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5 Tips For Beginners

I have been teaching beginning and intermediate level needle felting workshops

In most of my classes, I see my students stab at the wool very slowly and deliberately. This is fine as you get the feel for using the needle, but in order to make progress and in order to actually get the wool to felt together, a faster stabbing motion is necessary. I like to say, "Stab, stab, stab, turn!" during class (see GIF -->)

1. Stab Quickly 

2. Roll Tightly 

As you start a new piece or section, roll the fiber tightly. The tighter the roll, the less stabbing you will have to do! 

3. Use References Generously

Don't reinvent the wheel. Take a look at photos online of what you are trying to make. If I am making a rabbit, I will look at photos of rabbits from different angles on Google and Pinterest. I will usually also look at photos of stuffed animal rabbits to see how they were put together. 

4. Approach Confidently

The needles are sharp, but don't let that scare you. Dive in and see what happens. I have been needle felting since 2017, and I have learned something new every time I pick up a needle. The only way to get better is to keep practicing. Another tip is to remember that it will NEVER look right until it is completed! Once you have the entire piece done, step back and take a look. It will look much better than you think!

5. Practice Safely

Make sure to follow the following tips:

A. Stab into the pad. Do not stab the piece in the air, on your lap, or on a table. 

B. When you are not using the needle, stab it into the top right (or top left) of your pad/work surface. Do not leave it on the table or it will get lost or you will hurt yourself when you pick it back up. 

C. Use finger protectors until you are comfortable. The finger protectors have their limits, but they do help to detur many injuries. However, we have a tendency to put our finger in the air and not use it if it has a finger protector on it, so keep reminding yourself to hold the piece with the protected fingers! 

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