Simple Hands Instructions

You will need: (to make a pair of hands)

Wool:
Your choice of skin-toned wool batts.

Extras: Extra Strong Pipe Cleaner or length of Paper Covered Wire (or similar):
Make sure that you use a gauge of #22 or higher and that the wire is easy to bend with your fingers.

Tools: felting needle (#38 medium), felting mat.

Optional extras:
Beeswax Balm or Florist Tape to help wool grip onto bare wire. 

 

In this tutorial, we have used an Extra Strong Pipe Cleaner and Flesh Pink NZ Merino.

 

Before you start, tease your wool out into a long, thin strand.

Tip: When wrapping wool around wire or pipe cleaner it is essential that you keep the wool flat like a ribbon. This means that you have to let go of the strand after each wrap so it does not become a rope-like strand. Alternatively,  you could rotate the pipe cleaner and hold the strand still. Use a little wool and wrap tightly - it is always best to add layers gradually to build bulk.

This diagram gives you an idea how the wire/pipe cleaner will be bent to form the hand. You may want to pre-bend your wire before wrapping to gauge how much will be taken up by the hand part and how long your total finished arms will be.

Starting about 4-6cm away from the edge of your wire, begin to wrap wispy ends of your wool strand around the end. Wrap thin layers of wool, flat like a ribbon, back towards the end of the wire cleaner. Make sure you keep it tightly wound. The wool should 'stick' to a pipe cleaner by itself.

Next bend the wire in on itself where you first started with the wool, so that the bend is covered in colour. This will become the thumb.

Bend the wire back again, close to the first bend.

Bend over once again making a slightly larger curved end for the fist. The end of the wire should now be facing in the same direction as the long end.

Close up the end by twisting it around the main length of wire.

Next use more of your wool to cover the bent hand part. Remember to wrap this like a ribbon, keeping it flat and tight. If you need to start a new strand, make sure you secure the wispy ends first and wrap the wool in the same direction as you did before so that you are not unwinding the layers underneath.

You should end up with a neatly wrapped hand with a thumb and fist (like a mitten). Use your medium felting needle to stab into the wool a few times to neaten the hand. Mind the wire -  stab sideways, along the wool, to avoid the wire. Add more wool if needed. Make a second hand to match.