2d Needle Felting Basic Instructions (Including Hessian, Water Soluble Paper etc)

2d Needle Felt Basic Instructions:

You will need:

Optional: Base fabric to work into (for example we use hessian or water soluble paper, you can use any fabric you can get a needle through!)

Optional: Scissors, Pencil 

Basic Instructions for all types of 2d felting:

Have your felting mat in front of you. Lay the base fabric over the mat (if the fabric is bigger than the mat you may need to move it around as you work). Take a small pinch of your chosen colour felting wool, and lay it onto your base fabric. Take a felting needle, holding it near the bent end (or use your felting needle holder). Stab the needle through the wool, the base paper and into the felting mat a little way. Repeat this process, you will notice the little notches on the needle catch the fibres of the wool and push them down into the base fabric, and as you work the surface becomes less fluffy and more fixed. You can lay other colours over the top to add details. You will need to peel your shape carefully off the mat every now and then to prevent it sticking.

If you are using a 7 needle holder you may want to start with a single needle first to fix details in place, and then felt the surface smooth with the needle holder. You can remove a single needle from the needle holder by unscrewing it.

Extra info for using Water Soluble Paper:

We use water soluble paper in our butterflies and flowers kits. You can create 2d items such as flowers and butterflies using the water soluble paper. These make lovely decorations, brooch, and framed pieces.

Draw an outline with pencil onto the water soluble paper, and then fill it in with wool as described above. When you have finished filling it in, cut around the outline.

Dissolving the paper: Dip the shape in tepid water for 2 seconds, you will notice the paper dissolve. Press the shape in a towel to squeeze most of the water out. You can shape it into a more 3d shape by pulling or bending it and leaving it to dry in that position.

Extra info for using Hessian:

We use the hessian combined with water soluble paper for our seasonal motif kits. You could cut the hessian to create bunting, bookmarks, pictures, motifs for cards etc.

If you wish to draw a motif or picture before you start working, you can either draw directly onto the hessian and fill in as described in the basics section, or you can draw onto the water soluble paper as above, cut it out and then felt the whole motif into the hessian. You would not need to dissolve the water soluble paper in this case, it can just be left in.

The edges of the hessian can be frayed to create a decorative edge, simply by pulling a few of the threads away from each side.

Needle Felted pictures:

When creating needle felt pictures it is best to get the background down first, starting with the furthest away point eg. in a landscape this would be the sky, then the clouds, then distant hills, making sure each layer slightly underlaps where the next layer will go, to make sure you don't get a 'seam' between the colours. Keep working your way forward in the picture, ending with the closest details in the foreground

Extra info for using cookie cutters:

We use cookie cutters in our heart and star bunting kits. You can use a cookie cutter as a guide for a 2d shape. These make lovely decorations or motifs for cards etc.

We use hessian as the base fabric for our cookie cutters. You don't necessarily need a base fabric though. If using hessian, cut a piece which is approx 2cm bigger all round than your cutter. Place the hessian on your mat, place the cutter sharp edge down onto the hessian, and then place some wool into the shape. Stab around the inner edge of the cutter with your felting needle (a medium needle works well), adding more wool as necessary. If you have a complex shape such as a star, it help to do one point at a time. Keep your cutter in place until you have finished the outline. Add more wool as necessary to fill in the shape. Then carefully peel the shape from the mat. You can fray the edges of the hessian as described above.