Needle felting is still pretty new to me, I started when pregnant as my ever growing belly meant sitting at the sewing machine (and indeed reaching the sewing machine) was rather uncomfortable! Needle felt, I could with my feet up on the sofa! As always, I watched a few videos, studied a few pictures and learnt through trial and error, it took a while! This was my first attempt…
Making them in Waldorf style was much easier. Waldorf characters don’t have facial features, leaves their expression open for interpretation, but also a damn sight easier!!
Here’s the tutorial for making just the body – I will do some more tutorials to show how to make a little character. But that would make this a very long tutorial and you have this as an easy reference for how to make the body into any character you like!
First, you will need…
a needle felt needle (duh!)
Wool roving (the felt!)
a styrofoam/foam board
small pipe cleaners
(don’t worry about the wooden skewer for now, you’ll only need that for the hat)
You don’t need to spend a lot on this gear, I got a cheap start kit from good old Amazon!
Here we go:
Pull over a strip off flesh coloured wool, tie a knot in the middle. Fold one ‘tail’ over the knot. Go crazy with needle around the base form the neck.
TIP if you want the wool to form part of the structur and hold in place, you want to push the needle quite deep and lots of stabbing. If you’re adding wool for decoration, I.e. Hair, clothes often you want the stand lightly and less frequently!
You might find the head isn’t particularly round, you can gently needle around to make the shape. Don’t worry about the back, the hair will cover this!
Now, make the body from pipe cleaners. Getting the proportions right are tricky, there is not rule on how big or small you can go. My pipe cleaners are 150mm x 4mm, I find them slightly too big, so I fold over the ends! At this point the body will look too small, but once you add the wool of the body and clothes it will work out!
To to add the head, spilt the tail in two and pull up to the base of the head, so it sits nice and tight to the body. Wrap the tails around the body. Needle the ends in and the body quite firmly!
The last part for making the body is to cover the arms and legs, wrap a strand of wool around the limbs, starting and finishing close to the body. I always struggle to get the hands and feet looking neat, I can’t offer much advice, other than try and hope for the best! Perhaps someone could offer me advice!! I left the upper arms bare, because this will eventually be covered by clothes!
So, that’s how you make the body of a Waldorf needle felt character, ready to be made into a wizard, fairy or gnome…here’s some inspiration