Needle Felted Rose tutorial - a really easy all in one rose

These roses are only about 1.5-2cm big (less than an inch) and look delightful on their own or as a collection. Turn them into brooches or use them to embellish and accessorise. You could also add a stem to them. It is also possible to scale them up in size of course!

This is what you need:

1) A pinch (less than 1g) of bright red New Zealand Merino wool batts and a smaller amount of claret red New Zealand Merino wool batts. (You can also make pink and yellow roses or even white ones. I like mixing two colours as it gives it a more real look. For the white ones, you could add a tiny amount of pale pink!)

2) A pinch (less than 1g) of green Mountain Sheep wool batts. (or any other green such as the forest green, pea green New Zealand Merino batts or our variegated green. and a felting mat.

Tools: medium felting (why not try our favourites: twisted needlesand a felting mat.

Have your two coloured wool batts at the ready (one larger quantity of the red and a smaller of the claret)

Mix the two together by laying them on top of each other and pulling them apart with your thumb and index finger. Keep repeating this process until you have the desired mix. I like to keep it fairly mottled rather than totally mixed into a new colour. 

See also our tutorial on how to mix wool.

Tease the wool into an oblong shape and use your medium felting needle to felt it into a flat long shape on your mat. Keep lifting it off the mat to stop it from fastening itself to it. Fold the wispy fibres along the long edge in. You are trying to create a ribbon like shape of about 2cm width.

Once the wool has been felted into the ribbon like strip, pinch the whole shape lengthwise and stab a few times with your needle so that it stays doubled up.

Next turn one end in on itself and felt it down. This will be the centre of the rose.

Then keep rolling the rose up from the centre. Two things are crucial to make a neat looking rose:

1) Make sure you make a tight little ball by rolling it tightly

2) When rolling the wool around itself, give the wool ribbon a twist occasionally. This way you make a more distinct shape which will look like a rose petal.

If you are familiar with ribbon roses, it will help as it is the same process. If not this may be useful video for making ribbon roses. (note that in the video,  it is a rose made from satin ribbon and only an aid in understanding the technique of how the rose from wool is made)


If you find that the rose comes undone before you get to the end of your wool strand/ribbon, either felt it down gently as you go or assess if the wool strand may be too long? Check if the rose is in proportion. If you have too much wool, just tear it to the right length.
Put this rose a side and start on the leaves. Take a pinch of the green wool batts and lay flat onto your felting mat. You will be felting it down as you did with the rose but the shape you are making will be shorter and it will look like a large leaf. You can 'draw' the outline of the leaf with your needle. Felt the inside down and remember to lift the wool off the mat regularly. 
Fold the wispy ends in to make a more distinct shape. This shape will become two leaves!
Next stab your needle so that the large leaf shape will get 'pinched' in the centre. Felt this down to establish the shape.
Then felt the leaves onto the back of the rose by stabbing your needle into the green 'pinched' area of the leaves and into the rose. Do not stab into the rose from the top and into the leaf. This will alter the rose shape!

It takes so little wool (1g for one rose including leaves) to make these roses that you can make lots of them. As they are quite flat they work well as a brooch or maybe a card decoration or an embellishment on a cushion, clothing or a bag? Why not add them to a wreath? Try different colours too! But most of it, have fun and as you make more and  more you will perfect your technique!

For our 'easy to attach' or 'no-sew' brooch backs (they are super secure and suit those who never have enough time! Like us!) shop here