This Christmas why not try making your own festive wreath and garland?
It never ceases to amaze me what you can create with felting wool and a felting needle??? My latest tutorial is this stunning needle felted Christmas wreath and garland; my take on the traditional dried fruit and chilli garlands we see each year. It’s like magic – a pinch of this, a wisp of that, and a tiny sup song of whatever takes your fancy, throw in a cookie cutter, and a wooden BBQ skewer and et voila!
MAKE YOUR OWN SUSTAINABLE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!
I love this idea for a festive door decoration. The bright colours of the needle felted fruit and chillies are so cheerful, and would definitely bring a smile to your guests as they come through your front door. This is such an easy project to do and, although it does take time and patience, the results are beyond worth it! It’s actually really satisfying seeing the fruits take shape before your eyes as you needle felt them layer by layer. You can use different types of wool depending on what effect you’d like to achieve. What’s more, they can be displayed proudly, year after year, are natural, sustainable, and completely biodegradable.
This is a step-by-step tutorial and, if you’re new to needle felting, don’t worry because I’m going to walk you through it all as we go. After this post you’ll be ready for any holiday crafting projects!
Using a BBQ skewer, or chop stick, as a needle felting tool makes many needle felting projects a whole lot easier, and faster to complete. It is also a great aid for creating symmetry, especially when it comes to legs and feet. It is the tool that no self respecting needle felter should be without, whether it’s your first needle felting project or your twentieth. Even better, you will probably find one, or both, at the bottom of your kitchen drawer, along with the sandwich toaster and vegetable juicer…
IT’S SUCH AN EASY PROJECT!
This gnome on a stick is easy to make and the solid hat means you can really go to town on the embellishments without spoiling the shape. Simple embroidery adds another creative and effective element. Time to make: 60-90 minutes. Beginners and perfectionists add on another 30 minutes.
Needles are sharp so keep your fingers out of the way. If in doubt, use finger protectors. Not suitable for young children and older children should be supervised at all times.
When working around your stick avoid hitting the wood with your needle as it could break. Working at a diagonal angle will help avoid this.
Keep the wool firm as you wrap, using thin lengths of wool, and take your time to build it into a cone shape. If your wool is too bulky you will struggle to get a nice smooth shape.
If you start to loose the shape, simply unwind a little wool and do it again.
Enjoy yourself and, if it’s your first project, go easy on yourself; you are only on chapter 1 so don’t compare yourself to others who are on chapter 5.
There is no end to the style of gnomes you can create and how gorgeous are these visions in pink and raspberry! I love the impact created by these simple embroidered snowflakes against the bold raspberry colour.
Embroidered snowflakes are super simple! Just thread a large needle with yarn and criss cross four straight lines until you have a seven pointed star. They can also be needle felted on.
TOP TIP: Keep the yarn loose so as not to sistort the shape of the snowflake.
HAT AND BODY
1 Wrap your wool around the stick and felt into place
2-4 Continue to wrap and felt until you have covered half of your stick, longer if you want a bigger hat.
5-6 Continue to wrap and felt to secure
7 Continue to build the shape but don’t take the wool to the tip bas you want to create a cone shape.
8-9 Create your shape along the stick by using your needle at a diagonal angle.
10 Widen the base as you felt; mine is approx. 6cm diameter
11-12 Create the body the same way but aim for a barrel shape approx. 6cm in height, slightly narrower at the top and wider at the base for stability.
13-14 Remove from the stick and continue to shape and firm
15 Create a cavity at the base of the hat for the body to sit in.
16 Narrow the top, if necessary, by felting at a diagonal angle from the top towards the base.
17-18 Pop some fresh wool on the top of the body and felt into the hat.
19-20 Now felt through the hat and into the top of the body, until it is held firmly.
21 Wrap the end of a small piece of wool firmly around your wooden skewer, aiming for a short oval shape.
22 Continue to wrap the wool around the stick (no need to use your needle yet) and use your thumb and finger to stop it from moving down the stick and becoming too long. Felt a little to secure but leave the ends slightly loose. TOP TIP: Don’t forget to keep it tight as this will create a great shape. Make it any size you want.
