Needle Felted Leaf


Per leaf, you will need:

- 2g of your choice of leaf-coloured batts (green, orange, yellow, etc.)
- Water Soluble Paper to fit your desired shape
- coarse, medium and (optional) fine felting needles & mat
- pencil
- small sharp scissors
- bowl of warm water 

Use a real leaf as a template (or design your own), then trace it onto a piece of Water Soluble Paper with a pencil.

Take a wisp of your chosen coloured batts and felt it onto the paper with your coarse needle. Stab the wool a few times, away from the outer line...

...then fold the outer wispy ends inwards, and felt these down so you have a neat line at the edge of the leaf.

Use small batches of wool to cover the shape bit by bit. Remember to regularly lift the sheet off the mat to stop it getting fastened on.

Mix different colours to reflect the variegation of natural leaves: take two small wisps of different colours (here green and rust brown), lay on top of each other and tease apart with your fingers. Then repeat the process until mixed (far right wool batch). Use three or more colours if you wish!

Place the new mixed wool onto the paper and repeat the process of felting it into place as before. Make sure that there are no gaps between the felted batches.

Keep adding coloured batches until the whole shape is filled. Check that there are no gaps by holding the sheet against the light. Add more wool where it looks thin.

Your leaf can be finished by stabbing your needle a little more to make it smooth and firm - using a fine needle will create a smoother finish.

Optional: to speed up the felting process and to give the leaf a smooth finish you can use a 7-Needle Multi Tool on a Brush Mat.

Next take a wisp of yellow (or other contrasting colour) and twist it between your fingers into a thin strand. Fasten this into the centre of the leaf, then repeat this process by felting down ‘veins’ going off the centre to the right and left. Use different colours to create a contrast. Also add a stalk.

Use your sharp little scissors to cut around the shape of the leaf. This is a great opportunity to neaten the edges.

Your leaf can be finished now but if you want to shape it and have a stiffer finish, you can dissolve the water soluble paper: submerge the whole leaf into a bowl of warm water for a few seconds...

...take it out, give it a good squeeze and unfold the leaf again. Your fingers should feel sticky - this is good as it demonstrates that there remains some residue of the water soluble paper, as you do not want to totally wash it out of the leaf.

Find another dish small enough to maintain a curved shape of the leaf and leave it to dry.  Once dry, the leaf will stay in the curved shape and will feel stiffer.

Try other leaves and colours! The leaves look lovely strung up into a garland.

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