During one of our trips to Tokyo I picked up an adorable little needle felting kit at Kinokunya bookstore. The bookstore in Shinjuku has an extensive selection of Japanese craft books. By the time I leave Kinokunya I’m always dragging bags down flights of stairs and often recruiting my husband like a reluctant book mule.
Needle felting is something I’ve never tried before now and this kit came with everything I needed to get started. Inside the box were a felting needle, a piece of foam, instructions, fiber and eyes to make four different forest critters.
The technique of needle felting can create beautiful and realistic looking sculptures. I was a bit intimidated, at first, because I honestly didn’t have a clue what to do. I was relieved that just by looking at the pictures, even a beginner was able to make the deer brooch. My Japanese language skills aren’t good enough to read everything but I didn’t even miss the English.
First, I made a template from the deer shape that I wanted to use. I traced the three shapes needed onto index cards and cut out the center of the shape.
I found that it’s important to pick up and look my project from every angle to ensure it wasn’t becoming flat or bumpy. From the pictures, it looked like I wanted to work for a dome shape. Then, I put it back onto the template to make sure the overall shape wasn’t getting distorted after handling it.
The kit gives several suggestions for your finished animal head like, framing it or attaching it to a hair-tie. I chose to make mine a brooch by gluing a piece of felt fabric and a pin back to my deer head. I’ll wear it along with my French knot moss on a green blazer.
If you haven’t tried needle felting but you’ve wanted to, then I definitely suggest you give it a go. It doesn’t take a lot materials and you can create absolutely anything that you can imagine. It should be no surprise that I love books so, if you’re like me, then check out Etsy. Many sellers have Japanese felting books and my favorite shop is pomadour24. She has an entire section in her shop devoted to Japanese needle felting books which give you step by step instructions. I love the one with the birds.
These cats look so realistic!
This book gives you project ideas to needle felt with your own cat’s fur. Kawaii (cute) or Kowaii (scary)?
Madeline spends her time somewhere around the Pacific Ocean attached to a needle & thread while practicing Japanese. You can keep up with Madeline’s endless fiber projects at www.madelinewonderland.com or follow her on Pinterest