By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.
For Christmas last year, I attempted to make a 3D needle felted snowman ornament for my snowman-loving mother, and ended up stabbing myself in the thumb more than once before giving up. So when CreateForLess asked me to try out some wool roving and a felting applique kit, I was excited for the challenge (though admittedly a little concerned for my fingers and thumbs, ha!). I thought some holiday themed gift tags would be a fun twist of felted appliques, and I could not be happier with the touch of fun and whimsy they have added to my gift wrapping.
Stuff You’ll Need: Needle Felting Kit (or felting needle(s), felting block/mat), wool roving in your desired colors, felt, pen, scissors, tacky glue, any embellishments (sequin trim, embroidery floss, etc.), embroidery floss, needle
- With your pen, lightly draw a design onto your felt. You could also print an image to trace if you’d like. You may find it helpful to cut a rectangle from your felt for your design, so you are only maneuvering the felt you’re working with.
- Place your felt on your felting block (a wooden block with upward-facing bristles) and pinch off a small amount of your wool roving.
- Place your wool roving over the area of your design you want to fill, and begin stabbing through the roving and felt with your felting needle. *Note: My felting kit had two different sized needles – one smaller for detail work, and one larger for filling large areas. The two did not LOOK very different at all, but it was clear when using both that one was working better for the filler.
- Continue stabbing and adding roving until your design is filled. You may want to start with the edges to be sure they are crisp, but it really does not matter.
- When your design is filled, you will notice that the backside of your felt is quite fuzzy and messy looking. Use tacky glue around the back edges of your design to attach the felted piece to a second piece of felt. I let mine dry over night, flattened under a heavy book.
- When the glue is dry, cut around your design leaving about 1/4″ white border.
- Glue on any embellishments you like! I added sequin trim to my ornament and present tags, glittery pom poms to my tree, and backstitched embroidery around my stocking.
- Thread your needle with embroidery floss to add the gift tag tie. At the top back of the tags, stitch the thread through only the back layer of felt and tie the floss into a knot (see photo below). Now you can tie your tags onto your gifts!
You could also embroider initials (or names) onto the tags instead of using them as an embellishment tag! Or you could use these are ornaments on your tree! I’ve gotten more and more into gift wrapping in recent years, and I love tying fun things onto packages for loved ones… They sell all kinds of things for “gift tie-ons” in stores now… Mini ornaments, glittery snowflakes, fancy bows… This is just a DIY alternative to give your presents a homemade touch.
If you haven’t tried needle felting before, don’t worry — it’s really very easy! And a little cathartic, as you’re violently stabbing through fabric for a while, ha! It was a simple craft to work on while watching TV… I recommend giving it a try and whipping up some designs of your own!