23 Check you are happy with the size and shape.
24 Remove from the stick and felt each side (where you left the wool loose) just under the brim of the hat.
25 It needs to be a good size as it will soon disappear under the beard, so if it’s too small it will look lost.
26-28 Felt the beard wool or locks just under the brim of the hat. This will keep it looking neat.
29 Add in more colour if you want to.
30-31 You can create a beard at the front or, as I have done, create a full skirt all the way around the hat.
Et voila! Leave it simple or add embellishments. I have wrapped wool yarn around this one and created a loose pom pom at the top. Now go forth and make more gnomes; it would be rude not to and they always look better in twos, threes, fours…😉
Create stylish autumn/fall décor with this beautiful DIY needle felted autumn/fall wreath which is incredibly easy to make, and ideal for any ability. Super easy needle felted pumpkins and acorns will make this project a breeze, even for the most nervous of beginners. See below for video tutorial, materials list, wool bundles and kit.
Seasonal wool tops and carded wool for your pumpkins and acorns
Craft your own seasonal happy space with a needle felted pumpkin or two, or three, or fill the whole house (as I do) with these glorious DIY projects that will take us into autumn/fall and beyond.
Make pumpkins with personality using carded wool or wool tops
Scroll down for video tutorials
I am a firm believer that pumpkins are absolutely not just for Halloween and I have you covered with three pumpkin tutorials that will take you right through September to December and Christmas. Yes, of course there’s a Christmas pumpkin!
If you are nervous about starting needle felting then this is the project for you!
Not only are they fabulous needle felting project but, they are also one of the quickest and easiest needle felting projects to make, taking a mere 30 minutes! They will add instant impact to any room, and are impressive seasonal gifts for friends and loved ones and, If the weather permits, they look wonderful on an outside dining table or strung as a garland from a tree or deck.
Keep it simple or go for all out bling and glamour. Go traditional or opt for a style that the cast of Frozen would be envious of. Whatever your style, there really is a needle felted pumpkin for everyone and no needle felting experience necessary; just a few needle felting supplies and a big dollop of enthusiasm.
There are three video tutorials to choose from – traditional, fire and ice and winter wonderland – and you could have all three made in just 90 minutes!
I have popped a materials list above each one but these are just suggestions and anything goes. Don’t worry if you haven’t any carded wool as there is also a tutorial using wool tops. See I told you I have you covered!
Happy creating and I would love to see your pumpkin photos to add to the community gallery. You can email them to me at: email@example.com or send them to me via my FaceBook page.
Do you need wool or supplies?
Links for kits, wool and needles are also below or SHOP WEBSITE
It’s coming to that time of year again and oh yes, do I have a treat for you!!!
If you have been following the blog for a while then you will know how much I love, love making pumpkins and I get a real kick out of coming up with new designs, and this years will not disappoint!
I am talking about a show stopping pumpkin that wouldn’t look out of place in a John Lewis advert or a Homes & Gardens feature. What’s more, it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish which is another reason I love making them.
This bold fire and ice style uses beautiful silk fibres and wool tops for contrast and effect, finished off with a string of fiery beads for a touch of glamour.
The video tutorial and materials list are below and you can purchase the wool bundle on the WEBSITE which includes everything in the materials list.
Create this needle felted cactus in a terracotta pot or tea cup; the perfect place to store your felting needles or to use as a pin cushion.
A fabulous , prickly project which involves several needle felting techniques including a soft sculpture base, using a wooden skewer to create perfect shapes, and letting your creativity run wild with the vibrant flowers the cacti produce. Adding the spikes is a soothing and therapeutic process in which they can be added randomly or, if you love a bit of symmetry, placed in straight lines down each cactus arm.
The light blue/green cactus is based on my favourite cactus, the PILOSOCEREUS
As always, I spend a lot of time during the design process, creating projects I know you will love whilst carefully choosing the wool and fibres to suit the finished piece.
