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Tag Archives | Needle Felting

CHA Summer 2011 | Woolbuddy

A new company that caught our eye at this year’s CHA was Woolbuddy – Handmade Cuties.IMG_0029Woolbuddy features the CUTEST handmade toys, all created from wool felt.  The designs are really cute!IMG_0026
The WoolBuddy collection consists of all kinds of colorful animals, sea creatures, friendly looking monsters.  And sheep.  You can’t be a “Wool” company without sheep, right?IMG_0028
The kits come packaged with everything you need to create your creature (felt, needles and instructions).image
We’re really excited about Woolbuddy, and can’t wait to try it out.  Have you ever needle felted before?  What kind of creature would you like to create?

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Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: Arterro Kits (2 of 2)

Reported by Susie Ziegler

My 10-year-old daughter and I were excited to play with craft kits from Arterro. Kits are a great introduction to a new craft without requiring a large investment in materials. She and I have tried a lot of kits in our time and often find that many popular ones for kids are so heavily packaged and prepared it isn’t nearly as fun to make the items as we expect.

What a breath of fresh air to receive Arterro kits! Kits with open ended purpose! We can immerse ourselves in the process with their high quality, sustainable materials. We worked with their new Paint With Wool Portrait Kit:
and the Collage Jewelry Kit:

First we tried needle felting with the Wool Portrait Kit. It contains four, high quality, thick 4-inch wool squares, an array of wool roving in rainbow colors, and three sturdy needle felting needles. Needle felting needles are long and sharp with little barbs to grab wool fibers and lock them together.

The package contains enough instructions and ideas to encourages us to explore the materials and plan our compositions.

Forget planning, Mom. I like this color and I’m getting started!

My daughter used a foam pad as a base that I had around the house. I used a rolled up towel as suggested in our instructions.

“Sweetie, you are using all the color, you have to pull off small pieces of the wool so I can have some.” We agreed that the colors of wool are beautiful. Although there isn’t a large amount of each color, we had plenty for our little wool portraits.

We loved needle felting with these materials. My daughter observed, “This would be fun to do with the Girl Scouts!” We also had an, “Oops! I poked a finger. Ouch!” No harm done, though. She wrapped her finger in a bandage and got right back to work.


It was a dark snowy Saturday, and we were still feeling creative, so we got started on some collage jewelry. This kit contains glaze, a paintbrush, decorative decoupage papers in patterns, tissue paper solids, assorted glass and wooden beads, twine and jewelry findings, and one large wooden bangle.

This time we took a little more time to plan our designs.

At first I didn’t realize the white goo in the pot was a finishing glaze and not the sticky medium. We mixed up a separate little bowl of our own watered down Elmers glue to stick our collage paper to the wood beads.


Again, the papers were beautiful designs and were fun to work with.

Jewelry findings were included in the kit, as were simple instructions to tie the beads to earring wire with the twine.

Pros:

  • Materials are sustainable and natural
  • Appealing collections of creative supplies
  • Fun for all ages, not just kids
  • Enough materials for multiple finished items

Con:

  • We already want to replenish our supplies, especially the thick white wool base material for the needle felting. Arterro only offers craft kits and not extra supplies.

We had a very creative afternoon and my daughter has learned two new crafts she can do herself when she is feeling an urge to make something.

Give these kits a try. We had a great time with them!

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Artterro are giving away a kit of the winner’s choice to two of our lucky readers! Answer the following question in the comments section to be entered:

Artterro already has all of these kits to choose from… what ideas do you have for new kits?

Comment by Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 9 pm CST to be entered. One comment per article, please.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Clover Needle Felting Tool

Reported by Deja Jetmir

The Clover Felting Needle Tool is an innovative and easy-to-use instrument for anyone who has ever wanted to try needle felting. The particular tool I am reviewing is the 5 barb felting needle that is used for appliqué work.

Quick lesson on how this thing works: felting is the interlocking of animal fibers to make a dense woven fabric. Wool, alpaca and just about any other natural animal fiber can be felted.
The most common way of felting is through agitation – either vigorously rubbing it with your hands or using a washing machine. The other way of felting is using specially-designed needles. These needles have numerous barbs along the shaft that help the fibers interlock as the needle is punched through it.

