When you’re deciding whether you want to take up needle felting as a hobby and you want to find out whether it’s cheap or expensive to do and there a few things you need to think about. Firstly how expensive it is to start up? And secondly how expensive it is to continue once you have decided that it’s the hobby for you?
Needle felting isn’t expensive to start up. You can start needle felting for around as little as £20-25 ($25-31 US). Which I don’t think is particularly expensive. This will give you all the needles that you want and wool and Pad. £20-25 ($25-31 US) for starting a new hobby is very cheap in this day in age. However, once you have decided that you like needle felting and want to continue how much you spend depends on various things you need which I discuss below.
Since I started needle felting I have found that there are several things to think about which can make needle felting as a hobby either more expensive or cheaper to do. Below I’ve run through the basics of what you will need and how expensive it is.
Is Needle Felting Cheap or Expensive to Do As A Hobby?
Needle felting can be as cheap as expensive as you want it to be depending on how much you do and how big your projects are and how complex they are. Also, the wool you buy places a large part in the overall cost.
For Beginners Starting Out Needle Felting
To start out needle felting is actually really cheap. This is because there are lots of kits set up by needle felters that you can buy on places like Etsy, eBay and Amazon and even Facebook. Or you can go directly to their websites.
Really to start needle felting all you need is 4 things
- Somewhere to needle felt
- Needle felting equipment
- Tutorials in the form of videos books or personal classes
While this may sound expensive it doesn’t have to be. You can start needle felting for as little as £20 ($25 US) this includes needles wool and some small projects to get you going.
When you’re thinking about starting needle felting you need to decide whether you want to start with a kit or whether you want to buy the wool and needles and other bits of equipment individually.
Somewhere To Needle Felt
All you really need here is a sturdy table a chair and bright clear light. So this needn’t be that expensive to set up although you may need to buy a light. Needle felting while watching TV is not advised especially for beginners.
Basic Needle Felting Equipment
When you decide what needle felting things you need to get the easiest way to actually start is to buy a kit. If you buy a basic kit it will come with everything that you need to start needle felting and usually with a guide and some instructions for some basic needle felting projects. This will be enough to get you started and see whether you want to go further with needle felting.
If however you don’t want a kit and want to buy everything individually then you will need to know which wool and which equipment to get which then makes a little bit more complicated however the price range can usually be kept within the same amount.
You can set up basic needle felting with a kit for about £20-25 ($25 US) (this will vary depending on country and shop).
When I started to learn to needle felt I decided to buy the items individually because I had a specific thing I wanted to make. I decided I would start with a bear. I don’t believe in starting with easy stuff obviously, lol. However, my sister and niece started with a kit.
My sister started with a Heidifeathers kit, the basic one that she does and it was very good and I think it was actually that got me interested in needle felting to start with.
I did later use one of her other kits but I do actually prefer her beginners one.
As far as I know, her kits are available in the UK and the US but I’m not sure about other countries. But even if these kits aren’t available I’m sure there are plenty of beginners kits available that are similar.
Once you have decided to continue with needle felting then you will need to replace your needles pads and wool. This is where needle felting can start to be more expensive.
However, how much you spend is really up to you. If you keep your project small and don’t want to do it all the time then it can be a really economical hobby. However, if you want to make really large projects and want to do this continuously it can be much more expensive. Also, the more complex projects require extra things like armatures and eyes and possibly other things as well. If you’re making feet, for example, you may need clay or wire depending on how you make them. Some projects may also require a combination of wet and needle felting so you would then need your wet felting equipment as well, which actually isn’t that expensive to buy anyway.
Replacing & Increasing Your Wool Stocks
Where you might find it starts to get expensive is when you need to get new wool.
While Amazon is brilliant for starting out with the kits and small amounts of wool you will soon find that your projects need larger quantities of wool and a larger range of colours. Also, there are different types of wool for different projects.
This is where your specialist needle felting suppliers or large wool suppliers come into play.
Now the problem I had when I was starting out was, I don’t have a lot of money to invest in tools equipment or wool so I was always looking for the places I could get smaller amounts. It’s easy to pay £3 or £4 ($4-5 US) for one colour of wool which is great if you have the income or if you just want the one colour. In addition, you were then paying postage and packaging on top. So you need to make sure if you’re working on a budget that you make the most of your purchase.
Some people like to buy large quantities of wool, it’s a hobby after all. They can do that. But the problem isn’t just the outlay it’s also where you store it once you’ve bought it. If you’re making small items you do not need large quantities of wool so you may not want to buy and store larger volumes of wool.
If you’re doing smaller projects like I was with the bears then you can also find places that you can buy a smaller quantity of wool. This is a great idea because although it’s a little more expensive to do it that way you can get lots of different colours in one go and so reduce your overall outlay to as little as £10-£15 ($12-19 US) in one go.
The Cost of Needle Felting Tutorials Classes and Courses
Now that you’ve got your kit or equipment and done a few basic projects you’ll probably want to learn a great deal more if you like doing it. If you do you’re probably want to take some form of class or other to improve your skill set or learn how to make different projects.
This is where an additional expense to a needle felting comes in. Tutorials, kits or courses or even local classes can give you the knowledge you need to continue with your hobby. It’s a good idea to decide how you want to do this.
The cost of courses ranges greatly depending on where you are in the world and even where you are within the country. Where I live there are relatively cheap and between £10 or £12 ($12-15 US) a session of a couple of hours. Further up country, you can be talking £40+ ($50 US). I have seen longer courses for hundreds of dollars These were all in the USA.
How To Keep Your Needle Felting Costs Down
If you are looking to keep your needle felting cost down and you want to learn then a good way to do that would be to take advantage of as many of the online tutorials as you possibly can.
The disadvantages of online tutorials are that not everybody is comfortable with learning that way and they may need an actual personal tutor. In which case you will be looking for local classes which will increase your cost.
The advantages of online tutorials are that many of them are very good quality and many are free.
I recommend that you take a look at the Living Felt & Wooly Wednesday tutorials with Marie and her fairies on Youtube or Facebook Live as they are very good.
They start with very basic instructions and she explains things very well and step-by-step. She does both wet and needle felting and also Nuno felting.
The Biggest Cost Danger – Wool Fever!
If you’ve never used wool before you may not have experienced this. However, it does seem to go across the board no matter what wool craft hobby you do. That is wool fever. Wool fever is when you just can’t stop buying wool even when you don’t need it. The excitement you get when a pack of wool arrives. You know when you have wool fever as you will not use the wool but you keep getting more and more of it. You may think I’m crazy now but give it a few months lol.
What Are Your Needle Felting Plans?
So what are your plans for your needle felting future do you have any particular projects in mind? Or do you just want to give it a go?
I would love to hear your plans in the comment section below.