You will Need:
White and green carded wool or wool tops
Wool tops for flowers, various colours
White wool top for spikes
Pot or cup to stand it in
1 x wooden BBQ skewer or similar
Cactus needle felting kit can be purchasedHEREor download the patternHERE
Make sure you follow my FACEBOOK PAGE so you don’t miss the live workshop updates.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got Facebook as my video tutorials are also available on my YouTube channel
I love this time of year in my garden and my 17 year old Cordyline is flowering for the very first time. I am so thrilled and the smell is divine; like Jasmine with a hint of caramel. As plants, and the garden, are on my mind I have put together these super cool cacti; a perfect pin cushion for your felting needles and a plant that will never show any signs of temperamental behaviour, or just die for no apparent reason???
As always, I spend a lot of time during the design process, creating projects I know you will love, sharing the techniques I have learned over the last eight years, whilst carefully choosing the wool and fibres to suit the finished piece. I think I made six cacti before I was happy with the finished design. This means that you can get stuck in (if you pardon the pun) to your new projects with confidence, knowing that you have great materials and instructions to work with, every time.
If you already have all the gear then the video tutorial will be available from the 1st July so look out for a new post (next week) with the links. Pattern is also available for download on the websiteHERE
PRE-ORDER NEEDLE FELTING KIT FOR THE FIRST WEEK IN JULY
You can choose your colour, and each fibre pack makes two cacti, comes with full printed instructions, two terracotta pots and, if you are gifting it to someone, you can the add needles and mat.
JULY LIVE WORKSHOP The video tutorial will be on YouTube but I also plan to go live with this on Facebook towards the end of July so keep a look out for an email with the details.
Join me on the 25th June at 7pm (BST) for a live workshop where we will be making the June project of the month. Learn how easy it is to paint with wool (absolutely no drawing skills required) and we can create together. The North Sea Coast is one of my favourite places and my dad was a Hull lad who used to love walking along the old fish docks with its stunning views of the Humber. It may be no tropical beach but what it lacks in glamour it makes up for with drama and attitude! I have popped a list below with all the wool and fibres I will be using so you can raid your own stash, or you can visit the website and buy the fabulous wool and specialty fibres and beads box I have put together, including your pre-felt – which will be your canvas – plus a downloadable pattern.
I can’t wait to enjoy some community creativity with you! If you don’t have any wool then you can purchase the wool and fibre bundle HERE
LEARN TO PAINT WITH WOOL!
This is a great project that only takes a couple of hours. It is really easy and you don’t need any drawing skills at all. I will show you how to put together this dramatic seascape so you can then go on to create your own needle felted pictures. Follow me on FACEBOOK for updates
WHAT DO I NEED?
If you are already a needle felter you can use any wool scraps (carded or wool tops) you have in your wool stash. Scroll down for materials list. Tea and cake optional but highly recommended!
If you are new to needle felting then the complete wool and fibre bundle is available on the LFC website. As well as all the lovely wool you see here it also comes complete with pre-felt, beads, silk throwsters waste and hand dyed locks. Needles and mats can be purchased separately. There is enough wool to complete a couple of full size pictures or lots of little ones.
ASK ME ANYTHING?
As well as felting along with me live you can ask me any questions on needle felting, or anything else for that matter.
You can use wool tops, carded wool, or both and this is a perfect project for using up scraps of wool. I have also used beads, silk tops and silk throwsters waste for embellishment but anything goes. The picture can be made with just one felting needle and it’s also a good project to try out those multi tools. Don’t forget your pre-felt or flat piece of fabric to felt onto as this will be your canvas.
If you don’t have any wool then you can buy the whole wool, fibre and embellishment bundle over on the website. This also includes your pre-felt which will act as your canvas.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to join the Felt Club so you don’t miss any new tutorials.
Make time: 90 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Video Tutorial: Scroll down to follow my step by step video tutorial
If you already have the wool then you can watch the video below. North Sea Coast is inspired by my Yorkshire upbringing, not far from the coast, and my dear dad with his roots along the Humber. Those of you familiar with the North Sea Coast will know not to expect golden sands and palm trees. The North Sea is moody and has real attitude which is what I have tried to convey in this project; slightly abstract and full of texture! However, this is just my take on it so feel free to add artistic license, and a palm tree or two, if that’s the vibe you want. There’s no rules and it’s your project, not mine, so just go for it!
If you don’t have any wool, fibres or needles you can SHOP HERE on the website for them.