Clover designed a tool with 5 barbed needles which not only makes fast work of you project, but also helps secure it that much more. As a crocheter by trade, I picked up the Clover tool to try adding felted crochet appliqués to finished felted crochet articles. There is nothing I loathe more than sewing a finished crochet project and I thought this might help with adding final touches without all of the work. So, not only am I reviewing the main purpose of this tool as a needle felting implement, but I am also reviewing it on how well it works for the purpose in which I chose it.

Fair warning before we go on: I never claimed to be talented in constructing needle felted appliqués in anyway. The projects you are about to see are purely for the ability to review the ease of use and quality of product, I apologize now for the poor representations of the flower and butterfly.

Before beginning, I needed to compile the needed accessories to be able to create my projects. You not only need the needle felting tool and felting implements, but you also need a base to put your project on for the needles to be able to pass through the work completely and not damage any furniture you are working on. I am a thrifty person, so before purchasing the recommended needle felting brush mat from Clover to use with my new tool, I chose to purchase a block of foam from the flower department of my local craft store. Then using wool roving and an already felted piece of wool crochet I began designing.

I placed the roving into the simple shape of a flower, then releasing the lock on the tool, I began easily punching my design into place. The five barbs are stationary in the tool. The outer clear plastic sleeve retracts with each push allowing the barbs to be exposed and pushed into your work. This is a great feature Clover has that other needle felting tools do not. Most other needle felting tools are a single barb with no protection. Though I wouldn’t let my child play with this tool, I feel much more comfortable having this one with its safety lock in my house rather than a stray piece of needle barb laying about.

The tool worked very smoothly, and within a minute I had finished the first layer of my flower. I took other colors of roving and placed them around my completed base, working them in the same way as the first. It was very easy to manipulate the roving with the edge of the plastic sleeve before pressing down to secure it with the barbs. Before long my flower was complete. I could make out the holes from where I was punching through, I was able to cover it up by rubbing the top of my work with my finger. So far the block of foam is working well as a base.

Next, I decided to try a simple piece of store-bought felt with the wool roving. My sad attempt at a butterfly was easy to complete, but the block of foam has decided to vomit on the back of my project. I’m guessing because the piece of felt was much thinner as compared to my crocheted felt piece, the needles dug deeper into the foam causing it to come apart and stick to the roving that was pushed through. Unfortunately, the holes made by the barbs are more apparent on this piece, also because of the thinness of the felt, but that is not readily seen from a distance.

Front side of project

Back side of project with foam vomit

I broke down and bought the recommended Clover Felting Needle Mat for the next project:

Photo of brush mat from manufacturer’s website

Now I am ready to try the intended use I wanted from this tool. Felted crochet appliqués on a felted crochet background. Using the same technique as the other projects, I simply placed the base material on top of my mat, then laid the appliqué in the desired location. I was quickly able to add the crocheted tree appliqués with no problem at all. There is no drag even though both pieces of the project are quite thick, the needles moved smoothly and attached all the pieces with no trouble.

This product is well-made and well-thought out. It really makes needle felting appliqués an easy and fun task. The only drawback I see to needle felting appliqués as opposed to sewing them is the fact that you cannot use this for small children’s projects. I know this because as soon as I turned my back on my newly finished crochet project, my young daughter pulled all of the trees right off. I tested the roving to see if it was more secure and it too can be pulled off. This is of course helpful if you make a mistake as you are working, but not good for the busy fingers of a young child.

Pros:

  • Works smoothly and quickly
  • Great safety features in the plastic sheath and locking mechanism
  • Needles are easily replaceable and come in two thicknesses

Cons:

  • Finished appliqués can be pulled apart easily
  • Extra cost for recommended and needed brush mat
  • Visible holes from needle punches in some of the finished work

The Clover Felting Needle Tool is available at Amazon.com

Have you tried the Clover Needle Felting Tool, or any other similar product? We’d love to hear your feedback about them.