sites.
I was very nervous about starting as I’d never seen this done before and had no idea how to start and the book I bought wasn’t really for beginners.
While looking at the equipment and wool available and tutorials for beginners, I found a lot of kits for beginners as well.
Felting Kits for beginners
I found a lot of delightful kits aimed specifically at beginners that come with everything needed to start and complete a project. They come with great instructions including pictures (always look for ones with pictures to start with, they’re essential) and some have links on their websites to video instructions as well. If you’re like me and learn by watching, these videos are imperative to learning.
My first project was a Bobbin Robbin which I really enjoyed and then I tackled a woolly sheep but this was without a kit but with watching a variety of how to videos.
I’m very proud of my makes which are just for myself at this point until I get better at it. My children find them a little creepy as the eyes are made so I may just buy eyes they’ll look a little better.
It’s absolutely fascinating that you can stab away at a ball of unwound wool with a sharp needle and start getting a shape. You can create 2D and 3D creations and the possibilities are absolutely endless. I have so many ideas in my head and the thought of possibly combining some felted creations with my knitted or crocheted creations is very very exciting.
Find out what you need to start
Like knitting and crochet, there are many different types of wool used for needle and wet felting and it’s important to learn what is best to be used as the base and what is best used as the covering.
There are also a wide variety of felting needles with specific functions and felting mats as well. It’s important to make sure you have all the basics before starting.
There’s also learning how to make wire armature for some animals which makes them poseable which brings in a whole different dimension to the makes.
Eyes eyes and more eyes, there’s the choice of making your own fabric eyes or buying synthetic real looking eyes or just plain googly eyes depending on the character you want to create.
I would definitely encourage starting out with a kit like I did as you get the wool, needles and felting mats as part of the kit along with all the instructions.
Learning and Support
The book I have is absolutely amazing and I’m sure there are many more out there. However there are unfortunately none in my local library and I haven’t seen any magazines that cover needle or wet felting.
Having spent a lot of time looking at tutorials in the way of websites and videos, there is a lot of very good content available out there, both free and paid for. Most of the sites where this learning content is available have kits for sales.
Most kits will come with their own tutorial links and most suppliers have FaceBook and Instagram pages as well as support emails so that you can contact them with questions.
I have followed a lot of these creators on their pages as there is so much to learn and the communities are amazing and so helpful and supportive of each other.
I can’ stress enough to get involved in the groups and support it’s such a huge help.
Once you’ve finished an item don’t hesitate to share your makes with the creators of the tutorials. They seem genuinely pleased that you’ve taken the time to buy a kit and make it and share it with them.
Also never be shy to ask for assistance if you don’t understand something. I have found these groups to be amazingly supportive and they love to help out whenever they can.
Remember that even though you are following a tutorial, the item you are making doesn’t have to resemble the finished item from the tutorial exactly. You have every right to tweak it here and there to give it your very own spin and make it more representative of you.
Get out there and find a kit and get felting, it’s the most delightfully relaxing craft (just use finger protection!)
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask and if you have any suggestions please let me know.