Monday, January 25, 2016

Falling in Love with Needle Felting!

Okay, I love crafty things and such, but this was just so much fun and truly amazingly easy to do!!

During Christmas break a dear friend of our family stayed at our guest house their 3rd year in a row! When they arrived, they gave us some of the cutest things from the Daiso Store in Japan! The previous post about the goodies are here.

Taby has the penguin kit, Sara the cute puppy in a mug, and I got to do the bunny kit! I started to work on it this past weekend!

First, I took out the materials that came inside the kit, a felting needle, wool felt in the colors that you will need. In this case, white, pink, red and yellow for the bunny kit. There are eye parts, a round jump ring, and a ball chain. They do also provide extra jump rings and eye parts, just in case, you loose any in the process.

What the kit doesn't come with, is an Awl tool, I know, what the heck is an Awl?!! Well, it's basically a tool used to make holes in fabric and other material. So, I substituted and used a thick toothpick. You will also need glue(I used tacky glue), pliers, scissors, a ruler, and a woolen felt mat(I couldn't find one at our dollar store here, so I got a sponge instead).

The first thing they want you to do is divide the wool felt into parts. The instructions from the Daiso kit is in English, Spanish and Japanese, with illustrations too! So, don't worry you will be able to read and following along for each step.

Next, you will need to take the first section of wool felt and basically loosen it, stretch the wool between your fingers and then fold and roll it. I used a video tutorial of a similar kit to help me understand better what the instructions were saying. It is shown on this post below, if you are a visual learner? I must say, Budgethobby's video, was very informative and also gave me some pointers on what tools to get for next time.
 Using the felting needle you are going to poke straight in and out,(like stabbing the wool felt) of the wool felt, and it will basically, become more uniformed and smaller. You will do this with the felting needle, while holding it on top of the sponge, all the way around to form a ball or core. Be careful not to stab your fingers. Once you have a base core, the instructions tell you to add more wool felt and continue the step again until you have a ball the size of 4cm. Set that aside and now we will work on the ears...
 The instructions for the ears, were a bit more intense, and in the video below, is for the cat kit, so, I had to wing it for this one. I read it a few times and with practice and error, I was able to create a decent ear, and then the second one. Generally, you would take a section of the wool felt you set aside, and loosen it as you did the first time. But this time fold the wool felt into a triangle shape. As you work the needle through, the ear starts to become more visible and then you can shape it a bit more, fold some parts and again work the felting needle again. When you have the same size ears, the instructions have you add the pink wool in. This part was a lot easier than I thought.
 Above, I've already added the ears to the head. The instructions do tell you to keep the bottom section of the ears loose so you can work the wool felt into the head. Once you completed the ears onto the head, now, onto the eyes! I used the toothpick and poked into the head to place the eye parts. I used tacky glue to set them in.
 Now, working the the bunny's nose was a bit tricky. The more red wool felt you put in the larger it is. So, with this step. I had to take out the first set I put in, and redo it all over again. Not to worry, it was easy to remove as I hadn't worked the felt into the head too much, whew!
 Almost done! I even had to redo the mouth as I wasn't pleased with what I had done on the first try. Less red wool felt and Yay! A nose and mouth I was happy with!
Now, onto the flowers on the bunny above. I took small sections of red wool and separated them, then roll them up to create a puffed up ball of four separate pieces. I will do the same with the yellow wool, but only one puffed ball. I worked each piece carefully and then, with the felting needle set them in with the same stabbing motion. As you can see above.

 Now, two more simple steps to go... with the Awl or toothpick, I make a hole at the backside of the bunny's head between the ears. I use the pliers to separate the jump ring and place it into the hole and then use the pliers again to close the jump ring. Lastly, you take the ball chain and feed it through the jump ring, lock it and Ta Da! You are done!

 She is unique, I didn't put two sets of flowers, because she is an island bunny! Also, if you notice, her mouth is not smiley, but simple. ^-~
It was a lot of fun to go through the process and see the end result. I am going to help Sara work on hers later this week and see how she fairs with it?

I recommend it for those of you who would like to learn something new? For children, please be careful they will be handling a needle, so not good for anyone under 7 years old and they must be supervised by an adult.

Thank you Shizuka, Honoka and Yuina! We love the kits! Happy Crafting Everyone!

Thanks so much for reading! ~ ggsdolls

As promised the tutorial of a similar kit below:

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