How to Felt on Amigurumi for Beginners
Have you ever tried felting? It’s a really interesting craft that’s actually very simple and just requires practice to get comfortable with. Let’s dive into how to felt on amigurumi for beginners.
One of the main reasons I jumped into felting was because I was tired of buying safety eyes. (Is that silly?) I just kept running out and I found myself wanting the eyes on my amigurumi to look more interesting, but embroidery is not my favorite. Plus, I’ve found that felting has saved me money.
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How to Felt on Amigurumi for Beginners
What is felting?
Felting is the process of binding fibers together using a needle. Felting needles are very sharp and have tiny serrations on the sides, so when you poke one fiber into another, it’s forcing the 2 fibers to tangle together.
There’s all sorts of applications for felting such as creating appliques, whole felted creations, or creating designs on other surfaces (like amigurumi). Right now we’re going to focus on the latter.
Here’s a few of the projects I’ve added felted elements to:
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What tools do I need?
All you really need to get started are:
- Felting needles (plural because they’re easy to break, so you’ll want spares)
- I recommend getting a single needle handle rather than one that holds multiple (see the photo below).
- Wool roving
- Have you ever been in a craft store and seen those bags of fluffy, unspun fiber? That’s wool roving. If you want to learn more about it, check out this awesome article and buyer’s guide by The Creative Folk.
- Leather finger mitts
- technically speaking you don’t need these, BUT they keep you from stabbing your fingertips with a super sharp needle, so I highly recommend.
Where can I get these tools?
Most big box craft stores in the U.S. such as Michael’s and Joann Fabrics carry felting needles and wool roving. If you’re looking to just get the basic tools and practice these are great places to start.
If you’re looking for a starter kit that has everything you’ll ever need though, here’s the one I bought from Amazon and I think it’s awesome!
I will say there’s a TON of stuff in this kit that I haven’t used yet such as the thimble, tweezers or glue stick. BUT the reason I like this kit is because it comes with 40 colors of wool roving, a bunch of needles, and finger mitts. I personally think this is the most cost effective option too if you think you’ll want to experiment a bunch with colors do lots of small felted details.
Important things to keep in mind:
Felting only works with certain fibers, mainly animal fibers such as wool or alpaca. It also works on 100% acrylic yarns such as Red Heart Super Saver. So when you’re planning a project be sure to use the right yarn so that your felted additions can adhere to it.
Felting is one of those crafts where the instructions are very simple, but it takes practice to feel comfortable doing it. So we’re going to create a ball to practice on.
Step 1: Gather your supplies
- Yarn: Like we talked about above, be sure to pick an appropriate yarn to make your sample ball in. For example, I used some leftover Wool of the Andes Worsted (affiliate link).
- Hook: Use an appropriate size for your yarn. (I used a 3.00mm)
- Tapestry Needle
- Felting needle
- Wool roving: use any colors you like
- Finger gloves
- Marker: any marker that will show up on your yarn.
Step 2: Make your sample ball
You can make any size ball you like, but here’s a simple ball pattern you can follow:
Step 3: Draw a design & start felting
Using the marker, draw any design you like on your ball. It can be as simple as a circle or you can even practice making eyes.
- Once your design is drawn out, you’ll want to pull a small bit of the wool roving out from the bunch (it doesn’t take much and you can always add more).
- Place the finger mitts on the index finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand. You’ll use these 2 fingers to hold the bit of roving in place over your design.
- Then, holding the felting needle completely vertical, poke the roving into your ball, starting with the edges of your design. (It’s important that you poke straight up and down because if you poke at an angle, you can snap your needle.)
- Once you’ve poked around the edges, start poking in toward the center until the roving is flat against your ball.
- Now you can continue to add more on top or different colors. (This is how I do eyes: iris color, then pupil, then highlight.)
If you’d like to see all this in action check out this video below:
What happens if I mess up?
So let’s say you’re tying to felt an eye on your amigurumi and you accidentally make it too big. No problem!
Just gently pull up on the edge of your felted section and slowly peel it off of your piece.
Now you can pull that bit you felted apart and use the roving to try again! While it doesn’t always leave your amigurumi totally unscathed, if you’re gentle and careful, it’s pretty easy to fix mistakes like this.
So do you think you’ll give felting a try? Let me know in the comments! If you liked this article, be sure to Pin it for later and share it with you friends!
And if you want to practice felting, why not make Prym the Peacock? You can check out this pattern for free right here on my blog.
Have a wonderful day and happy crafting!