Thursday, December 4, 2008

TUTORIAL - FELT ANGEL

Since starting my blog I have had a couple of requests for a needle felting tutorial and I have finally gotten around to doing one. This is my first tutorial so please bear with me and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This really seemed to tax my very weary sleep deprived brain so I hope that it makes sense, her it goes......

This tutorial is for a needle felted angel, the angel herself was inspired by an amazing artist who has a stall at the Christchurch Art Centre market. Her art work is fabulous and she makes the most wonderful felt creations. The following information is a collaboration of what I learnt from her and also from reading as many felting books as possible and of course a bit of trail and error.

First up you will need the following materials for your felt angel all of which should be readily available from your local craft store:

* You will need small amounts of white, light brown and pink carded wool, also known as roving.

* A felting needle.

* Some curly mohair.

* Wings.

* Angelina Fibre. (I have not included this in the tutorial, I just add it at the end to add a bit of sparkle.)


STEP 1 - THE HEAD. Rip off 2 pieces of brown wool and roll one piece into a ball. You may want to give the ball a few pokes with the needle to bind the fibres and keep it on shape.

Then wrap the second length of wool around the ball, leaving a tail at the base.
Rip off another small length of wool and wrap at the base of the head and poke with needle to keep in place as shown below. Then keep stabbing the ball with the needle turning it around to keep the shape. Stop when you have a firm round ball, remember the more you stab the smaller the ball with become so stop when you are happy.

STEP 2 - THE BODY. Take a large length of the natural white carded wool, place the head on the top edge with the tail hanging down as shown below.
Then wrap the white wool to form a basic body shape as below

Use your needle and stab the body remembering to keep turning it until you have your desired firmness and shape. You will also need to stab upwards from the bottom to form a flat base. After about 5-10 minutes you should have something like this...

STEP 3 - ARMS. Take 2 small lengths of white wool of equal sizes.

Fold first length in half, then half again roll and stab with needle until you have tubular shape as below.

Then take your needle and stab the arm into position starting at the shoulder. With the needle mould the arm into the body, I usually like to give my angels bell sleeves, but it took me a few attempts to get this right. Repeat process again for second arm.

STEP 4 - HANDS. Here just take a very small amount of brown wool to match the colour of face and squish into a small ball then take your needle and stab into place at the end of the arm as so.

Repeat process for second hand.

STEP 5 - EDGING. Take a small amount of the curly mohair and stab around the base of the body to give a frilly edge to angel's dress.

STEP 6 - HAIR. The hair can be a bit tricky and I find I just really go with the flow and see what happens, but you can give a lot of shaping using your needle. Basically take small pieces of the curly mohair and layer them onto the head.

I normally take my time here and do it a piece at a time.

Until I have the desired effect, here I have teased the hair into kind of bunches each side of her head, but you can just let you imagination flow....
STEP 7 - HEART. Take a small piece of pink wool and form it into a heart with you needle. Now it is a good idea to use a piece of foam or a pillow when you are doing small pieces as that needle is very sharp and REALLY hurts when you poke yourself, which you will no doubt end up dong at sometime or other. I actually use Lola's breastfeeding cushion for my needle felting, you know the ones that go around your body and babe lies on top.... I have it on my knee and do the whole angel this way, I have stabbed my self more times than I care to remember, so try to be ultra careful.
Then take the heart and stab it into position between the hands, does anybody else find this picture slightly disturbing?????

STEP 8 - WINGS. Finally take the wings of your choice, position them at the back of your angel and then sew into place

Then Voila..... if my instructions are not too incomprehensible you should have yourself a sweet little angel, perfect for having around at this time of year!

Good luck if you decide to give it a go, it's easy when you know how and I warn you very addictive. Flickr have a fantastic needle felting group full of brilliant inspiration if you are interested.... X

12 comments:

sweetp said...

That is fabulous!! I am going to give it a go xx

Heart Felt said...

Oh Wow! She is beautiful, well done you. xx

Claire said...

Horray! That is fabulous! I loved your instructions and you have inspired me to give needle felting a go, in fact I bought a kit a while back and stabbed myself with the needle and put myself off - but now seeing this I will give it another go! Lovely angel! Does Talia like your little 'dolls' ?

Hege said...

she is adorable!
Thanks for the tutorial.

Millie said...

That is so cute! I just love the hair - makes her look like a bit of a wild child! Millie x

Claire said...

Ok.... I made THREE!!!!!! I stabbed myself at least three times too and broke a needle.... but nevermind that, I did it! If was really a lot of fun to do and I feel addicted or something.... I see many people receiving these for Christmas :lol I will post pics on my blog when I get a minute this weekend - thanks again Julie!

I like the arms on your better than mine btw and I had trouble stabbing the hands on, I imagine it just gets easier with practice.... plus your hair is fab (I used some waldorf doll mohair type wool from a ball), I will keep my eyes peeled tomorrow at the Steiner Christmas fair for Mohair!

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

wow that is so cool - i am completely useless in making things though so probably beyond my capabilities but I can just look at yours instead :-D
Lesley x

Linda Lanese said...

Hi Julie,

I posted your Felt Angel Tutorial on CRaft Gossip Felting and hope you come by and leave a comment. It is adroable :)
http://felting.craftgossip.com/2009/01/11/felted-valentine-angel-tutorial/
I also love your Ju's wordies graphic, it is neat!

Regards,
Linda

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I found you via Craft Gossip and WOW! That is amazing...I'm totally blown away! I'll be linking to this project for my Valentine Roundup. Now, off to explore the rest of your blog!

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

Amanda said...

Wonderful! An easy to follow tutorial, and a method I haven't tried before. I have only made people starting with a cone shape. I am looking forward to your way. Thank you for sharing!!

Arianne said...

Small tip for everyone that doesn't have a piece of foam: just use a sponge, even the type used for dishwashing works well (not the scrubbing area, but the soft side)
BTW: totally love your angel, especially the thing you did with the curly wool at the end of the dress. I'll definitely try, but I think I will also have a go on felting the wings as I don't have any wings laying around here.

Your fairy is called Tangle Saturnwand
She is a trouble maker.
She lives at the bottom of tangled gardens and in hedgerows.
She is only seen when the seer holds a four-leafed clover.
She wears tangled dresses of multicoloured petals. She has delicate pale pink wings like a cicada.