Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Felting for Beginners (that's me)

This is how I roll.

1) I get wind of a craft that I'm not doing that sounds cool, in this case, felting.
2) I RUN out and plunk down all the cash I can spare on said craft.
3) I do said craft instead of sleeping for a few days.
4) I whip up a couple of sweet projects.
5) My interest peters out and I don't touch it for a while.
6) I pick it back up in a few months in a less manic manner.

That's where I am now with felting. Wanna see?

Those boys look excited about felting don't they (what you can't see is me out of frame shaking treats at them)?
The supplies:
Cheapo sheets of felt from any craft shops
Not-cheapo wool roving which if you're in Denver, you can get at Fancy Tiger (my fave crafty shop)
Piece of Foam
Felting needles (below)
Something on which to felt (in this case, onsies) NOTE: If I were sewing or appliqueing fabric onto a onsie, I would wash the onsie first since the fabric is already washed and shrunk. Since the wool roving or felt has not been washed, I felt on an unwashed onsie so that when I do wash the item, the onsie and felt shrink together.
That's the basics - you can get really creative with your materials - lots of things can felt and be felted upon.
1) Slide onsie onto foam.
Like so. That thing to the right there is a Clover Felting Needle Tool. It's super handy because it's a cluster of needles instead of a single, which speeds up the process considerably. Also, your needles are inside the holder, making it harder (though not impossible) to stab yourself. WARNING: These babies are sharp, and with all the jabbing it's very easy to stab yourself.

Also - an word to the Mamas from Captain Obvious - don't leave these laying around (I need to remember this especially when crafting with the boys because there are so many distractions)
So, option 1) I cut out circle and peace sign out of the sheets of felt. And then, the magic of felting: It's all about the jabbing. You just stab and stab and stab and viola! The fibers mesh together microscopically and your piece ends up felted and joined to your fabric.

This is what it looks like on the inside. See all the little felted fibers.

Now, here are a bunch single needles which are handy for more detailed areas.

Option 2) This is wool roving. I used this wool roving to shape a peace sign on a circle of felt. You just pull a piece of roving off and then twist it and shape it, then jab it into place.

Aside - Roving is also fun for dressing up your helpless infant.

I just twisted and stabbed, twisted and stabbed.

Circle complete. Now I twisted more roving into straight pieces to make the lines of the peace sign.

Then I threw them in the wash. This shrunk everything and really secured the fibers together.

Above is the one on which I used the sheets of felt. This is post-washing. I might do a little more stabbing with my clover tool to lock the circle down around the edges.

And here are the finished products. They will each have a pair of peace pants to go with very soon. Check my etsy shop in the next day or two if you want to snatch these up!

Amos is rocking this sweet rocket onsie I felted for him.

This was my first felted project. This is where I learned about not pre-washing the items on which I felt. After I felted it, I washed it and things drew up a bit. But I still rock this baby.


  1. I have compared crafting to having a drug problem. When I get a new craft idea in my mind, the craving to get the stuff and get it done has GOT to be exactly like what druggies experience when they need a fix, right? So I used to feel guilty for all those crafty things that I spent money on, started, got my "fix", and moved on from. Now after many many years of doing it, I realize that all those different craft experiences come in very handy, and they make me a more confident crafterista (yes, I just crafted that word) too. Glad to see your blog Jessa, it's super fun! -Laura

  2. WOW this is great! Great work!

  3. wow, i'm way impressed! this looks hard. i think i need an in-person tutorial. that jabbing looks very enticing around about now (at the end of a very long week!).