Introduction: Needle Felt Bumble Bee

Put simply, needle felting is making wool into amazing 3D objects by agitating the wool with a needle!

By following these 8 steps, you can needle felt your own simple and cute little bumble bee friend!

Step 1: Gathering Your Materials

For this project, you will need:

  • 3 to 4 colors of felting wool
  • A protective pad for your work surface
  • A thumb protector
  • Scissors or wool sheers
  • A felting needle
  • Small eye bolts

Note: I chose yellow, white, brown, and black for my felt colors, but a rainbow bee is completely allowed!

Step 2: Understanding Your Materials

  • A large variety of wool is used in felting, but majority of what you see (including in this tutorial) is wool roving.
  • Felting needles have barbs on the end, allowing them to catch and push the wool together as they enter. A normal sewing needle does not have barbs and will not do the same thing.
  • You do not want this needle in your finger. So, it is a good idea to wear something protective over your thumbs. Moleskin works well!
  • You also do not want to stab the table, as felting needles are surprisingly fragile and very expensive. Using a pad of Styrofoam or upholstery foam can protect your surface.
  • It is also wise to keep a pair of wool sheers on hand in case something gets too large; you would be better off clipping it down than pulling it completely apart.

Step 3: Making the Wings

  • Take two small pieces of your white wool felt and roll them each into a little ball.
  • Poke each little ball with your needle in quick repeated motions. As you press, it will firm and flatten down into a disc.
  • Once your white felt has been tapped down into ovular discs, set it aside.

Step 4: Making the Body

  • Take a large piece of your yellow wool, and again round it into a ball
  • Poke it with your needle, continuing to roll and pinch it into a sphere as you poke.
  • He will need a face at some point; so take your needle and flatten one end of his body to make him a little more cylindrical.

Step 5: Adding the Stripes

  • Wrap two thin strips of your brown felt around the body of the bee, to give him stripes
  • Poke them down to secure them.

Step 6: Adding the Stinger

  • Pinch a tiny piece of black wool into the shape of a stinger- I find this best done by pinching it into a triangle, poking it together with the needle, twisting it, and poking it some more.
  • Attach it to the rounder end of your bee body by holding sticking it to the side and poking the black into the yellow with your needle.
  • OPTIONAL: if you would like, take thin piece of yellow and spread it around the base of the stinger to make it look more natural, and poke it into place!

Step 7: Applying the Wings

  • Now returning to the wings, pick up one of your wings and apply one of the slim edges to the bee torso, the same way you did with the stinger.
  • Once the wing is securely on the bees back, you may use your needle to gently make shape adjustments. It should like more or less like a half oval.
  • Repeat the same thing with the second wing, a small distance away on the bees back. How far apart the wings are is a choice belonging to the artist!

Step 8: Applying the Face

  • Using your needle, gently hollow out two small spaces on the flat side of the bee torso. These spaces are where his eyes will be placed
  • Take two small eye pegs and press them into the prepared holes.
  • Tap your needle around the newly affixed eyes to ensure they are secure.