When I first thing that happens when you see a needle felted piece is that you love is wow that’s amazing. How did you do that? I want to make one. Could I do that? And then the fatal question from lack of confidence – is it hard?
So, I’d just like to say that no needle felting is not hard. If you learn a few simple techniques it can be really quite easy to achieve some lovely needle felted pieces. However, there are some things that you need to learn to do that and below I am going to explore what these difficulties are and what you can do to overcome them.
If you do this you’ll be needle felting in no time and showing off your new Creations to all of your friends both locally and on Social media.
Needle Felting Is Not Hard to Learn
No, I don’t believe that needle felting is hard to do. You can make some amazing small projects if you take the time to learn a few basic skills. From here you can make it as easy or as hard as you want. You can continue to progress with the smaller projects that don’t require armature or any more of the complex abilities or you can slowly progress and learn new techniques until you can do the more complex needle felting creations.
Even though I don’t think needle felting is difficult to do some people I have seen do seem to have some difficulty with it.
My sister used to run a crafting group and when we did easy needle felting animals. Some people just don’t seem to be able to do them. I don’t know whether this was a lack of ability or lack of confidence, but I’m certain that given time they would learn. I believe that anybody who wants to can learn to needle felt.
For example, some people love to make mice and mice as all they make and they make some fantastic mice. They may not be progressing onto other items but what they do make is of exceptional quality, uniqueness, and variety. I have also seen some people who specialize in making beautiful bird needle felts. Basic bird needle felt are easy to do but they have made this into their art form and are now selling their work.
There are some basic things that you need to learn in order to make needle felting less of a hard short and more of a pleasurable activity.
7 Things You Can Do to Make Needle Felting Easy
If You Find Needle Felting Difficult Learn to Use Felting Needles Properly
Learning to use needles seems to be one of the hardest things that people have difficulties with when they’re learning to needle felt. If you use the needle incorrectly you will break it. The worse the technique that you use the needle the more often it breaks. Of course with needles, they do eventually break and anyone can make a mistake anyway. But often beginners get through lots and lots of needles.
Needle felting is a naturally slow hobby. People tend to rush it because they want to get to the end. This is natural of course however if you’re not using the correct techniques and you rush you tend to bend the needle as you put it in or take it out of your project. Sometimes you can get away with this however more often than not you don’t and as a result the needle snaps.
If you want to make a needle felting easier then it’s a good idea to learn good needle usage techniques as soon as you start. Just go slowly to start with until you learn what does and does not work. If you are using your needles more slowly you can see and feel when it starts to bend and maybe stop it from breaking.
Another way to make the needle felting easier is to avoid armature at least while you’re starting. Felting with your needle around an armature is actually more difficult. But again you can learn to do this by learning a few techniques and the way to hold the needle.
When Felting Needle Pain Makes it Hard
People tend to underestimate the needles and needle felting. You can make needle felting easier by doing two things being careful where you place your needle and wearing protective fingers coverings.
Stabbing yourself with needles is part of a needle felting. And it really, REALLY hurts. My sister did this when she had a frozen shoulder and it nearly made her pass out.
In addition, because of needles break you can possibly and I have seen it happen a catch the needle into your body and then have to go into emergency.
I don’t want to turn you off of doing needle felting but it’s well worth knowing that this is a hazard and it’s one of the things that makes felting harder. A few considerations and safety precautions can prevent many mishaps.
If You Learn Basic Techniques Felting Becomes Easier
If you learn a few basic techniques right at the start and most leaflets have some form of how-to guide this makes felting easier because you’re not fumbling around in a dark trying to reinvent the wheel.
It’s well worth investing in some form of tutorial whether it be of a book form of course locally or even one of the free YouTube videos or a paid video if that’s what you prefer.
By investing time in your hobby to learn it will make it that much easier.
Essential basic techniques are:
These shapes form the base of lots of exciting projects.
Reduce the Difficulty of Felting: Start With Small & Easy Projects
I’m a bit of a do as I say rather than do as I do on this one I’m afraid and I apologize for that. I’m not very good at doing a project that I’m not interested in and I knew perfectly well I would not continue with needle felting if I started doing something that I just well had no interest in. So I decided to start with bears. I think I’ve mentioned it in a couple of articles. Bears are not your basic easy to do needle felting project. They’re not the hardest thing to do by any stretch of the imagination, but they are just not that easiest either. (I did have a couple of small projects with polystyrene under my belt).
The reason I’m saying this is because I think it’s important to start off with easier projects that reinforce basic skills that you have learned and then build upon them. You get a few of those under your belt and then you start learning armature if you want to and then just generally increase your skill set and complexity of your projects.
Now having done that if you want to do a more complex project you can buy a kit. Most do give you step-by-step instructions to follow so you could try it. However, when I first started to do a cat I found even with step-by-step and having a fair amount of experience, it was still very difficult to do.
If you don’t want to make needle felting hard, you can just stick to doing armature-free smaller projects. There are absolutely tonnes of them, that you can do and they are amazing. You don’t have to get complicated with needle felting if you don’t want to make fantastic things.
Progressing & Improving Your Skills
If you’re not one of those people that are happy to stick to armature free items and you want to learn the more complex projects then the next stages are usually as to learn are armature and possibly even wet felting as this is often combined with needle felting.
Even when you’re using armature you can start off with something simple. I started with a mouse. I’d been absolutely dying for ages to learn armature and then finally when my sister went up to Exeter for a show and she came back with a mouse and I’m like, “I want to do that, I want to do that!” So she came around my house one afternoon and taught me how to do armature. The fact that she’s only just learned how to do it herself was no obstacle.
There are lots of videos on YouTube that show you how to use armature and how to create whatever it is you want to that needs armature. It’s one thing to be able to do a pipe cleaner or chenille mouse and quite another when you see some fantastic dragons or ravens. They’re just on a different level. But there’s no reason why you have to ever do that if you don’t want to. Some people just love to do mice and there’s a lot of scope with mice.
Harder Needle Felting Projects
I’ve already touched on some of the harder things that you can do and really you can make needle felting as difficult as you want. But of course the harder projects not only are more difficult to do but they take a lot more wool, a lot more armature and a lot more time and I mean a lot more time. Some people can take months to do a project.
So Where Do You Go From Here?
I would just start.
- Just get yourself a kit that’s ideal for beginners or put together your own kit whichever you prefer.
- Make the items mentioned in the kit.
- Then find a small project that but you’d like to do. There are lots dotted around on Etsy Amazon possibly even Facebook.
- These small projects have step-by-step instructions with all that you need to do them included and it’s not that expensive. (baring the pad sometimes)
The most important thing to have for needle felting is a lot of patience and willingness to learn. And enjoyment for what you’re doing. Like with everything new felting isn’t for everyone but the only way you’re going to do that as if you try.
I’d love to hear how you get on.