Needle Felting

Hello Crafties,

One of my favorite crafts (though I don’t get to it often enough) is bear making. The story of how I got into to bear making is a little long but I’ll give you the short version.

My sister Kathy and I were doing belly dancing classes together and we met a lady there who hit it off with my sister and they became fast friends. For the life of me I can’t remember her name right now (I’m sure it will come to me as soon as I hit post) but she was into bear making. I asked her about it and she told me they are stitched by hand.

Gob-smacked I stared at her. Why do hand sewing if you can use a perfectly good sewing machine, but she explained that the work was too delicate for a machine, especially the smaller bears.

I was intrigued and she offered to show me the basics.

You all know I never met a craft I didn’t love, so I accepted her offer with pleasure.

She gave me the materials and walked me through my first bear and I’ve loved bear making ever since.

Getting into the hobby my hubby took me to a bear making “crop” type class, and as a bonus they had a little talk on needle felting.

It was a way to add to our hand sewn teddy-bears and it looked like heaps of fun, so I bought my first felting kit.

I played with it for a while then life got in the way and I didn’t touch it for a long time, but recently I’ve been wanting to try again. So that is my plan.

For those of you who don’t know what needle felting is, its when you poke at wool (roving) with an uber sharp needle till it “matts” up forming shapes that you then sculpt with. Keep band-aids close because when you start this hobby you do stab yourself quiet a bit.

If you are a youtubian, check out Thread Banger’s “how to felt a rabbit” I laughed until I cried. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Xg-4ntF4o there are of course far more informative vids of what the craft actually entails but this is funny and then some.

Now the point of my post.

The basics you need are, a piece of foam, felting needles and wool roving.

The problem is that the foam always seems to get all beat up so after watching some you tube videos I decided to make myself a new felting surface. So when I get roving and start my first project (of the great come back) I wont have to be bothered with the foam.

I saw that some were using Burlap (or what we call Hessian here in South Africa) and I found a tutorial on how to make a felting surface out of cotton.

I went to my local crafting store and found a small bag made out of calico, but quiet a thick one, so I bought that. All I’d have to do is sew one edge closed.

I also bought some Hessian, but it came in a narrower width.

Now all I needed was rice to fill the bag and I was set.

here is what it turned out like. I’m quiet happy with it.

I did make one with the Hessian, I will add a pic as soon as I take one.

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