A complete wool pack with all the wool, silk fibres, plant dyed art yarn and embellishments you see in the photographs, as well as a piece of Shetland pure wool felt which will be the base of your picture. This also includes a downloadable and printable pattern. The accompanying video is also available so if you are a complete beginner, or don’t need any wool or fibres, you can felt along with me.
WHAT IS THE PICTURE SIZE?
It really doesn’t matter. I have used a piece of Shetland pre-felt approximately 25cm x 25cm but have also used a much smaller piece to pop in a frame. I can also see this on the front of a greetings card to sell or just give to the besties in your life. Any piece of flat felt will work as a canvas for your picture, just make sure it has a good amount of wool in it and isn’t just acrylic felt.
These needle felted Macarons will be the most fabulous calorie free cakes you have ever had. My no fail needle felting recipe will have you filling plates and making summer garlands in no time. Each macaron takes a mere 15 minutes to make and all you need are a few scraps of wool and a bucketful of enthusiasm!
It is the perfect needle felting project to kick back and relax with and, if you are a nervous beginner, then this super easy needle felting project has your name all over it. Just imagine a few garlands of these beauties swinging in the summer breeze. The perfect garden party décor and wouldn’t they look brilliant with my bumble bee garland? Video tutorials for both are below.
Mini Bunny needle felting video tutorial – for even the most nervous beginners. With supporting printable pattern download on the website.
This is the easiest of easiest needle felting projects, only takes around 30-40 minutes and is just a whole heap of relaxing fun. Whether you are a nervous first time needle felter/crafter, just want to have some relaxing creative fun or want to fill the house with gorgeous handmade bunny decorations, this is a great project. The process and technique for this pattern is really easy and straightforward. Your secret weapon is the BBQ stick you will be using which makes creating the body shape so much easier and super fast. It really is the needle felting tool you never knew you needed but was in your kitchen drawer all the time.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed making these because cute and cartoony normally isn’t my thing. But, it seems I am a cute and colourful convert just because of how relaxing it was and, there’s no denying, those pastel colours are pretty lush. Even as a seasoned needle felter it is incredibly satisfying to complete something quickly and easily, knowing what the end result will be, and then repeating the process again. I was completely focused and really just felted away in quiet contemplation. There is something immensely calming about creating simple projects and repeating a task – part of the human psyche I guess – so much so that I ended up making four of them and will be making more for an Easter garland.
YOU WILL NEED:
Needle felting wool – Approx. 5g, any type or colour.
Standard felting needle – size 38 is a good all-rounder.
Wooden BBQ skewer (or similar) for shaping
Click HERE for the downloadable pattern at a special price of just £1.50.
SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR VIDEO TUTORIAL
The wool bundle to create this gorgeous garland can be purchased on the LFC website: SHOP HERE
Temperatures are below freezing, the days are still short, we can’t go out anywhere, the shops are shut… but hey, the heating’s on, there’s food in the cupboard, my dog is there for constant cuddles and we have crafts for company. That’ll do me for now.
In an effort to bring some colour into our lives I am stuck on pretty pastels and all things spring at the moment and it doesn’t get more pastel or spring like than this gorgeous Easter garland. It is also a great way to use up any scraps of wool you have in your felt box and, if you have needle felted before, there are always plenty of scraps in your felt box.
TOP TIPFOR PERFECT SHAPES EVERY TIME
So here I am with a little golden nugget of a needle felting tip for almost perfectly firm and round needle felted balls; use a wooden BBQ stick. I have been using one for ages to create even, smooth shapes and discovered – after trying many other techniques – that using said stick is by far the fastest and easiest way to make perfectly shaped felted balls, in just 3 to 4 minutes! Who knew?
This gorgeous garland is so easy to make and, teamed with the needle felted bumble bees (also a breeze to make), you have yourself a beautiful piece of spring décor to brighten even the most dullest of days. The bees also make a great brooch, or pin.
1 Small length of wool top or carded wool; mine are approximately 1g (20cm long) but you can make them bigger. Just make sure they weigh approximately the same so your felt balls are all a similar size; unless you prefer odd shaped balls…
2 Felting needle; a size 38 or 36 is best as they are sturdy and less likely to break on the stick
3 Soft felting surface; foam mat, rice filled hessian bag or a piece of flat felt
4 Sewing needle and strong thread to create your garland
Let’s get going!
SCROLL TO THE END IF YOU LOVE A VIDEO TUTORIAL!
1 Select your first piece of wool.
2 Twizzle the end of the wool in your fingers to slightly matt it.
3 Wrap the end firmly around your wooden skewer
4 Continue to wrap the wool around the stick (no need to use your needle yet) and use your thumb and finger to stop it from moving down the stick and becoming too long.
5 Continue until all the wool is wrapped around the stick. TOP TIP:It should be firmly wrapped but also springy to the touch. If it is too firm it will be harder to shape.
6 Start to shape by poking your needle gently into the ends of the wool – avoiding the stick – at a diagonal angle so the needle doesn’t bend. TOP TIP: Keep moving the stick around with your free hand so the shape is even and there are no flattened areas.
7 Repeat for the other end and continue to shape the entire ball until it is quite firm. It won’t be perfectly round yet but that doesn’t matter.
8 Slide off the pointy end of the stick.
9 Continue to firm and shape with your needle. This will also close the hole created by the wooden stick.
10 Finally, roll the ball firmly in your cupped hands (for a few seconds) to create an even round shape and smooth finish.
Once you have enough for your garland string them together with strong cotton. If you are adding bumble bees make sure you push the needle and cotton through the upper part of the bee as they are top heavy and will be upside down when you hang it. Also, it took me longer than I care to admit to work that out. 😳
Hope you enjoyed this and just subscribe at the bottom of the page for instant blog notifications and up-dates. Happy creating 🐝
Penguins are the best at any time of year, but even more so when the Winter chill sets in. These cute needle felted baby penguins are great fun and an easy and relaxing project, using simple shapes and needle felting techniques. Just imagine your house filled with a ‘Waddle’ of penguins; yes, that really is the name for a group of penguins.
Also, don’t forget I am holding a live workshop on Saturday over on my Facebook page. It’s free and will be 90 minutes of joyful , festive creativity. Plus, you will be able to ask me all your needle felting questions. Full details and link below; it would be lovely to see you there! Click photo for Facebook notifications.
Each video tutorial breaks down every step of needle felting your animals into simple body shapes and can easily be can be adapted for whatever animal you are making. They are perfect for beginners, improvers or anyone wanting some creative respite and I have created each video to guide you step by step – workshop style – on your creative journey, sharing my top tips to make it even quicker and easier.
Everything you need to know is covered, from needle felting your basic body shape at the start to putting it all together, in simple bite size chunks that will give you the confidence to continue with this fabulously addictive craft.
If you are working from one of my NEEDLE FELTING KITS just follow the written instructions alongside the video tutorials.
Grab a cuppa and mince pie and get creative with me, You can felt along with me or just watch and save for later. All you need is a handful of wool, any colours or type, and a felting needle. A cocktail stick will come in useful but it’s not essential.
OK, so maybe her attention is more on the mince pie than the needle felted gnome but, she does love wool and loves watching me needle felt. That counts, right?
Nordic and Scandinavian style decor is so popular and I just love it. What I especially love are the charming Nordic gnomes. You may also see them referred to as Nisse, Tomte and Tonttu. Our house is full of them and they are super easy so here’s a tutorial for you.
If you have never needle felted before or are an experienced felter this is a wonderful way to start and get you in the festive mood. It’s simple and relaxing and so much fun to make.
This is just one style to get you started but there are so many variations that soon, like me, you will be tripping over them. So grab a cuppa, mince pie and some festive cheer and get creating.
1 – Hat: Make this first so the body fits the hat; much easier than trying to fit the hat to the body! You can go as small or tall as you like but this hat, when completed, is approx 20cm. The triangle template measurements are approx; base 10cm (slightly curved) and sides 12cm .
Layer your hat wool on your felting mat and pop your hat template on top of your wool, leaving a few extra centimetres of wool around each side. Top tip: Your wool shouldn’t be too thick but make sure you can’t see the felting mat through it
2 – ‘Draw’ a line around the triangle with your needle to create a very rough outline
3 – Remove template and draw around the line a couple more times. This will be your fold line.
4 – Fold in the sides one at a time and start to felt to create a triangle; it will be a very rough shape to start with but you will tidy this up as the wool becomes more felted so stop fiddling with it!
5 – Gently fold and felt each side until you have this rough shape; keep the excess at the top of your triangle because this is going to create your lovely pointy hat shape.
6 – Gently pull away from the base you are using, turn and repeat. Tip; any felting base will do (foam, rice bag etc), whatever your preference.
7 – Keep repeating the process until it starts to firm up.
8 – Time to tidy up the shape; use your finger to fold in the sides that need straightening (doesn’t have to be perfect). Be slow and careful so as not to stab your finger; you can use a finger guard but I find they just annoy me. However, I have lots of customers who get on with them just fine.
9 – Your approx finished triangle which should be soft but firm and holds its shape.
10 – Fold in half and felt along the side to mesh the fibres together. Keep turning and repeating until the hat is now firmly felted along the side so it doesn’t pull apart when you gently pull it.
11 – Open up the base of the hat and tidy up the line by folding in any rough edges and felting. Keep turning and felting until you are happy with the shape at the base of your Tomte hat.
12 – Roll just the top 2/3 cm of your hat between the palm of your hands to firm up the top and point. This improves the look as well as allowing you to tip the point over to the side at a jaunty angle.
Basic Body Shape
Body shapes don’t get much easier than this. Don’t be too precious about needle marks and dimples because most of this will be covered by its big beard.
1 – Roll your wool (I have used natural white Shetland) into a basic barrel shape. It will do this automatically as you start to roll. Start with less than you need and build it up.
Most important! Do not start to felt with your needle until you have rolled at least half of it really tightly; trust me, this will save you a lot of felting time and applies to all body shapes made this way!
2 – Start stabbing all over with your needle (mind your fingers) as you continue to roll and remember to keep it tight. Tip: Check to see if your hat sits on top and if the body is too small add some more wool and felt again. If it’s too big then continue to felt where the hat will sit to reduce the size.
3 – Continue to turn and felt until you have a more even and neater shape. You may end up with a narrower end which is fine because you will pop the hat onto this. Pay particular attention to the base which needs to be flat for stability. Tip; you can also press on the base once felted as the wool is pretty malleable.
4 – Flatten the base until it sits without wobbling.
5 – Pop on your hat and felt, gently, all around the edge until it is felted securely onto the body making sure the hat seam is at the back.
6 – Make the nose by rolling a pinch of white or flesh coloured wool in your hands just to rough it up. Place on your mat and continue to felt with your needle, turning all the time. Now place back into the palm of your hands and roll vigorously until really firm and smooth. Tip; you may have to do this a couple of times to get it right as it is very easy to add too much wool and have a huge nose if you have never needle felted before. Less is always more when it comes to needle felting.
7 – Place the nose on its side, just under the front of the hat and felt the end into the body.
9 – As you do this the nose will naturally rise into its correct position. Continue to felt around the base until it is firmly attached. The base of the hat should be sat just above the nose.
10 – Decide what type of beard you are going to have. I have used grey Jacob but use whatever colour you wish. Curly locks also look really great.
11 – If using a straight wool pull off a small section and fold in half and start by felting it onto the body just under the nose. Don’t worry about it being longer than the body because you will trim it to size (or not) once it is attached.
12 – Continue to felt along the fold and attach it up the side of the nose and along the hat line. Tip; you can push the wool under the hat line with your needle (don’t bend it or you may break the needle) for a neater finish.
13 – Now trim your beard to your desired shape and style. I like mine quite ‘raggy’ so once I have got the length I then snip into the sides.
There you have it. One fabulous Tomte Christmas gnome! You can crease the hat or keep it straight. I like both. Told you it was easy!
Try different wool and add some fabulous locks for a different look. For the gnomes below I have used a lush teal batting with green silk fibres for the hat, and plant dyed, hand spun locks for the beard. The gnome on the right has a beard of grey Masham shot through with white silk.
But why would you stop there when the variations and colours are endless!