felted balls for spelling practice

Tutorial on Felted Personalized Balls

Today’s felting tutorial includes both wet and needle felting.   This project spells out my  daughter’s name with an individual wet felted ball for each letter of her name.  I chose Raven’s name to illustrate this project because she is very interested in learning the spelling of her name and I thought these felted letter balls would be a fun way for her to practice that task!

Choose the name of a beloved friend or family member and use it for educational purposes or simply to decorate a nursery.  They would look very adorable propped delicately upon a high shelf in a baby’s room!  Now let’s begin.

personalized felt balls


You will need wool roving, felting needles, a safe foam/brush surface and an old pair of pantyhose.

First, create one wet felted ball for each letter of the name chosen.  In my case, I needed 5 wet felted balls for the name “RAVEN”.  The balls should all be approximately the same size.  A balance scale or a digital scale could come in handy here.  Each one of my balls started with about 0.4 oz. of white wool.  The balls will be slightly smaller than a tennis ball at that weight.  Follow my tutorial on wet felted balls and then return here to see the rest of the process!

Next, cover the white wet felted balls with the color of choice, I chose lavender.  To do this, wrap the white wet felted ball with the colored wool and lightly needle felt it into place.  You can completely needle felt the color onto the white ball, but I was very busy with my children and being it was laundry day(as it is every day) I decided to wet felt them once again to firmly adhere the lavender outer color onto the white wool core!

tutorial on felted balls with letters

how to wet and needle felt personalized balls

Now that the felted balls are colorful, it is time to plan out the letters.  Using straight pins write out each letter on a separate ball.  Be careful that the straight pins are not at an angle because you will be felting around them next.

tutorial on making felted balls with a name spelled out

To demonstrate felting the letters, I will be using the letter A.  Choose a color that complements the main color and stretch the wool into a thin line by slowly pulling it apart.  I used a Clover Pen loaded with two needles as it helps keep straight lines as you felt; however, one felting needle can be used as well!

how to make felted personalized balls

Line up the thin tuft of wool along one side of the straight pins and needle felt it into place.  Continue this process, until the outline of the letter is complete.  Don’t forget the inside parts of the letter like in the letter “A, B, or R”.

how to needle felt letters on a wet felted ball

After the outline is complete, remove the straight pins and needle felt between the outline as if you were coloring.    One last step left:  simply go back over the entire ball with a smaller felting needle(a larger number) to give it a nice finish.

wet and needle felted balls with a name spelled out

This is how the finished name will look!  You could also only capitalize the first letter of the name if preferred; or make one side upper case and one side lowercase.

wet and needle felted balls with letters

My daughter watched me the whole time wondering when she could play with them; practicing her name on a piece of paper with her older brother.  Here she is with her new felted balls.  So sweet!

my daughter with her personalized felted balls


Measuring Wool for Wet Felted Balls

I am preparing for a felting project I have planned later in the week and I needed five same sized wet felted balls.  Usually I weigh out my wool using my digital scale in order to achieve this; however, my digital scale broke and I didn’t have the time to run out and purchase a new one.  Therefore, I came up with a cheap and readily available alternative(at least readily available to me).

I homeschool my children and have collected a mass of educational materials and one of these just happened to be a bright green balance scale.  Perfect!  I weighed out my wool by choosing 4 pennies to counter balance the scale.  Turns out a penny is a little less than a tenth of an ounce.  Who knew?  I managed to prepare for my felting project and at the same time squeeze in a little measuring lesson.

I didn’t prepare to document this part of the felting process, but the plastic children’s scale atop the crayon-colored, kid destroyed table made me giggle and I grabbed out my camera!  These balance scales can’t get an exact measurement, but they can roughly weigh out similar amounts.  Which turned out to be a perfect tool for making sure my wet felted balls were all roughly the same size!  During my next post, I will share the finished project that I plan to create with these 5 wet felted balls.

weighing wool roving to create equal sized wet felted balls

Needle Felting Tutorial on Happy Strawberries

Today I’m sharing my adorable needle felted strawberries and you can make your own by following this tutorial.  Here they are amidst my “real strawberry plants”.  Now let’s get on to the tutorial!

needle felted happy strawberries

You will needle wool roving or batting in the following colors: red, green, brown, yellow, white, black and pink.  Obviously if you want the berry minus the face or seeds, you will just need red and green.  Grab your
felting needles and a safe foam/brush surface and let’s go.

