I’d been focusing on knitting when I get a chance to craft and I realized I was neglecting all the other crafting elements that I enjoy and help to encourage a Waldorf lifestyle in our home. Plus, I like to expose Sola to a variety of crafting materials. So I decided to do some needle felting. I’m working on a large needle felting project and thought I’d share a basic tutorial on how to needle felt a mushroom.
- Felting surface
- White wool roving
- Red wool roving
- Needle felting needles in #36, #38, and #40
- Needle holder (optional – often I needlefelt with the needle not in a holder)
Take a handful for white or cream wool roving (truly white wool has been highly processed to achieve it’s color, so I try to avoid that). The wool will felt down to about 1/2-ish the size of the amount of wool roving you start with. Separate the strands of roving and kind of criss-cross them in layers, so that they aren’t all facing the same way. Lay the wool on your felting surface. Now start stabbing the wool with your #36 needles. Be careful not to stab through your felting surface or you could either stab yourself or break a needle.
Don’t Felt Your Project to Your Surface
As you stab, be sure to lift your roving off of your work surface, or you will felt it to your work surface. Also, you will want to roll it and rotate it so that it gets felted evenly on all sides.
LEAVE THE TOP 1/4″ OF THE STEM, UNFELTED. (This will be used to connect the stem to the mushroom cap)
Shape Your Wool
Shape the wool as you go, by stabbing it in the direction you want it to go (I think of it as like working with modeling clay). You want to aim for a shape that looks something like this mushroom stem shape.
Once you have a rough shape, switch to your #38 needles and continue to shape and felt the stem. The stem should be fairly firm, but not rock hard. Then switch to a #40 needle to smooth the stem even more.
Felt the Mushroom Cap
Now, take two handfuls of red wool and start to shape the mushroom cap. Work it like you did the stem, starting with your #36 needle and progressing to your #38 needle, then to you #40 needle, being sure to lift your work off your felting surface.
If you want to add spots to your mushroom, take pinches of white wool and poke them into the mushroom cap, guiding and shaping them into spots.
Attach the Stem to the Cap
Once you have you cap the way you want it, take your stem and carefully attach it to the cap by the unfelted end. Be careful that you don’t felt the stem’s fibers so deep that they come out the other side of the mushroom cap.
There you have it! A needle felted mushroom! What are you going to do with yours? I am making an “felt terrarium”.