Introduction: Bumble Bee Made From Scraps & Felted Wool
So I've been given the task of making props in more sustainable ways... and here is my first attempt of making a bumble bee. There's quite alot of science about the plight of bees over the last few years, hence I thought to make this insect a priority to make. More on that later...
Here you'll find a fairly easy way to make a bumble bee from old fabric, felted wool, felt pieces and wires.
What is felted wool I hear you ask?!
It's long strips of wool that you can buy online and you felt (stab) it repeatedly to make into a felted shape.
Here's a link to felt flat pieces
Don't worry if you don't have felted wool, you can use ANY other fabric piece or even paint the bee to make it.
black felted wool
yellow felted wool
38 gauge star felting needle
felt scraps/strips no less than 15cm by 15cm - optional lengths but too small will take you too much time!
wire twisties (ideally from computer product or bread bags)
strong clear plastic pieces ( ideally from packaging or food packaging, ensure thoroughly washed!)
black permanent marker pen
Step 1: Find Scrap Fabric to Make Into a Bee Body
I used some old gym t shirts that were easy to roll and I sewed 3 x twisty wires for the legs
If you already have fabric that you'd like to use as the bee body, that's fine! There's no rules that this has to be a bee either, you can create any other insect or creature that you fancy.
Step 2: Double Stitch the Wires Securely
If you don't have twisty wires, I found shoelaces also to be effective.
Step 3: Make the Bee Stripes
I was hoping to felt the wool directly onto the body of the bee, but the t shirt fabric proved to be too slippery and the felt did not bond at all. The amazing thing about felted wool is it's ability to make a shape after stabbing the wool repeatedly on the foam board.
The first pic here shows the wool felted with a 38 gauge felting needle.
The second pic is the felted piece stabbed into a piece of yellow felt that will be sewed onto the bee body.
Step 4: Use Plastic From Packaging to Make Wings
I used some strong plastic from some food packaging and used a permanent black market pen to design the wings.
Draw both sets of winds on one long strip and bend in the middle.
Apparently bumble bees have 2 x sets of wings that flap side to side, so please make 2 x sets as the pic has.
Just sew through the middle part of the wings to attach onto the body.
Step 5: Step 5: Back Side Bee Nappy
Sewing the felted wool pieces around the body was relatively easy, however I found the tricky part was to make a "felt nappy" that fitted around the bottom of the bee and have mini holes for the legs to stick out from.
Using another piece of scrap felt, I could mould the felt nappy
Step 6: Step 5: Felt the Bee Nappy
The brown felt is now totally covered by black felted wool and ready to be sewed onto the bee body, I also did the same for the face.
Just sew the felted black pieces on either side of the yellow stripe, the felt hides the stitches, so it doesn't matter if its messy.
Step 7: Step 6: Use More Scraps to Add Eyes and Mouth
Optional how you'd like to add features to your bee face, as I had lots of felt scraps, I just used what I got.
Apparently bumble bees have 5 eyes ?!
Step 8: Sew Some Eyes and Smile for Your Bumble Bee
I recommend felting wool onto felt as they bond very very and felt is very easy to sculpt and sew.
Have fun experimenting with felted wool and scraps, create other insects and creatures that are from old clothes and plastic.
I hope this sustainable bumble bee has been inspirational for you!
Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge