Caring For and Repairing Needle Felted Toys

Early on in my blog, I shared a little white needle felted bear that I made for my daughter’s birthday.    It was a replica of a stuffed bear that she had and was meant to be a stuffed toy for her new babydoll!
needle felt animal, bear
It has now been about 6 months and my little girl has played with and cuddled this bear so much that it has turned a bit raggedy!  My daughter brought me this little bear and asked if I could fix it.  My reply-“Of course I can!”.  And yes, that is her sad little face; she was making that expression naturally-no coaxing from me.  Too Cute!
Holding an old needle felted bear
Needle felt toys are natural and a great toy for little ones; however, extremely rough play can really wear on these felties unlike their plastic equivalents.  If you simply display the felted figurines on a shelf; you need not worry about repairing.  However, any play from a child under about the age of 10 will most likely result in a bit of wear and tear on these cuties!  (I kind of like the raggedy look . . .)

a worn out and played wiht felted bear

how to repair a needle felted figurine
Have no fear; they can be repaired.  Simply stuff the felted toy in an old pair of pantyhose and tie off. Then throw it in with your next load of laundry, preferably a hot load.  When it is time to dry your laundry, dry the little toy, stocking and all.  (Please be aware that some colors may run; so be careful.  You can always grab a damp rag and rub it on an unnoticeable spot on your felted cutie to make sure it is colorfast.)

Here is my daughter’s felted bear after the wash.  He looks a bit like a soggy dog, but he is dry.  The washing smushed his ears down a bit, but other than that he is already looking much better.  In some cases, especially densely felted figures and simplified felted shapes, this is all you will need to do!
repair a needle felt toy by washing it
However if after the wash you are still not satisfied, simply grab out a felting needle and do some minor repairs.  For the bear, I mostly focused on propping those ears back up and making sure that the limbs were firmly attached.  The needle felting repair part only took me about 5 minutes to do.  And here is the little felted bear as good as new(well almost!).

a repaired needle felt toy

repairing a felted figurine

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