Saturday, November 9, 2013

Needle Felted Sea Horse Ornament

When I was at Stitches Midwest 2013, I got to try out needle felting for the first time.  The felting process went WAY more quickly than I could have ever expected.  I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to explore further when I got home, so I picked up a fun ornament kit from the Esther's Place booth.  (I got this kit primarily so I could have a foam block and needle for felting a 3D penguin from another kit I purchased, but I wanted to get some additional felting practice before attempting this more complex project.)

The directions look pretty simple.  First I will be making a plain purple base out of the dominant color provided.  I'm not sure if there was variation to the color when I purchased it, or if it faded a bit in the sun, but either way I am excited to get to work.  The one thing I really don't know is how thick I need to make my piece of felt.  I started with 6 g of fiber total.  I also knew that I wanted to hold some purple back so that the other colors wouldn't dominate my piece.  For the first pass, I filled the cookie cutter with fluffed up fiber and still had plenty of purple left over.  

It didn't take a lot of poking before it got really flat.  Once again, I was amazed by the speed which the needle felting needle felts the fiber.  

After the first pass on one side, I actually have something that resembles a sea horse.  You can see a lot of holes from where the needle has gone through, but maybe this will be resolved better as I proceed.  

When I flipped it over i decided to add a little more purple fiber to the back because it looked thin in places.   When I flipped back to the RS again I tried to really focus on the points so I could get some more definition from the horns and back fin.  

I mixed some of the black, purple and blue fibers with the sparkly bits to apply this in some spirals to the top of the sea horse.  We'll see how it comes out!  

The Stellina (sparkly bits) was sticking up all over the place so I needed to add some more fiber on top.  I added a really thin layer of purple to help felt these unfeltable fibers down.  

I removed the cookie cutter and it looks great!  Before picking it all up i used my needle to focus on the edges a bit to help define them.  

The backside is so fuzzy!  I also went around the edges on the backside to help make things more secure.  

I'm not sure if all felted 2D ornaments need to be this thick, but my first ornament certainly looks sturdy. 

Now all I need to do is add a loop so it can be hung from something!  (And use the extra fiber to make up some more needle felted ornaments.)  I have some fun cookie cutters that I got with my mom this summer so I think that I will use up the fiber from this kit really quickly.  

The final piece weighs 2 g and is 5" long.