Needle felted baubles are a fun way to create unique Christmas tree decorations. There is a comparatively small initial cost involved and it is easy to decide if you enjoy it before any big expenses. You can be completely creative and try any colour combination that you like.
For these needle felted baubles you will need
Felt Needle Tool Felting Starter Kit – this one includes finger guards. I didn’t need them but I am aware that as an electrician I am sort of used to a little pain in between the fun stuff. If you want a super cheap alternative try
40 colour pack of Merino Wool Tops for Needle/Wet Felting approx 120 gms I have chosen the multi pack as it is so full of colour and I think this gives the beginner the best chance of fun needle felted baubles.
For our needle felted baubles we used mixed colours and then carded them together. So go for a pack like these
50 Colours Felting Wool Roving Hand Spinning Wool Fiber Yarn for Needle Felting DIY Materials and you can make your own creations! We love the variety so much!
10 x Christmas Decoration Modelling Craft Polystyrene Foam Ball Sphere 10cm---White you will need these. Now this brand come without any hangers so if we want to create a needle felted bauble wreath we have scope. I will show you how later on!
Principles of needle felting
If we were needle felting animals or statues we would need a mat to work on. Usual just a lap sized square of upholsters block. It is robust enough to take the occasional needle through it and fat enough to protect your lap! In this instance we have the bauble itself. Just don’t go too far into it!
Using a medium sized needle you can see that it is graduated to get wider, therefore the thing to remember is that the deeper you push the fatter the needle is. So if we want to create gentle joins with not much disturbance to the surface we go gently and don’t go too deep. If we want to make the wool more condensed we can stab it deeply.
Remember we cannot undo what we have done in needle felting but if we make it too compact, we can always add extra fleece to make it a larger size.
Getting started with your needle felted baubles
No scissors is the rule! You want the natural fibres to knot together and by cutting it you limit that ability. So gently pull the wool apart keeping your hands a good distance apart. It is possible to break the wool sideways as well. This gives us freedom to make small scraps useful.
YouTube Tutorial for Needle Felted Baubles
You can see from these images that I have twisted the wool together loosely. Then I hold firmly to the bauble. This then creates a surface to poke through. So bare in mind that the needle is barbed and the deeper you insert it the thicker the needle. This gives you freedom to mix it up a bit. Change the angle that you poke from and you will have a lovely firm connection.
Just work a small area at a time and keep moving around the bauble. You want it to be completely covered with no polystyrene showing. I like the swirls of this wool so I am keeping the direction of my wool. I also mix the colours as well. So once it is covered with my base wool I then add a top wool. Felting sideways as I go to keep them all together as one entangled piece.
We are 100% aware that these are not perfect, but they our beginners needle felting projects so are therefore perfect to us!
Other Handmade Christmas Decorations
The needles that you use for needle felting are barbed and designed to mesh the fibres together. The wool is naturally prone to entanglement so the needle just encourages that process. The more you work the wool the more dense it becomes. So you can make it more compact and rigid, but you can’t undo that process.
No, because it is barbed and graduated to entangle the wool it wouldn’t work with smoother needles. Normal needles have the opposite design feature as they are intended to glide through without snagging. With the barbs your carded or loose wool becomes more dense and meshed together, making it ideal for modelling and shaping.
If you want to get creative then it is an ideal beginners craft, but if you want to get some of those amazingly accurate animal sculptures then it is hard! So far I have made a few dozen needle felted baubles and it has massively helped my skills with the needle, but I am not in the same league as some of these super neat etsy stars! But give it a go, I have popped a few beginners kits together which are really affordable so you can try and not carry on afterwards.
Start with a basic project. We have gone for baubles because I wanted some stocking fillers that were unique. If I am honest I think ours look better because they are not perfect, but very satisfying. We put a pack together that you can buy to get started. That way you will have everything you need with a smaller initial cost. We think that each bauble has cost us around £1. So not expensive but fun, so why wouldn’t you give it a go?