NEEDLE FELTING ISN’T HARD, BUT STARTING A NEW CRAFT CAN SOMETIMES FEEL A LITTLE DAUNTING
When someone tells me they can’t needle felt, or tried and failed, I can say with absolute confidence that it has nothing to do with ability. In fact, the two most common reasons why people fail at needle felting is lack of confidence and trying to run before they can walk. I really hope after reading this you will be able to start your needle felting journey with a newfound confidence, and enthusiasm.
ENTHUSIASM – It’s all you need to get started; if you have that then you are 75% of the way there. The other 25% is learning the basics first. Once you have done that (and it doesn’t take long at all) you can then start to build towards (in a realistic way) those wonderful projects you have seen on Pinterest. Nobody shows up anywhere with a set of skills already in place, be it learning a new language, instrument, crafts etc. Almost everything we do has to be learned, and practiced to become proficient. Think back to when you learned to tie your shoe laces. It seemed so hard at the time, but soon you didn’t need to think about it. Needle felting is no different, in-fact it’s easier because there are no tricky patterns, or awkward knots to fathom.
DON’T SET UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS OF YOURSELF – Do you know of anyone who has achieved anything without some degree of effort. More to the point, what would be the point in starting out at the top of our game. As humans are programmed to set goals, strive to improve ourselves. Imagine what a boring world it would be if we all suddenly woke up to find we could get to the top of Mount Everest, be proficient at guitar playing, build a house, type a hundred words a minute…
START WITH THE BASICS– The best way to start is with simple shapes that will become part of a whole. In just an hour – yes, you heard that right – you will be able to learn how to create simple shapes, use your felting needle, and attach parts together to complete a project. This hare is one of my most popular beginners projects. Click the button below to learn how to needle felt simple shapes; the start of your felting journey.
TOP TOP TIP – ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE A BEGINNER! It’s often hard to find your confidence when you start needle felting, even harder if you haven’t done any crafting before, so tackling those fears is the first hurdle. The second hurdle is finding a good tutorial and materials guide that will give you the best chance of success. I can help with both of those things but you have the most important job, and that’s allowing yourself to be a beginner. And, as sure as eggs is eggs, if you don’t allow yourself a period of ‘learning’ grace you are setting yourself to fail. In fact, you have to get it wrong in order to succeed and believe me, when it comes to needle felting success comes very quickly.
FEAR OF FAILURE – TIME TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE
We are, so often, our own worst critics, and we use it as self preservation technique so we don’t have to start something i.e. a new craft. We literally talk ourselves out of it before we have even tried. It is like a fail safe but it can be very self destructive. So, time to change the narrative and, when you think to yourself, ‘I’ve failed’ simply change the statement to ‘I have learned’, and see how that self doubt just falls away. Each time you do this your confidence will grow, as will your skill set. Changing the mindset, that makes you way too hard on yourself, is the most important thing you will learn when it comes to starting a new craft, and that confidence will also find its way into many other aspects of our life.
This Calla Lily looks so realistic you would think it had taken months of practice. Not so! It is made using very simple techniques that any beginner can manage. If you fancy trying it then click below to watch the free tutorials and grab the materials list.
FEAR OF WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK
We often spend so much time worrying what others will say and, the truth is, they will probably be super impressed that you are learning a new skill. If not then the problem is probably their own self confidence and lack of courage to try something new themselves. Ask yourself who you are doing it for? The answer should always be you! If you really struggle then don’t show your felt creations to anyone until you feel ready, and then not at all if that is how you feel.
CRAFTS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN…
Always remember, you are doing this for you and no one else. Crafts are all about you, and the enjoyment of just making, so try and loose yourself in those creative moments.
NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!
Be realistic and always remember that they started off exactly the same way as you…as a complete beginner! If you are on chapter 1 and they are chapter 5 then it’s hardly a fair comparison, and it’s a sure fire way to ruin your day, and knock your confidence at the same time. Find your needle felting feet, learn the basics well, then start to look for inspiration. Also, it is completely normal to think ‘I will never be able to make that’. Honestly, time and practice will change your mind.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CRAFTS
Anxiety, loneliness, isolation and depression have never been more prevalent than they are in today’s society, and with good reason; a global pandemic, climate change, rising prices, job insecurity, fear for our kids, caring for others, the list goes on and on… But, amidst all of that, the world is still full of great people and creativity. If we just prescribed ourselves some craft therapy on a regular basis then everything will feel calmer, more grounded, safer. And, if that is just for the time you are involved in something that distracts you from the daily stresses and strains it will allow you to go about your day in a much better state of mind.
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU DO AS LONG AS YOU DO IT
If not needle felting then a jigsaw, sewing, growing house plants, gardening, reading, knitting, colour by numbers, in fact anything that requires your undivided attention. Even though it can be hard it is so important to create a little time to focus on yourself, even if only for half an hour. And fortunately needle felting is incredibly portable so, if you can’t find a quiet space or the household won’t leave you alone, I have often found the loo to be a good alternative. As I said, needle felting is very portable 😉
ARE YOU READY TO START NEEDLE FELTING NOW?
Let’s get going. The video tutorial below is an introduction to creating a really simple shape that will become the most important technique you will learn when first starting needle felting. It can be made in just 5-10 minutes and will act as the structure, or scaffolding for the rest of your project. My tutorials are very workshop style and are the nearest thing to one of my in person classes. Simplicity and speed are the cornerstone of all my tutorials and I am always looking for new techniques to help improve your needle felting journey as well as give you the confidence to fall in love with this craft as much as I have. I have added links for the playlist that will teach you how to complete hares, sheep, mice, foxes, badgers, gnomes and too many to mention, with ease. You just need to be enthusiastic and willing to learn.
DON’T HAVE ANY NEEDLE FELTING EQUIPMENT?
QUICK DO’S AND DON’TS GUIDE TO NEEDLE FELTING
Click HERE for my quick do’s and don’ts guide to needle felting.
NEEDLE FELTING VIDEO TUTORIALS – BEGINNERS PLAYLIST
MAKE ALL THE NEEDLE FELTED THINGS!
Needle felted hares and sheep are always popular for beginners, needle felted gnomes and pumpkins can be made in just 30 minutes, and why not rustle up a macaron or two in just 15 minutes! Needle felting ideas and tutorials are endless so checkout the menus at the top of the page and make all the needle felted things!