Make Those Chocolates Even Sweeter!

Are you ready to felt something delicious?  Our new kit, the Chocolate Sampler, provides five opportunities to needle the perfect sweet treat.  We know that beginners and experts alike can run into challenges when faced with a new project, so we wanted to pass on a few tidbits that can make things easier.  These tips are helpful when needle felting any project, so keep reading even if you don’t have a sweet tooth!

To choose the right amount of fiber, squish the wool into a compact shape.  That is the size it will become once you finish needling, so add or subtract wool accordingly.  The first thing you’ll want to do when needle felting is to start basic and build the general shape (i.e. a square or a heart, etc.).  Start with the wool balled tightly, as that allows the wool to entangle quickly and saves you time.  Oftentimes people worry about poking through the form, but in reality, needling to the core with an all-purpose needle creates a firmer and more stable shape.  This makes a smooth surface more attainable.  You don’t want to go all the way through, however, because your wool will start to stick to the foam and make a hairy mess!  Needle until the fiber will not fall apart and the form is not fluffy, but be aware that it becomes difficult to add surface details if the base is too firm.

We chose C-1 wool because it felts quickly and blends into a vast array of colors.  You can also use it to make small things and attach them separately, which is very useful when adding fine details.  While you can use roving, it is messier for this kind of project.

We used a variety of needles, and it really made a difference.  We used the green needle (38 triangle) for the core of the project, the purple (38 *) for fine surface details, and the blue (40 triangle) to add in the combed top merino roving. (The blue needles are often used for finer wools, such as the merino roving, tussah or bamboo.)  Trish, our Art and Design Coordinator, also used our FeltCrafts metal needle tool, because she likes the weight and finds it easier to work with.  The six needle tool can easily change to fit your project by taking out needles for smaller surfaces.

Sometimes people want to skip the high density felting foam to save some money, but in our experience, a foam-less process results in a lot more broken needles and a lot more bloody fingers!  Also, be sure that you push the needle in a straight line instead of wiggling it around.  Needles are more likely to break or bend if you move them sideways.  If you are especially worried about poking your fingers, consider holding the wool in place with a popsicle stick or pencil.  That way, your fingers are out of harm’s way!

And finally, if this is your first needle felting project- or your seventh, or your twentieth!- use this as an opportunity to experiment!  See what works for you, and keep practicing!

P.S.  One of the best things about our kit are the instructions!  You learn how to use a light source to make your food look even more realistic.  Find it here.