Dyeing Wool Roving or Batting With Tea

I just started on a new felting project, a little girl with roundish pigtails.  I am going to be making a larger cloth version for my daughter’s birthday and decided a miniature one would be a good trial run.

Anyways, when I started to “color” in her face, I realized that I was using tea colored wool for her skin.  I thought that perhaps other felters could benefit from this.  I follow the same method that I use for dyeing wool with food coloring and substitute brewed tea for the food coloring.  It creates a very soft beige that is hard to produce with food colors.  I will have to find some time to research natural dyes and experiment a little.  But for now,  I will just be happy that I can make more beige with a little bit of tea whenever the mood for felted baby dolls hits me!  Give it a try.  I wonder if different kinds of tea produces different shades of beige?

natural wool dyes tea


Attaching a Ribbon Hanger to a Felted Ornament

Today I’m sharing a tutorial on how to add ribbon, string, or yarn to a needle felted ornament.  Afterall, everyone needs a way to hang their handmade ornaments on the tree!  I use two different methods to accomplish this task and today I will show you step by step how to do my “tab” method.  The “tab” method allows you to change up your ribbon from time to time.  That way if the ribbon gets dingy or a new pretty ribbon at the craft store catches your eye, you can freshen up your old and beloved felted ornaments.
needle felt tree ornament
I start by wet felting a ball.  You can use my tutorial on the washing machine method, if you would like to save some time.  If I have plans to make a few ornaments, I wet felt a handful of balls at one go!

Now, that we have a felted ball for an ornament blank, we can begin!  Grab a tuft of wool in the main color that will be used.  Lay the tuft flat.  Starting from one end, roll the tuft up into a soft log.  Then needle felt the log, turning as you go to maintain roundness.  Be sure to felt only the middle of the log and leave both ends unfelted.

how to attach hanger to felted ornament

To attach the log to the blank ball, simply spread out one of the unfelted ends and felt it onto the ball.  Then do the same thing with the other unfelted end.  Now the felted log has become a tab which can be used to attach ribbons and such.

attaching ribbon to a needle felted Christmas ornament

Once the tab is firmly attached, wrap the blank ornament with the main color and felt it into place.  Attach a decorative ribbon and your ornament is ready to go!

how to add a ribbon to a felted Christmas ornament

I was inclined to add a bit of adornment to the front of my ornament.  These ornaments are relatively quick and easy to make.  And handmade ornaments add so much charm to an otherwise “commercial” time of year.  So get creative and get felting!

Needle Felt Ornament with Star Pattern

I will shortly have a follow up tutorial on an alternate way to add a decorative hanger to your felted ornaments.  So check back in a few days, if you are interested.

Needle Felt Cats

needle felted kittens

I needle felted two black and white cats this past week or so.  I had a request for 2 such cats and while felting them I became inspired.  The black nature of these two little cats reminded me of the “spooky black cats” of Halloween.  So I decided I would make a kitty  that was adorable and at the same time scarier than the two you are seeing today.  My little Halloween cutie will be up later this week in a tutorial!

needle felt cat

I just love the little pink paws!!!

needle felt cats

Needle Felting Tutorial: A Jack-O-Lantern Bowl

Halloween is creeping up and I made a cute little jack-o-lantern candy bowl in celebration.  This tutorial will step you through the process so that you can make one of your very own.  This is a very easy beginner project and the actual “needle felting” only takes about 30 minutes or less.

needle felt jack o'lantern candy bowl

You will need:

spare roving/batting in any color
black and orange wool roving/batting
felting needles
felting foam or felting brush
old panty hose
plastic wrap
rubber band
exacto knife

You will need a wet felted ball to begin this project.  The ball is not part of the finished project, so just use some spare wool roving and follow my tutorial on wet felting balls.

Wrap the felted ball in plastic wrap and place a rubber band around it.  Grab the orange roving and generously wrap it around the prepared felted ball.  Stuff it in an old pair of panty hose and tie it off.  Wash it in the washing machine with your next hot load.  Dry as usual, then wash and dry once more.

how to needle felt a jack o'lantern candy bowl

Remove the ball from the panty hose.  Using an exacto knife cut around the top of the ball.  Now, remove the ball and you will have an orange felt bowl.  To finish the top edge: either needle felt the edge or place the ball and bowl back together, stuff in the pantyhose and wash and dry again!

needle felting a jack o'lantern bowl

Next draw a jack-o-lantern face that will fit the front of the bowl.  Cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth  to create paper templates.  Wrap the felted ball, used to create the bowl, with a piece of paper and place it inside the felted bowl.  Then pin the templates in place.  Stretch a small piece of black wool roving into a thin tuft.  Take the black thin tuft and needle felt around the templates.  Once you have traced the entire face with black roving, needle felt inside the traced lines to complete the jack-o-lantern face.

how to felt a jack o'lantern bowl

Now the miniature jack-o-lantern bowl is complete.  It looks so adorable filled to the brim with small colorful Halloween candy.  It would be a great surprise afterschool snack for the kiddos.  I’ve set it next to my desk for whenever a sweet tooth hits me!  Enjoy this project and if you have any questions feel free to ask.  Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween needle felted jack o'lantern candy bowl