I wanted to make a fall center piece that included needle felted food - only problem was I had never needle felted and wasn't sure if I should expect to make center piece worthy pieces the first few times. So, I just plunged right in and ... it's really not hard! It's not quick, but is definitely doable and fun! What follows is how I made my pieces and I hope this helps you if you decide to give it a try. I'm far from being accomplished at needle felting, but I am feeling pretty darn good about how the food turned out!
*wool roving - white and the colors you want your food to be
*felting needles - I got a fine one for detail work
*felting pen - this has several needles in it and makes felting faster
*felting needle mat - the one I got looks like a brush. You can also use foam.
*pictures of the food you want to make
If you have never felted before, look over my blog post from last Monday. It also has a video on making felted balls. You'll need to know how to do this to make the food forms.
1. Make a felted oblong shape. I like to save my colored roving, so I first made the shape from white roving.
2. Fluff up roving in the color you want your squash to be (it's hard to tell in this photo, but I'm using a light green), wrap your white oblong shape inside it, and felt again. When I felted it this time, I pulled it into a little more of a squash shape.
3. Lay your shape on the felting mat and add wisps of colored roving.
4. Using the felting needle pen, poke up and down very quickly, over and over again, connecting the wisps of colored roving to the squash shape. Watch your fingers - the needles have barbs and are very sharp!
5. Continue adding wisps of different colored roving, layering them until you like the way your squash looks.
6. Add a small piece of brown roving to the stem area and use a single needle to attach it. It doesn't need to look perfect yet - just felt it enough so it stays on.
7. Take your squash to the sink and felt everything smooth.
8. Using a single needle, make a line around the stem. Do this like you did when you were attaching the roving wisps - poke up and down, over and over, very quickly. Watch your fingers!
9. Using a single needle, make an indentation in the bottom (you can add a little dot of brown for the blossom end if you want) and make lines down the squash for where it folds in a little.
1. Make a felted ball from white roving. Fluff up red roving, put the white ball in the middle and felt again. I made two at a time - one didn't magically appear!
2. Squish the ball into an apple shape.
3. Using a single needle, make indentations on the bottom. This is star-like on an apple.
4. Using the needle felting pen, make an indentation on the top.
5. Take a long piece of brown roving to the sink. Fold it several time and felt it. Attach it as a stem, using a single needle.
1. Make an oblong corn shape from white roving. Fluff up a light yellow piece of roving, put the corn shape inside, and refelt.
2. Decide what colors you want your kernels to be. Take a very small piece of one of the colors of roving, get it wet, and roll it into a small ball.
3. Place on the corn shape and use a single needle to felt it on.
4. Continue with other corn kernels until your corn is full.
5. Take your corn to the sink and lightly felt it again.
6. For the leaves, I fluffed together cream, light yellow, and tan roving and felted it flat. To do this, when you first begin the felting, squish it down and rub between your hands until it is flat and felted.
7. Cut several leaves.
8. Put leaves on the felting mat and use the needle felting pen to flatten the edges.
9. Attach to the top of the corn with a single needle.
I made the pumpkin a few weeks ago - it was the first one! I did this in the same way as the other fruit - a white core, orange felted on top of that, and wisps of roving felted on in layers. I used a single needle to make the indentations along the pumpkin sides and also put a thin line of darker roving along the indentations. Add a felted stem. For the curly vine piece, I felted a skinny piece of green by rolling it between my fingers, felted it on, and then curled it while wet so it would dry into the curly shape.
Happy Creating! Deborah