Learn how to needle felt a picture and create your own stunning 2D needle felted Cornish seascape, bursting with colour and character. Video tutorial links are at the bottom of this post and this beautiful project is suitable for beginners, and experienced needle felters, taking around eight hours to complete. I have carefully selected all the materials, wool, and fibres to give you the best possible outcome for your project, so if you are working from my Needle Felting Kit everything you need is already there. That also includes to linen, printed design and carbon paper to trace it onto your fabric, ready to start needle felting.
VIDEO TUTORIALS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST
If you haven’t tried needle felted pictures before, I know you are going to love this design. It was a joy to create and the bold colours, and design, really sing. Adding the cheeky three dimensional Seagulls really brings it to life, as do the rolling waves with the gorgeous silk strands. The result is a mix of Cornish impressionism meets Balamory, and my love of the sea.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED/CONTENTS
If you are working from the kit, everything you need is in your box. If you are working from the pattern, and your own supplies, you will need:
- Approximately 40g of mixed wool colours. I have used approximately 18 different colours: a mix of carded wool, wool tops, silk blends, and silk throwsters waste.
- Felting needle: size 38 star works best
- A4 size linen, calico or similar. A close weave works best in a light colour.
- Felting mat
ARE YOU NEW TO NEEDLE FELTING?
The complete kit is available on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website and in my Etsy shop
- Multi needle tools will speed up the process
- Carbon paper for tracing the design but you can copy directly onto the fabric
- Frame, driftwood, or similar to display. It can also be mounted onto card using double sided tape
HOW TO NEEDLE FELT: THE BASICS
Caution: This activity is for adults and older children – 12 years and older – and then only with strict adult guidance and supervision due to the very sharp needles. Do not allow children to attempt this project alone!
HOW TO USE YOUR FELTING NEEDLE?
Felt is made using the barbed needles and repeatedly and by carefully stabbing into the wool fleece. This will tangle the fibres together until the wool becomes firm, and, following the instructions, create your own needle felted project.
Before you start you project it is important to know a few basics about needle felting but equally important is that this is YOUR creation. You may decide to make changes. BRILLIANT! Make it your own. If you make a mistake, then remove it by gently tugging with a standard dress pin and try again. Most importantly, be patient and enjoy this gorgeous project. Take your time and remember “the devil is in the detail” so tempting though it is, don’t rush when you are getting near the end of your project. Sit back and decide on your finishing touches. Make it simple, quirky, or as detailed as you like…
CLICK HERE FOR MY FELTING NEEDLE GUIDE
SAFETY AND TECHNIQUE
You need to take extra precautions to watch your fingers because, as you hold and turn your project, there is a greater chance of poking through the wool right into your finger; use finger guards if this helps.
Use the foam pad wherever possible and remember to always poke your needle in a straight line, no matter the angle, so as not to break your needle.
The finished project will be unique to you so feel free to use your imagination. Be patient as these lovely creations deserve the time they take to make, and you will quickly get used to the needle felting process. Once you have finished this project there will be no stopping you!
Upon completion sit back, admire, and tell your friends and family “I did that!”
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THESE PROJECTS ARE COLLECTABLES, NOT TOYS! KEEP THEM AWAY FROM PETS AND SMALL CHILDREN!
1 You can always add more wool but not take it away once felted. Start with less wool than you need and build up your project slowly.
2 Patience is a virtue so take your time.
3 Feel free to add your own details and use your own artistic license for the finishing touches.
4 ENJOY! If this is your first needle felting project allow yourself to be a beginner and build your creative confidence. It’s not a sprint to the finish and you are going to learn some fabulous new skills. Hopefully, this will be just the start of your needle felting journey.
5 VIDEO TUTORIALS – You will find so many helpful tutorials on my YouTube channel, from nervous beginners to intermediate level. Have a look at the playlists and find what is most suitable for you on the: Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts YouTube channel
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Skill level: Beginners to confident needle felters
Make time: 6 to 8 hours
Think Cornish coastline meets Balamory, which was actually set in Tobermory. Full of vibrant colours and details, I approached it like a paint by numbers, colour between the lines, sort of project. It is beautifully simple and, apart from the seagulls and some sea detail, this project is completely flat felted. It is not difficult and is soothingly repetitive. You can pick it up whenever you feel like it, have a break and do some more.
As the technique for most of the project is the same, video tutorials and the pattern will guide you through the different sections, from tracing the picture, using the fabric, type of needles to use, laying down the fibres, outlining the details, and building up some of the areas to add dimension, detail, and contrast.
ADD YOUR OWN FLAIR
If you are a confident crafter, or this isn’t your first needle felting gig, feel free to blend your own colours, add fabric scraps, beads, and your own details.
IS IT YOUR FIRST TIME FELTING ON LINEN?
If so, it will feel quite strange for the first ten minutes, but you will quickly get used to the different work surface. This is also a popular choice for flat felted animal portraits.
I love experimenting with different fabrics for flat needle felting and, there are several reasons why linen/Calico works really well for this project
- It needs to be a close weave linen/Calico so that your needle doesn’t damage the fabric or create holes in the weave.
- Perfect for tracing your image onto in detail, which you just can’t do with a wool felt base.
- It is also a great base for this project as you want the fibres to lay as flat as possible, with no distortion, allowing for tiny details to be added without getting lost.
If you are working from the kit you will find mostly carded wool and a few wool tops. In addition there are some beautiful silk fibres, and wool silk blends which add great contrast and interest to the finished piece.
USING YOUR OWN WOOL STASH
Almost any felting wool can be used with ease for this project. Just grab as many bright and bold colours you can from your wool stash.
WHAT FELTING NEEDLES DO I NEED?
The entire project can be completed with one needle. I found the 38 star needle to be my favourite for this project, and I also used the 7 needle punch tool but removed 2 of the needles as I found it penetrated the foam mat surface more easily.
You can also use a needle felting pen tool, or a wooden multi tool with 3 needles. All the needles and tools can be found in the tools section on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website.
WHAT FELTING MAT SHOULD I USE?
I have used a large foam mat – 30cm x 30cm – with a wool felt topper to protect it. However, any felting mat will do, including a soft wool mat, or hessian mat.
ALWAYS USE A PROTECTIVE TOPPER!
Whatever surface you are working on, I always advise using a topper to protect your mat. Anything from a wool/cotton blend to 100% wool is suitable. It will stop your work from sticking to your felting mat and significantly extend its working life, saving you money and reducing landfill waste. Your wool topper can be sustainably and easily replaced.
LIFT YOUR WORK REGULARLY FROM THE FELTING MAT
This is especially important when flat needle felting. If you don’t lift your work regularly you will find it much harder to peel from your mat. It is normal for your work to stick but this is reduced if you keep moving it, especially when using a multi needle tool.
YOU WON’T GET IT WRONG
Because there is no right and wrong when it comes to this project, and adding your own preferences and details. It is more important that you work on your technique to give you the best possible result. Take your time and make sure to take regular breaks. I would recommend you complete this project in three or more sittings.
WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIALS
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