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How to Wet Felt Xmas Tree Decorations
About this Project
This Wet/Needle Felting Tutorial has been designed to help teach younger children how to make felt balls which can be used for a variety of projects.
A little help will be needed to ensure that the eyes and faces of these Ladybugs are added safely under the watchful eye of an Adult. Please take care with felting needles. These needles are barbed and very sharp. A firm piece of foam rubber should always be placed under the item to be needle felted to prevent injury when needle felting.
Things You Will Need:-
- Merino Wool Roving in Red, Black and White
- A piece of firm foam to be used when using Needle Felting Needles
- A Felting Needle - usually purchased with a needle felting tool. Spare needles are easily obtained on the internet - e-Bay or Amazon are good sources for these items.
- 1 Skein Red Embroidery Thread
- Hot Soapy Water - Dish Washing liquid or Grated Olive Oil Soap dissolved in hot water.
Olive Oil Soap is much kinder to the hands. Dish Washing Liquid works well but can make wool perish if not rinsed properly.
- Pull off a piece of wool roving of about an inch wide and about six inches in length
- Tie a Knot in the wool as shown in the images below
- Wet the knot and fold in the excess wool to form a rounded ball
- Wet the excess wool with hot soapy water and roll gently in your hands or on a piece of corrugated surface such as bubble wrap.
- Once you have a softly rounded ball - begin rubbing it on a piece of dry toweling until you have a softball.
- Wet a piece of black wool roving and roll it gently until it is slight rounded but straight.
- Wrap this piece firmly around the ball and tuck in the loose ends using a Felting Needle
- Roll the ball gently - just enough to allow the black stripe to attach itself to the round ball
- Now, needle felt two eyes, a mouth, and two spots onto the surface of the ball
- Wet the ball once more and then roll it carefully until the fibers attach themselves to one another. You will be able to rub harder as the ball becomes more felted.
- Rinse the balls in hot and then cold water - a few times.
- Cut off a piece of Embroidery Thread and thread a large-eyed needle.. Sew through the top of the Ladybug and knot both ends of the thread. This thread will form the tag for placing the bugs onto the Christmas Tree.
- Please see images below for decoration tips. Remember to have fun - experiment and have fun.
- These little balls can be used in a variety of different projects such as necklaces or even threaded worms and bangles.
- More creative ideas and Tutorials can be found on these pages, but several future projects are planned especially for young children. I look forward to seeing you back again soon.
Knot a Piece of Wool Roving
The Knotted Wool Roving
Wet the Knot with Hot Soapy Water
Wrap the Excess Wool Roving over the Knot
Wet the Wool Roving
Roll Gently at First on an Bumpy Surface
You Can Roll More Than One Ball at a Time!
Adding Some Embelishments
Wrap the Wet Black Roving Around the Felt Ball
Secure the Black Wool Ends with a Felting Needle
Wet the Ball with Hot Soapy Water
Roll on a Piece of Dry Towelling
Add the Eyes with a Felting Needle
Needle Felt the White Wool
Add Eyes to the Ladybug's Face Using a Felting Needle
Or - Alternatively Leave out the Black Stripe Altogether - See Pictures!
You may wish to simplify things - especially if children are making these bugs.
Please ensure that the Needle Felting stage of this Tutorial should be done under the supervision of an Adult.
Needle Felting Needles are barbed needles. They are very sharp.
Needle Felting should be done, using a piece of foam laid underneath each ball to ensure that you don't stab your fingers or any part of the body.
Needle Felt a Red Mouth Using Red Wool Roving
And a Couple of Spots
Wet the Face
Roll the Ladybug Until It Is Gently Felted
Attach a Piece of Embroidery Silk (Sew with a Large Needle)
It would be possible to leave the decoration out until the balls are dry.
It is also possible to needle felt the balls without one having to wet or rub the eyes, mouth and spots when you do needle felting.
When the balls are decorated and then made wet and rubbed after they have been needle felted, the colors can sometimes bleed into one another.
Felting is not an exact science - everyone has their own method. By experimenting yourself, you will learn what works for you. Don't be afraid to experiment.
These balls are really very simple to make.
Knotting the wool in the early stages really is a key factor which makes them so successful. The knot gives them a basis on which to rub the top layers of wool and the result is a lovely solid and very evenly rounded ball.
I would love to hear how you get on.
© 2014 Sally Gulbrandsen