We all recovered from the Christmas Stomach Bug. All but four of us caught it by the time if flew from our house and, undoubtedly, into somebody else’s.
This week, I wanted to show the you gift I needle felted for my mom for Christmas. I couldn’t show it to you until now because she’d have definitely peeked.
Needle felting involves turning natural fiber (like fleece) into felt by repeatedly stabbing it with a barbed needle. Sounds pretty BARbaric, eh? When I’ve stabbed myself with the barbed needles on occasion, some of the words I have uttered likely made me sound like a BARbarian. Heh… Anyway, you can use needle felting to create 3D sculptures, landscapes…really anything your imagination can dream up.
With a little help from Photoshop and my needle felting supplies, I made this for my Mom this year. The needle felted one is on the left while the photocopy (folds are visible) is on the right.
In Photoshop, I first changed the photo of my mom to grayscale and then resized it to 8 x 10. I then clicked Filter, Artistic, and Cutout, and played with the settings until the photo was to a point where I thought I could reproduce it with only 3 colors of material. I then printed the picture on regular paper and started folding it in half over and over again to form a grid on the paper. You can see the grid boxes in the photo above.
I then took a flat piece of felt I bought for a few pennies at the craft store and copied the grid onto it with a thin-tipped marker before drawing the image, box by box. It’s much easier to concentrate on one box at a time. In fact, your brain might try to tell you to overcompensate on some items because you naturally think some lines may belong one way when they don’t. So, drawing each box upside-down can help overcome that and make the image more accurate.
I then went to work needle felting it.
My favorite fiber supplier is Jenn at Windrose. Her etsy.com shop is HERE. Her prices are incredibly reasonable and she does her own dying so you can request custom colors.
You can buy a block of foam (make sure it’s three or more inches thick) at your local craft store (I get mine at JoAnne Fabrics) and you may even be able to find the felting needles there as well. Our local JoAnne’s does carry them. If the clerk looks at you like you have needles coming out of your head (it’s not a well-known craft yet), ask her where the punch needle supplies are. The needle felting supplies are usually near those. If they still give you a funny look, ask for another clerk. You can also buy felting needles online. My favorite felting needle supplier is WCMercantile, which is also on etsy HERE. The needles are never rusty and they come in a nice case that I still use today.
To learn how to needle felt, there are a TON of how-to videos on YouTube. Here are a couple I recommend:
How To Needle Felt A Pumpkin
Making a Needle Felted Owl
WARNING: Keep the needles FAR away from your fingertips. Jabbing yourself with one of them is VERY painful. I have a leather thimble that I use on the finger holding down the fiber.
If you do try needle felting, let me know! I love looking at other crafters’ projects. 🙂
I have a Masonism for you this week.
I heard Mason (age 4 1/2) jumping on the bed in his room so I hollered, “Maaaaasoooon!”
He responded (panting), “Can’t talk to you right now, Mom. I’m exercising.”
Hugs to all!