Introduction: Honey Bee From Scraps & Felted Wool

About: G'day! I'm experimenting with making bee's from old t shirts, wool felt and upcycled plastic. I work for a theatre in education company called Freshwater Theatre, we bring the school curriculum to life... and …

Hi there - here's an example of how to make a honey bee from a household sponge, piece of clear plastic container, felted wool and fabric remnants.

Don't worry if you don't have felted wool, try using any fabrics and stitch together to make the body and cut up a sponge to fill it. Other filling tips given were using a ball of wool, old jumpers, socks and stockings.

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.

Example felt video here.

** If you're in the UK - check out Contrado

I found this great company in UK who send out free off cuts of fabric, you'll just pay for the postage.
They offer various off cuts of different fabrics, I was lucky to get black neoprene which is like wetsuit material! It can be pot luck but worth a try. Click Contrado link here.

They are even offering to sew you a free face mask at the moment, big love to Contrado!


Here's what I used to make this bee:
* An old sponge - cleaned in the washing machine. (am trying to encourage sustainable crafting hence using old sponges as they don't get recycled much).

* Plastic film - from food packaging, ideal to use a strong & flexible type. Make sure to wash before use!

* Felted Wool - lots of felted wool suppliers online, just shop around in your country and hopefully you'll come across suppliers on Ebay for example. I used approx 400g in yellow and black, it comes in various sizes in strips.

* Felt fabric scraps - leftover from another project.

* Fabric pieces - free neoprene from Contrado

* Felting needle - 38 gauge

* Sewing needle, thread and scissors

*Black marker pen for drawing the wings onto the plastic film

Step 1: Cut a Small Piece of Sponge and Felt the Wool Directly Onto It

Cut a small rectangular size piece of sponge, this bee is length 13cm, height 5cm and 5cm wide.

Wrap the felted wool around the sponge and stab the felt securely into the sponge.

Be careful not to stab yourself too!

I just made yellow, black, yellow and black stripes. Feel free to change colours if you don't have yellow or if you feel like making a different insect entirely!

Step 2: Cut Some Plastic Film and Draw Some Wings

Use a black marker pen and trace over a few times to make the wings more defined. Some plastics maybe quite slippery so make sure to let it dry a bit before tracing over.

The wings are 14cm long and bent in the middle.

Step 3: Sew the Wings Onto the Bee Body

I sewed about 15 loops through the felted wool to attach the wings.

Step 4: Cut Some Black Fabric for the Antennas and Legs

It was a lucky dip, Contrado had black neoprene fabric which is perfect for insect antennas and legs as it's strong and doesn't fray.

Cut appropriate sizes for your antennas and legs and sew onto the bee body

Step 5: Add Some Eyes and Mouth (optional)

I had lots of felt scraps from another project, so thought to use them for the face.

Step 6: Add a Smile and You're Done!

Of course optional, you can make your bee as expressive or realistic as you like.

Hope you found this helpful, it's a great way to make insects with children that are not made from entirely from plastic and is quite durable too.

Do look around for any other free fabric suppliers online, you'll surely be able to find some or even at the local charity shop too.

Thanks for stopping by!