Saturday, 19 April 2008

How To Needle Felt a Flower Brooch


Here it is a little needle felting flower project for you.

Where am I going to get the materials from? you might be asking.

Well, I have listed a few links for companies I have used at the end of this post and you can also get supplies from various Etsy and Ebay shops.


I also thought that I would have a little competition. If you fancy having a go at the wonderful craft of needle felting, post 'I would love to have a go at this' with your comment below and I will pull a couple of names out of a hat and send you a little kit to get you started.
You can't say farer than that, can you?

**Competition closes Saturday 25th April 2008 at 1200BST**

Ok, so what you will need to needle felt a flower brooch are the following supplies;


  • A felting needle
  • merino fleece
  • a dense foam sponge
  • a cookie cutter of the shape you want
  • sewing supplies
  • a safety pin or brooch back
  • and a button, oh and a cup of tea (very important)


This is what a felting needle looks like, you might just be able to see from the photo that there are little nicks in the needle end. These are called 'barbs' and they are what makes the fleece felt together. They come in different gauges for different types of work. The larger the gauge the quicker it felts, but it leaves visible holes and you then need to work with a finer needle but it then depends on the fleece you are using.......... I could go into more detail but I'll leave that for another post.

For this project I used a finer needle.

Start by pulling your fleece (plucking) into small tufts and piling it into a cookie cutter, filling it up right to the top.



Poke (stab) your needle into the fleece, you want to gently push the needle through the fleece and into the sponge but not to far or hard.


Once the fleece has flattened a bit, take the cutter off.....


...........and carefully pull the shape off the sponge. Little tufts of fleece will have been poked into the sponge.

Now, your shape will look a bit of a mess, but don't worry, you still have some work to do.


Put the cookie cutter back onto the sponge, turn your shape over and put it back in the cutter.
Repeat the stabbing and turning over few more times, you will see the fleece 'felt' together, firm up and form a more solid shape.

(sorry about the rubbish photo!)

In-between taking the flower off of the sponge and turning it over you can poke the fleece round the edges.
WARNING: this is when I stab myself, so be careful!!

This will make your flower shrink a bit more and firm up the petals.


The great thing about needle felting is that you can sculpt it. If it is a bit wonky and lopsided you can felt it a bit more on that side. You can shape the petals by poking the needle in-between them.


When your flower is smooth and you feel it is firm enough to sew the pin onto firmly, it's done.


Choose a button for the centre and sew on and sew a pin onto back.



Supplies
All the materials are fairly cheap with needles around 80p-£1.00 each and the fleece is about £1.50 for 10g and the sponges range from 80p to £2.00. But you can used any dense foam, car washing or bath sponges.
You can also by kits with a variety of coloured merino fleece, needles and a sponge for around £9.50-£15.

I have brought supplies on the internet from Christy Bears and getknitted and from Art Van Go and Crafty Notions at show events.

Recently, I have been looking at ebay suppliers and there are a couple of interesting ones in the uk- KRAFT MANIA and Needdleworks Pleasures. They both have a really nice selection of colours.

FeltFinland blog has a list of suppliers, one of which is fantastic looking Wingham Wool Works, serious fleece!

These Christmas decorations were made the same way.


Hope this has given you enough info to inspire you to have a go, any questions just ask:-)

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