Thursday, June 19, 2014

3d Needle Felted Penguin

Spoiler Alert:  I did it!

After playing around with some 2D needle felting, I felt that I was ready to attempts a 3D project.  (Gulp!) I even got a new tool to help me with this project. I think that this Clover Needle Felting Tool will help me prick my own fingers less. With 5 barbed needles the felting should be a little more even. (At least this is my hope!)

I picked up a 3D felted penguin kit at the Stitches Midwest expo last fall.  The kit contained all of the fiber I would need, but didn't come with the foam felting square or any felting needles.  (Hence the reason I picked up the 2D felting kit since that came with a needle.)   

This project started with wrapping a bunch of wool around my finger.  Sounds easy enough! 

The new tool is amazing foe this large surface area!!  Although I suppose I should have wrapped it tighter.  The nice thing is that I'm not seeing holes like I did with the single needle.  I'm getting a nice evenly felted surface.  

The base was easier than I thought.  I just make sure to reshape as i move along  Pretty cool, right? 

3D needle felted items are very sculptural.  I was expecting to have a lot of problems with this because I don't do well with free formed crafts.  This is why knitting is great for me, there is some order to what you are doing and it is therefore repeatable.  Embroidery and needle felting?  Time will tell.  

I used the long single needle to secure the oval stomach to the piece and then my new 5 needle toy to make it flat.  The single needle goes much deeper, and is better for precise placement control.  

When I was done, the penguin front was fairly flat.  Looking good so far!  

Time to make the beak.  When making the triangle, I was wishing that I had made the penguin front a little shorter, or removed some of the yarn so I could make the beak even smaller.  In the end, I do like the cartoonish look to the nose.  

The feet are not my favorite part of the sculpture...  but still pretty cute overall.  They were felted flat separately and then attached to the bottom  

Now it is time for the hat and the scarf.  I hope that I can do this piece justice. 


The instructions give very good tips, such as rolling the strip of fiber for the scarf in your hands before adding it to the penguin.  This helps keep the shape more even.  Brilliant tip!

I had a lot of trouble securing the pompom to hat.  I decided to secure to to penguin side and have less crease and more flop.    It is still precariously attached to the penguin, but since this is an ornamental decoration rather than a toy, hopefully people will not touch it too much.  

This is a project that took an afternoon and was a lot of fun. I could see kids getting into this, kids who are old enough to use the tool without cutting themselves. I can see myself making many more needle felted embellishments and ornaments in the future.  I haven't started looking up patterns of things to make, so do you have any suggestions on where to find needle felting instructions?