First grab a handful of red roving.  Shape it with your hands into a loose ball. Now lightly shape it into a ball with your largest size felting needle; I used a size 36.  Remember to do all felting on the foam pad surface. Simply push the needle in the wool over and over again.  Turn the wool as you go to create a ball. Do not make the ball dense, just a very light felting at this stage.

how to needle felt a strawberry

Next squeeze the bottom of it with your fingers to create a tip.  Now needle felt one side of this tip flat.  Flip the “berry” and needle felt the other side of the tip flat.

how to needle felt a strawberry

It should now look like this.  It is getting a little bit more strawberry shaped.

needle felting tutorial on strawberries

You want a rounded tip, not a flat tip.  Imagine the 2 sides of the tip you just felted and felt one of the areas between these two sides.  Flip it and felt the remaining side of the tip.  Felting four different sides of the tip like this should result in a rounded tip.

needle felting tutorial on strawberries

The tip is indented at this time; so go ahead and needle felt the top of the strawberry until the top bit is as felted as the tip is.  Be sure to maintain the rounded appearance of the top as you felt!

needle felting a strawberry

Now grab a smaller felting needle(a larger number needle) and needle felt the entire strawberry trying to maintain the basic shape as you go.  This should make the berry more dense.  Check the density of your strawberry after this step.  Make sure it is firm and that if you squeeze it, it maintains its basic shape.  If this is confusing check out my tutorial on checking for density.

tutorial on needle felting a strawberry

Up next, is the green strawberry leaves.  Create a paper star shaped template that will fit right over the top of the strawberry.  Pin it directly to the top of the strawberry through the center of the star.  Next pin each star tip down.  Make sure the straight pins are pointing straight down rather than towards the center of the berry.  Grab a felting pen now, if you have one, it will be useful in the next step!

how to needle felt a strawberry

Grab a small piece of green wool and stretch it into a thin line by grabbing one side with each hand and slowly pulling.

tutorial on felting play food strawberries

Now follow along the edge of the star template and needle felt this thin green piece along its entire edge.  If you run out of wool before you have traced the template, simply pull another thin piece and continue.  Needle felt slowly and carefully for this part being cautious of the straight pins.

making a needle felt strawberry

Now we have an outline of the leaves.  Just fill this outline in with green wool as if you were coloring.

how to needle felt strawberries

Time to add the seeds.  Grab a very small piece of yellow, roll it into a ball between your fingers, and place it on your felting needle.  Place your felting needle where you would like your seeds to be and go in and out in the same spot to create a tiny felted seed.  Add as many as you feel comfortable with.  If you would like a face, leave part of one side seedless!

tutorial on felting strawberries

Next, add a small brown circle to the center of the leaf star to represent the area the strawberry was plucked from the plant.

tutorial on felting play food strawberries

Now it is time to needle felt the adorable face onto the berry.  If you need help with this step, simply follow my tutorial on creating faces.  After adding the face, grab a smaller felting needle(a larger number) and needle felt the entirety of the berry.  This will smooth out any indentations and pull those loose tufts to the surface.

tutorial on felting play food strawberries

Now the felted strawberry is complete!  One strawberry will take around 1 to 1.5 hours to create.  The one that I used for this tutorial is on the left.  I couldn’t just make one strawberry; they are simply so cute and sweet that I needed at least a pair of them.

strawberry with a face needle felted

Hopefully you were able to easily follow this tutorial; if you have any questions, feel free to comment.  Also, check out my other needle felting tutorials if you haven’t gotten your fill of cuteness yet!

all natural needle felted strawberry toys

Adding Details to a Needle Felt Cat

It’s all about the details when it comes to needle felting, well at least for me it is.  This past week I created an adorable felt cat.  While sharing my creature of the week, I’m going to focus on the drastic changes a few details can make.

Let’s start with a clean, white wool, basic sculpture.  The only thing cat-like about this so far are those ears!
adding details on a needle felt cat
Next, I added a striped tail, a pink belly, and one pink cat paw.   Alright the tail helps out a lot.  This sculpture is definitely looking a little more cat-like now.

adding detail work on a needle felt cat

The final detail work includes the last 3 paws, adding some stripes on the body, and finally adding a pouty cat face!
adding details to a felted project
Ahhhh, the cat is complete.  The basic sculpture remained intact the whole time; the only changes were superficial details.  As you can see the correct sculpture is definitely helpful, but details can really go a long way.

needle felted toy cat