By Guest Blogger K.C. Field
Needle felting is a fun and easy craft project that requires little cleanup and minimal equipment. It can be used to create large and elaborate projects, or small home decorations. This tiny jack-o-lantern is a great beginner’s project.
To make him you will need:
Start with your main pumpkin body. Twist the roving into a tight ball and begin poking it with your largest felting needle. Start building in the natural pumpkin shape of hills and creases by poking in long lines from the bottom of your pumpkin to the top. After a while you will get better results by switching to your needle one size down. At this point begin hollowing out the spaces for the jack-o-lantern’s features.
Your jack-o-lantern will sit upright so long as the place where he rests is flat or concave. Hollow out his bottom area and start making an indentation at the top of his head.
As you get closer to having a pumpkin in the shape that you want, make a tiny nob of wool to be his stem. Poke the stem a few times with you largest needle, just enough to help it hold its shape. Add the stem to the top of your jack-o-lantern’s head. Felt to the desired density.
Pull out tiny tufts of roving to become your jack-o-lantern’s facial features. I used black, but you could use yellow for a lighted jack-o-lantern, or any other color that strikes your fancy. These tufts should be very small. You can always add more later, but if you try to use too much at first you will have difficulty reducing to the desired amount.
Use your largest needle to gently begin filling in the indentations you have made in your pumpkin’s face. Remember that anywhere you use your needle, roving will stick. Be careful not to color outside the lines.
Once all the basic shapes and colors are in place, keep shaping and adding color until you have a jack-o-lantern that looks right to you. Remember: your larger felting needles will shape more quickly and more dramatically, but they will leave holes in the surface. Your smaller needles will smooth out the surface, but won’t be as effective at creating contours. You can make your jack-o-lantern as dense or as loose as you want, and add shading and highlights with extra roving or fabric pens.
I kept mine simple; I toyed with the mouth until I had the smile I wanted and I added additional triangles of green to the top of my pumpkin around the stem. I didn’t shade, and I left him fairly loose and squishy.