I’ve always been fascinated with needle felting, but thought it was one of those crafts I would never understand – surely there’s no way you can turn loose wool into shapes simply by stabbing it with a needle... well it turns out it really is that easy. And once you’ve got your head around that, the needle felting world is your oyster!
This all began when a colleague went on a needle felting course and naturally when she came back with a gorgeous needle felted mouse we all demanded she show us how it was done. So one night after work we all came armed with the supplies below, needle felting wool, a needle felting needle, pipe cleaners, foam block and a piece of pale pink felt.
To begin place a generous palm sized piece of felting wool on the foam and stab a few times with the needle to attach it to the foam, you’ll notice the needle has little ridges on it – it’s this that really helps felt the wool together. Now, begin rolling the top towards the bottom creating a sausage shape.
Fold the edges in and keep stabbing until it’s a nice mouse body shape, wider at the bottom slightly thinner at the top. You can always place more wool onto the shape and stab in to add to the body.
Do the same for the head but this time, start with a smaller piece of wool and as you make the sausage shape twist the wool so that the nose appears much thinner than the back of the head.
Attach the head and body, simply place together and, again, stab with needle. This is slightly tricky and it is possible to break your needle doing this (and stab your finger- ouch!). It might help to wrap some new wool around the join and use this to attach them together.
For the arms and legs use a small amount of wool and as you make your sausage wrap the end of a pipe cleaner in the middle. Attach this as a leg or arm, make three more and one for a tail! When you’re happy cut off the excess pipe cleaners, except the tail of course.
Now you can play with the shape of your mouse, stabbing in extra bits of wool until you are happy. The finishing touches are the ears cut out of pink felt and sewn on, black beads for eyes and a tiny piece of pink wool felted into a nose.
I think the shaping comes with practise as does speed. But for a first attempt I love this little guy!