Tutorial :: Needle Felted Toadstools – Fairyfolk Felting Kits
I am so excited to share a tutorial on needle felting. You’ll be amazed at the things you can make. When I picked up my first needle three years ago, I was surprised at how quickly I took to it. One of the things I love most about needle felting is that you can finish a project in one sitting. You can sit down with a basket of wool and be holding a delightful toadstool in your hands an hour later. Of course, you can make wonderfully elaborate creations that take hours and hours but you can also make something in twenty minutes too. I like that.
This tutorial (and others like it) is published on my blog, The Magic Onions, in color if you’d rather follow the color, online, directions… www.themagiconions.com (search: needle felted toadstools).
This is a tutorial on how to make sweet, needle felted toadstools… a simple and fast project for beginner needle felting.
Equipment – Needle felting requires three tools; wool roving, a felting needle and a protective foam board.
Wool roving looks like cotton candy. When the sheep is sheered, the fleece is washed and dried and then it is ‘carded’ – brushed so that all the knots and clumps are brushed out and the fibers of the wool all run the same way. It is then dyed… any wonderful color under the sun :-) This roving can then be spun into yarn (for knitting) or it can be felted.
The protective foam board is not absolutely necessary but it is definitely recommended when you are learning to needle felt. The needle is very sharp and if you don’t have a board upon which to steady your work, you will find yourself painfully stabbed more than once.
The felting needle is about 3 inches long. As I said before, it is very sharp. The tip of the needle has a number of small barbs and it is these barbs that felt the wool. It works because the outer surface of each fiber of wool has tiny, microscopic scales on it. When the fiber is agitated, the scales hook into one another, forming a tighter and tighter mass. The needle works because the barbs of the needle ‘grab’ the fibers as you stab it into the wool, depositing the fibers deeper into the wool. The little scales on the fibers lock together, ensuring that the fibers stay in their new place. By stabbing the wool hundreds of times with your needle, you have control over the form of your wool and can shape it as you wish. You can see the barbs if you look closely at the tip of your needle.
Roll the wool ‘snake’ into a tight spiral. The tighter you can get it, the easier it will be to felt.
Tip: I find that rolling is key in many of my felting projects… if I can roll the wool tightly to begin with, I can greatly reduce the time my form takes to felt.
When my red wool has been rolled into a tight spiral, I set it down on the felting board and stab it with the needle many times around the outside of the spiral. Be slow and deliberate with your stabbing in the beginning, and concentrate, please… it hurts like getting an injection when you stab yourself… it’s definitely not the end of the world, but it is better avoided :-)
You will soon see that this stabbing holds the wool in place and your spiral will not unravel if you let it go.
Now for the underside of the toadstool. Set your spiral upright and stab the top gently many times so that it becomes a nice flat surface.
When your underside is nice and flat, turn your spiral over to what will be the top side of your toadstool. With your thumb and forefinger, gently pull the outside layer of wool a loose, just a little.
Fold this pulled layer over the spiral shape and needle felt it gently.
Continue needle felting it until it is a smooth round dome.
Roll it in the palms of your hands until it becomes a nice firm ball.
Needle felt as many dots as you’d like onto your toadstool.
Put the stalk onto the felting board and felt it around the outside until it is firmly felted and holds its shape.
Leave one end of the stalk fluffy. Gently needle felt the other end of the stalk until it is round.
Gently felt around and around the stalk until it if firmly and neatly secured.
I hope you have enjoyed this needle felting project. You have enough wool in your kit to make many little toadstools :-)
I have other needle felting kits available in my shop if you wish to try something new… felted pebbles for lovely home decor, felted pumpkins, felted balls as well as kits of lovely colored wool for you to make whatever your heart desires. Please visit my shop
www.fairyfolk.etsy.com and look under the Kits section.