After months of enviously eyeing other people's needle felting projects-especially Violet Le Beaux's-I decided to just get on with it, buy a kit, and try it for myself. I bought one of the cheapest needle felting kits I could find on ebay, and it arrived at the beginning of January. The kit came with a pretty decent amount of wool roving, needles, finger guards (which are actually far too big for my fingers, so I don't use them), felting needles, and a foam mat. To be honest, the foam mat isn't very good quality, so I will be replacing it with a better one soon, but I wanted to check I actually liked needle felting before investing more money in it!
To those who haven't heard of needle felting before, it's a craft where you basically mat fluffy wool or similar fibres together to create shapes and designs, by repeatedly poking it with a barbed needle. You can build up layers to create larger shapes and to add different colours, and you can make 3D pieces, flat pieces, or even add flat felted designs to knitwear or clothing. It's a very versatile and relatively new craft, which developed from car seat manufacturing processes in the 1980s!
I've now been needle felting for just over a month, and I absolutely love it. Some of my favourite things I've made have been these fairy tale inspired toadstools. The red one in the middle is actually the first thing I ever needle felted!
They are in varying sizes but are all pretty small, and so I can make them quite quickly. I find them a relaxing project to do in the evenings, and as needle felting equipment doesn't take up much space, they're the kind of thing I can do on my laptop table if I don't want to sit up to my desk.
These toadstools are all based on the classic red and white amanita muscaria (fly agaric) that features heavily in fairy tales and all things magic related, but I took some artistic liberties with the colours of some of them. I like trying different colour combinations and seeing how they turn out. This pastel one looks almost like confectionery with its cotton candy hues.
This brown one is more realistic as it's based on the amanita regalis or king of Sweden amanita. I really like amanita regalis, they remind me a little bit of the patterns on fawns, and as I'm obsessed with both deer and mushrooms/toadstools anything that combines the two in any way is a win in my book! This one turned out a bit chunkier than the other toadstools, but I like how they're all different-just like real toadstools.
A couple of the toadstools from this post will be going to new homes soon, with some of my penpals. I plan to make more though, and I think I might try to make them into some kind of decorative garland or wreath. Or necklaces. Or keychains. Or a felted woodland scene...the possibilities are almost endless. One thing is for sure though...you'll be seeing a lot more needle felted creations on this blog! I'm hooked!
If you'd like a tutorial for these please let me know in the comments!