I don’t know about you but I’m seriously starting to get organised for Christmas now (there I said it again). Figuring out what treats I’m going to make for which friend or family member is almost as much fun as actually making the gifts.
Top of my list this year are felted presents, from beads to super cute animals and embellished cards. Our fabulous felting tutor Eve Marshall has taught me the skills I need to create some amazing pieces. The only dilemma I have is which ones I want to give away!
Like most people I started my felting journey by learning how to make a simple felted Bead. These can be used to make jewellery, home furnishings and embellishments. This week I’m going to show you how to make one of these simple yet stunning pieces.
Once you’ve got the basics down there will be no stopping you! Next stop – our brand new adorable Bee Pendant Felting Kit, which uses a similar technique. Get yours by clicking here.
We have a fantastic selection of books from the amazing craft publishers Search Press, click on our craft website to see more
Anyway let’s get started….
Needle Felted Beads
You will need:
Needle felting pad
Felting needle (36 Gauge)
Merino wool felt
OR you can buy our Needle Felted Beads Kit which has everything you need!
Top Safety Tips:-
The needle used for felting are barbed needles and are very sharp. Please be sure to keep them out of reach of children and use with care.
Always felt into the pad provided and onto a hard surface. Wear a thimble when holding the felted bead if you need to for safety.
Take a length of wool; the size will depend on the bead you are using, try a palm size piece to start with.
Start to fold in one end, continue to fold in the edges.
Continue to fold over the felt, changing the direction you fold it and keeping it as tight as possible.
Once the felt is folded into a rough ball shape use your needle to push into the felt to start to secure the bead together, move the needle in different directions and rotate the bead round to ensure the needle touches as much of the bead as possible.
Once the felt is roughly secured together roll the bead in your hands to help form a ball shape.
Continue to felt around the bead, taking care to only push your needle through the felt and not too far into your mat (and mind your fingers!).
Add further layers as required to make your felted bead larger – you can’t take felt away from a felted bead but can add to it!
To Add Dots
Take a small piece of wool; the size will depend on the size of the dot you would like to create. Fold or roll into a rough ball shape (wetting your fingers slightly can help).
Take your needle and gently press round the edges of the dot, continue to felt over the dot until it is attached. If you over felt it the dot will disappear into the bead. If this happens just add another piece on top.
To Add Stripes
Take a thin piece of felt and roll into a long length. Start at one end and use your needle to felt over the stripe in the pattern you want, moving along the stripe until it is secure.
Tah-Dah! You’re almost done.
Take a needle to pierce a hole through your bead, ensure you push down into your pad, alternatively depending how tight your felting is you may be able to push a headpin through.
Your bead is now ready to add into your jewellery making project!
If you prefer to learn from the master herself then Eve has some new felting workshops coming up on Monday the 19th October and Monday the 26th October. They aren’t online yet but you can call the store to enquire or book now on 01778 344550.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little foray into the felting world. It’s so important to keep ourselves inspired and active at the moment, and if it results in some beautiful homemade gifts then it’s WIN, WIN!
Over the next few months I’ll show you some more great Christmas gift ideas. Hopefully they will give you a creative boost and keep those minds and nimble fingers active and productive.
Until next time stay safe and happy Beading!