Place your background felt on the foam
1
Choose your building block shape and pull wool into a blobby version of that shape. (This will be a bird)
2
Grasp your needle like this and go around the edges of your wool, pushing the edges into shape and needling every 1/2 inch or so.
3
Why does it work? See those little dots in the end of the shaft? They act as barbs, grabbing the fibers and matting them as you needle.
Continue needling, constantly refining your edges and going over the entire shape. The more you felt, the smoother your shape will become.
4
TIP: A check of the back shows how the point of the needle pushes fibers through the background while the barbs twist and mat the fibers.
TIP: Occasionally you will find bits of plant fibers in your wool. That’s because it comes from real sheep who live outside!
Continue needle felting until your whole shape is attached and smooth. You should be able to see the shape on the back.
5
Now you can begin building details onto your image. Remember to needle the edges first, pinning down your shape, and refine as you go.
6
You can build shapes on top of parts that are already felted. Always pay attention to where your other fingers are! Felting needles are sharp!!
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You can add shading. Tip: Always tear wool, never cut it. If you have fibers all the same length they can be hard to felt.
8
When adding lines it’s helpful to pull the wool long, like a piece of yarn. Anchor the end by needling and hold tension on the wool as you go.
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TIP: Always know where your other hand is! Students in classrooms wear leather finger guards.
Any places that look faint can be patched with a bit of extra wool.
10
Circles can be made with a small pinch of wool. Use your needle to tuck in the edges and shape the dot.
11
Continue adding details! Always put your needle down in your work so you don’t lose it.
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Check that your edges are clean and pinned down. Check the back. If there are parts you don’t see, the front needs more felting. TA-DA!
13
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