Adorable Animal Needle Felting
I love trying new things- especially new kinds of crafts. Amazingly, I had never done needle felting until last month. The impetus to try it was the book Adorable Felted Animals.
Just look at how cute the animals in this book are!
I was particularly taken with the american tabby cat because it looks remarkably similar to my own cat. I just had to try and make him. Here are the steps that it took to make my little kitty.
Step 1 - Acquire wool roving and needles.
Wool roving is basically just loose wool, dyed or undyed, that has been cleaned and combed. I went to a local yarn store that sold a wide variety of colors by weight but you can also purchase it on-line.
I also purchased a needle felting kit for $10 which came with a foam block and four needles. The needles are color coded for their specific use such as blue for coarse or general work and red for detail work.
Overall I think I spent less than $30 on all my supplies and now have enough wool to make at least half the animals in the book, if not more.
Step 2- Practice
I find books incredibly helpful in learning a new skills but you can also go on Youtube and watch people doing needle felting. Just try not to get ahead of yourself. We all see the gorgeous things that can be done and think our first projects are going to be amazing. And then when they don't turn out as good as the one we saw we get dejected.
To counteract this, start small. Take some roving and practice making lines and patterns onto a piece of fabric to see how it feels. And then work your way into three dimensional objects. Once you get the hang of how much roving to put down and what needles to use you can move on to trying to make something from the adorable animal book.
Step 3- Read book and follow instructions
This book gives pretty good instructions for how to construct their little pets. I particularly liked the step by step color photo section.
My only gripe is that they only have this section for one animal and then the rest are just verbal written directions with rudimentary drawings.
For true beginners this might not be enough to help them create an exact replica of the animal but it will get them close.
Step 4- Try it
You will never succeed if you don't try. Your first (or second or third) attempt might not be what you envisioned but the practice is necessary. Here is how my first attempt turned out.
You can tell it is a cat and I am pretty proud of that fact. And honestly, he does have all the right markings for my cat.
I poked myself with the needles more than once but managed not to bleed on the cat.
Overall, for my first shot at needle felting I am rather happy. Finished height is about two inches tall, so if I want to make a whole menagerie they won't take up a lot of space. I've also seen some interesting things done in two dimensions that I want to try.
Book Review for Adorable Animal Needle Felting- Great inspiration! Those with a little needle felting experience will probably get more out of this book than complete newbies. But if you love little animals then your determination can carry you through to making something cute.