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.