Needle Felted Spiral Shells


Per shell, you will need:

- 1x 30cm Extra Strong Pipe Cleaner
- 4g of Lanolin Rich Core Wool
- Wisps of dark and light brown batts, such as Portuguese Merino and Hare Brown Merino
- medium felting needle
- felting mat 


Tease out your wool by gently pulling with your fingers to form a long thin strand. Take your 30cm pipe cleaner in one hand and hold the wool in the other. The lanolin in the core wool makes it feel ‘sticky’ which is great for wrapping armature.

Lay the wool against the pipe cleaner, about one third of the way along (you will leave the first third bare). Begin turning the pipe cleaner so the wool catches. Keep a little tension (a slight grip) on the wool to help it wind fairly tightly.
Work out to the other end of the pipe cleaner, leaving about 2cm free at the other end. Work back and forth, and always turning in the same direction, build up a tapered cone shape, by building up more layers at the opposite end to where you started.

Bend the long bare pipe cleaner downwards. Being careful of the pipe cleaner, stab all over with your medium felting needle.

Begin to wrap the wool-wrapped part clockwise around the bare pipe cleaner. This gets easier once you have coiled some of it.


Keep coiling the wool-wrapped part around, trying to keep the coils tight and even. The shell will have a cone shape.

When you reach the end, twist the two bare pipe cleaners together to lock the end in place.

Cut the excess pipe cleaner off, and bend any sharp bits inwards. You can put a little wool over to cover the ends.

Take a very thin wisp of dark brown wool and lay over one of the coils. Felt in place with a medium needle.

Add stripes of the dark and light brown all over the shell to finish it off.

You can experiment and make different shape shells. See how to make the other shell in the next step:

Use only half a pipe cleaner (15cm) and a much shorter, fatter cone shape.

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