Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tutorial: Needle Felted Star

I thought it was about time I posted another tutorial for something, so I took a few snaps while I was felting a very simple star this evening. They're not the prettiest, I was felting while watching tv, and as it wasn't very precise work I didn't have an extra lamp, and I couldn't be bothered getting up to get my camera, so used my iPad to take the photos. I think they serve their purpose though. =)

This tutorial is for a small star, like these ones, which I am using for a baby mobile I am putting together for one of this year's many babies. 

Needle Felted Star

  • Dacron Stuffing (any that hasn't been treated for anti-clumping)
  • Wool Roving (I am using merino)
  • Felting Needles (Just one will do, but I am using three, a coarse 32, a medium 36 & a fine 40)

  • Between 30 and 45 minutes

Step One

Grab a loose handful of dacron stuffing (any that isn't treated for anti clumping) and start felting it into a rough flattish circle using a coarse needle (this is a number 32). Stab the dacron all over, turning the ball as you go, to ensure even stabbage. This ball in the photograph has already reduced in size by roughly half.

You want to eventually get the ball down to the diameter that you want for the outer points of your star. This ball is not quite spherical: the sides are flattened somewhat, so it's between a disc and a sphere. We'll call it a bloated disc.

Step Two

Now that you have a rough base to work with, start defining the points of your star by stabbing repeatedly into small areas on the edges of your bloated disc, so that the felt compacts further and you end up with a flower shape. I am still using a number 32 needle here. Make sure you felt into a small area, so that the compacting is clearly defined.  

Step Three

Now turn your attention to the sides of the points of your star. Stab your needle into the rounded sides of the petals of the above flower shape, until your points are at your desired level of pointyness. In this instance, I wanted them fairly rounded, because this is for a baby mobile, and cute is good there!

At this point I alternated between the #32 and a #36 needle (which is a bit finer) but I wasn't too concerned with being really neat and precise, because the next step involves obliterating this shape somewhat.

Step Four

Choose some wool roving to cover your dacron star. I chose yellow, because I'm being semi-realistic here. Wrap it right around the star shape, and stab it in a few places to prevent it from unravelling on you. The points are tricky to cover, but you can always add more roving there later, so don't worry when they keep insisting on remaining bald. Then everything is felted down a bit more, just grab some extra roving and felt it into the corners. 

I started felting the roving onto the star with a #36 needle. At this point the #32 is a bit coarse for the job, as the dacron is tightly packed and prefers finer needles. 

Step Five

When I had the roving generally felted down, I switched to a #40 Spiral needle (it could just as easily have been a #40 plain triangular needle, but that snapped a couple of nights ago and I am yet to dig out another one) so that I could get the finer detail and smoother surface that a really fine needle allows. 

Et voila:

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