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


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

needle felt toy rainbow

How to Felt a Rainbow


This needle felting tutorial is a very colorful one . . . a felted rainbow.  I designed this rainbow when coming up with different charms to hang from a mobile; however, you could hang it from just about anywhere!  I was a bit intimidated by the rainbow part of this rainbow, but it is actually easier than it looks!
needle felt rainbow

First, draw and cut out a rainbow template.  Place it on a tuft of spare wool(it will be covered later) and needle felt around the outside of the template.  This creates an outline on the tuft of wool.
how to felt a rainbow

Next fold the extra wool towards the center of the outline and needle felt into place.  Between the bottom of the arc, the wool needs to be carefully pulled apart before pulling it to the center.
how to felt a rainbow

Flip the felted piece over; then needle felt the back.  A clover pen speeds this part up a bit.  Then take a single felting needle and reinforce the edges.
rainbow tutorial

Switch to a smaller needle(larger number) and needle felt the entire rainbow, the front, back, and edges.  Continue felting until the shape is solid.
how to felt a rainbow

Here is my little “helper” handing me my paper template.  So cute . . .  Now on with the tutorial!
my little girl

Remember ROY G. BIV, for some reason I can’t forget.  Simple needle felt a line of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple onto the felted rainbow.  These will be our “coloring” lines.
how to make a felted rainbow

Next add a hanger, if you would like.  My hanger is a constructed from twisted embroidery thread.  Pull it up through the center of the arc, back down through the center, and tie it off on the bottom of the arc.
needle felting rainbow tutorial

Start coloring in your rainbow.  Make sure that your felting needle remains vertical, so that any wool pulled through to the opposite side is lined up with the rainbow design.  Carefully felt over the knotted embroidery thread; you don’t want to break a needle!
how to make felted rainbow

Flip it over, the opposite side has a hint of rainbow.  Simple follow this “hint” and needle felt the rest of the rainbow.  Keep the felting needle vertical so that the colors don’t become mixed on the finished side.
how to make a felt rainbow

Two small balls are used for the clouds.  Wrap the unfelted wool on one side of the rainbow around a ball and needle felt it.  Continue until the ball is secure.  Repeat with the other side.
how to make a felted rainbow

Next clean up the clouds a bit.  Add some white wool to the base of the rainbow and needle felt it into place.  Keep adding white until no color is peeking through.
how to felt a rainbow

Add some cute faces if you would like.  And the felted rainbow is complete.  This rainbow will take around 3-4 hours to create.  Be patient with the rainbow stripes and all will be well!  Good Luck.
needle felted rainbow

Felted Smiling sun for nursery decoration

Happy Sun Needle Felting Tutorial

Last week, I needle felted my first baby mobile charm and this week I wanted to share a felting tutorial on my second mobile charm:  A Happy Sun!    Simply put,  mobile charms  are small toys attached to a baby mobile.  I always switched up the toys on my children’s mobiles and I decided to make a few of the felted variety.   I just love handmade additions to a nursery.

felt sun for baby mobile

This sun is a basic design made from a wet felted ball and a grip of needle felted triangles.  It is a pretty easy project, but the triangles are a bit tricky to get just right! Here it goes . . .

You need: Wool roving/batting, felting needles, felting pad/brush, and embroidery thread.

A wet felted ball is used for the base of this sun toy.  Follow my tutorial on wet felted balls and then move on to the triangles!

Needle felted triangles will represent the rays of the sun.  A triangle template will help ensure that all of the triangles are roughly the same size.  Just cut a triangle out of a piece of paper; use the wet felted ball to estimate the appropriate size of the triangle/ray.

I like to place a piece of paper between my wool and felting brush; it creates a smoother finish. Place the template on a tuft of wool.  Then needle felt around the edges to create an outline of a triangle.

felting tutorial on a toy sun

Take the extra wool from a side of the triangle, fold it to the center, and needle felt it down.  Do this on one more side.  Do not felt the third side of the triangle; the unfinished side will be used to attach the triangle to the ball.

how to make a needle felted sun

Now, needle felt the 2 edges of the triangle.  Then needle felt the top of the triangle.  Flip it over and needle felt the opposite side.  Size down a needle and needle felt the entire triangle once more.  Compare the completed triangle to the template as you go, making sure that you do not change the overall shape and size too much as you felt.

how to make a felted sun

Take the wet felted ball and a piece of paper.  Draw a circle around the ball.

how to needle felt nursery decorations

As the triangles are created, lay them out along this circle.  Keep making triangles until the entire circle is outlined with them.

tutorial on felted nursery decorations

If you would like, now is time to attach the hanger to the felted ball.  Follow my tutorial on this, if you need a little help!  The tutorial will give similar results to the hanger on the sun; the only difference here is that I am using twisted embroidery thread to create the hanger!

Next pin the triangles to get an idea of where they should be placed.  I made three sets of three colors and decided to felt them into place in a pattern.  First I placed the three bright yellow triangles equally around the ball and needle felted them in place.  Then I did this with the orange and finally the golden yellow.

tutorial on needle felting a miniature toy sun

Next, needle felt the main color onto the ball.  Felt the front and back side of the sun making sure that the core color does not peek through.  A good light is necessary during this stage!  Use a smaller size felting needle(a larger number) and felt it again; this will help smooth out any lumps and bumps.

needle felted sun

The final step is needle felting a sweet little face.  Again, I have an easy tutorial for this if you need a bit of explanation!

Felted Smiling sun for nursery decoration

The smiling  sun charm is now complete.  This toy sun is sure to brighten any child’s nursery!  I’m excited to get started on more baby mobile charms; they are such fun and adorable too.  Good Luck!