Felt Craft for Valentine’s Day

This little felt Valentine’s bee is so cute.  His body, legs, and antennae were all wet felted and the details were needle felted.  A thorough tutorial on this little bee would be quite extensive; so I prepared a shortened tutorial.  If you have any questions after perusing this simplified tutorial, please feel free to ask!  In total, the bee takes about 6 hours to complete.

felted bumblebee with heart

There are previous tutorials that walk you through many pieces of this bee.  They are as follows:

2  Wings(created the same way as these ears).
26 Beads

First take the wet felted ball and slightly needle felt it to create an oblong ball.  Then needle felt one end flat.  In the first image, take note of the paper template for the face and the straight pins that mark the stripes of the bumblebee.  I prefer to mark these important parts of the bumblebee before attaching any of the small felted pieces.  “Measure twice, felt once!”

The felted beads are strung together as follows:

4 tiny beads are strung together for each antennae. 3 small beads are strung together for the bottom four legs. The second picture demonstrates how to thread the beads so that the two ends remain on one side of the beaded string.  Thread the antennae and bottom four legs in this fashion.

3 small beads, one heart, and 3 small beads are strung together for the top legs/hands.The third picture demonstrates how to thread the top legs and heart.felted valentine bee tutorial

After the beads are strung, it is time to attach them to the bee.  The antennae are attached right above the paper template.  The legs are attached in the middle of each stripe(between the rows of straight pins).needle felted valentine bee

Now it’s time to add the stinger and wings.  Spread out the unfelted end of the stinger, place it on the body, and needle felt into place.  Be sure to remove any straight pins that are in the way.  Now do the same for the wings.felt Valentine's craft tutorial

Needle felt a bit of beige wool around the very edge of the paper template.  This will create an outline of the face.  Then needle felt more beige wool on the inside of this outline.how to felt a sweet bee

Adding the stripes to the bumblebee is very simple.  Simply needle felt a black line along the top of each row of straight pins.  Then needle felt the head with black wool.  Add more black wool to the second and fourth stripe and needle felt into place.  Then, add yellow wool to the first and third stripe and needle felt it.  At this point, the whole bumble bee is “colored” in.

Now size down needles(larger number) and needle felt the entire body once more; this will give a more finished look.  Be sure to tack down the antennae and legs with a super strength felting needle until they are positioned as desired(a size 32 works really well for this).  The final step is needle felting a sweet little face.
needle felting craft for Valentine's

Now the bumblebee is complete.  I’m sure you will have no problem convincing that special somebody to “bee mine” when offering this handmade gift for Valentine’s!!!  As always, good luck.  And Happy Valentine’s Day!!!Felt Bee Gift for Valentine's Day


My New Improved Needle Felting Foam Pad

I’ve been spending a bit more time needle felting, now that I’ve dyed my wool and have a whole new grip of needles.  Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband and he spent the majority of his weekend helping ME with all my felting needs.  Being that Valentine’s Day is a short ways from today, I thought a little couple sharing wouldn’t be to unbearable.

Saturday, I started the day by going outside and trying to get clean shots of some of my felted creations, it was a bright shiny day and all my pictures turned out so wrong.  Turned out 400 ISO in extreme sunlight is not the best option to use on a day like this.  I returned from the photo shoot, loaded my pictures up and was disappointed.  My husband quickly put on his shoes and offered his hand at helping me.  Of course, the simplest way to fix it was to simply say lower that ISO to 200 or 100; however, he went above and beyond and came up with some cute ideas as well.

Here is my pink bird sitting amonst a thicket of bush.

A pink bird created by needle felting

And here is my bumblebee soaring through the air; it looks like magic, but I bet you can guess how we did it!
Needle Felted Bumblebee
But wait, he didn’t stop there.  During some television watching, I decided to felt a bit.  I was surrounded my children and the needles are so sharp.  I didn’t want to sit my felting needles next to me on the sofa or coffee table for fear my 2 or 5 year old would be too curious.  I suggested “if only there was a way to nestle my felting pin cushion on the corner of my foam pad”.  He popped right up and made a little indention in my foam pad to hold my pin cushion.  Fantastic, it works great!  But there was still more,  he even cleaned up the edges of my foam pad which had become tattered and torn(the work of tiny hands I’m Sure!).  He started with a bread knife, a bit of improvement; then he searched the web and the suggestion for cutting foam pads was an electric knife.  We do not have an electric knife, then “ding, ding, ding” a bell went off in my husband’s head.  Off to the garage he went, powered up his band saw and those edges were very neat and straight in no time.  Thank you Landon!

Needle Felting Materials-Foam Pad

Wet Felted Balls plus IMAGINATION!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I had made  three felt balls by wet felting them in the washing machine.  The first ball that  I embellished,  turned into a happy bumblebee.  I worked during the next couple of days to turn the other two white wool balls into creatures.  The second ball became a penguin, and the third morphed into a turtle.  This was all simply, yet patiently achieved by  needle felting details and perhaps a few wings to add on.

A turtle, penguin, and bumblebee needlefelted toys.

The turtle was the only creature to remain basically a ball(but all three are fun to toss back and forth).  He also has a jingle bell inside of him because my husband was feeling experimental.  I think the bell would have made more sense with the bumblebee, say as a buzzing sound. But I really wanted to make a turtle, and the only ball left had a jingle!  But truly, when it comes to kids anything can jingle and it’s more fun.  That extra sensory element really delighted me.  I think I might incorporate it into future toys as well,  see husbands can be very useful when it comes to crafts!  The good thing about a jingle inside of wool is that it muffles the noise; making just enough sound for the child playing with it, but not enough to disturb the parents while the child is shaking it over and over again!

A Cute Felt Turtle

Turning felt balls into toys has been really fun with these past three creatures.  Because they were wet felted somewhat mechanically,  I only had to focus on the details and not the sculpting.  And honestly, the details are my absolute favorite part.  I will probably make a few more toys with this  method before moving on to new territory.  Feel free to give it a try too,  it’s a fun way to be creative and great practice for mastering the details.

NeedleFelted Creatures

Ouch . . . It Stung Me!

A few days ago, my husband and I made three felt balls by wet felting with our laundry.  I have loads to say about that but I’ll save it for later.  However, I ended up with three balls that were pretty dense.  I couldn’t sculpt such dense balls, but at least I could needle felt some decorations on them.  My first thought was a round bumblebee.  And as you can see the results were great.  I love the color contrast of the black and yellow and I could really see a baby twiddling the wings between its fingers(you know the way babies love tags!)

Needle Felted Bumblebee

Now I have two more balls to decorate.  I love animals so I naturally think maybe an owl, a penquin, a baby chick, or just a face of any animal like a monkey.
Needle Felted Bumblebee

All of these ideas are tempting me to make more felt balls.  I will let you see what these two temporarily white balls end up looking like in future posts.