There are a lot of different ways of working with felt. The simplest way is to buy felt pre-made from the store and use it as fabric for sewing projects, such as this Felt Carnation Pin. You can also make your own felt from wool roving by doing a process called “wet felting.” This method is explained further in this beautiful Wet Felted Ball Jewelry tutorial and our How to Make Felt guide. Another way to make felt is by washing and drying an old sweater–the heat will fuse the fibers together to make felt! Read all about Felting Wool Sweaters if you’re into upcycling projects!
Needlefelting is a way of pushing wool fibers together with a special type of needle. This process does not require water or heat. Our How to Needle Felt guide has a great explanation of this craft. Basically, you take a piece of wool roving and arrange it over a piece of fabric (perhaps a blouse or a bag that you’d like to embellish?), then place the whole apparatus over a foam block or mat and start rapidly poking at the wool with your needle. You can use templates or stencils to make different shapes. Even cookie cutters would work. (I sense an ugly Christmas sweater project…)
Here’s a great video that will guide you through the needle felting process, from TheCraftsChannel:
You can even make 3-D needle felted projects by shaping the wool into whatever you want to make, or attaching felt to a foam base. This Needle Felted Chick would make a great wedding cake topper, and these Flower Pins are a cute way to dress up a plain outfit.
Keep in mind:
- The needles used in needle felting are really sharp! Consider protecting your fingers so you don’t poke yourself.
- If you’re felting in the dryer, you should put your fabric in a mesh bag to avoid a clogged, fiber-filled washer and dryer. Also empty your lint catcher frequently.
- Try adding a pair of jeans to the load to “agitate” your felt more and get a better result.