Friday, November 15, 2013

Craftastic Weekend Project: Needlefelt Mushrooms

For this weekend, we have a mushroom needlefelting tutorial. Needle felting is a dry method of making felt (matted wool) using a barbed, triangular needle. It is easy to learn and can be conceived of as sculpting with wool as your medium and the felting needle as your tool. Roving is the name of the wool that has been cleaned and carded (brushed). Amber is an amateur mycologist, so for this project she was inspired by Clustered Bonnet mushrooms. If you live in the Denver area, we will be doing a free make-and-take of this craft project at the Clyfford Still Museum from 5 - 8pm tonight. 

For this project you will need: (all materials are available at Fancy Tiger Crafts) Our finished mushrooms are 1" - 3" tall and the caps are about 1" - 1 1/2" in diameter. One ounce of fiber will make 5 - 6 mushrooms.
  • White Wool Roving - mushroom stem and cap
  • Light Grey Wool roving - mushroom cap
  • Pale Brown Wool roving - mushroom cap
  • Foam block - used as a work surface to protect your needle and your fingers
  • Felting Needle - we used a size 40
  • Chopstick

Step 1: Make stem. Pull a piece of white roving - about 1" by 3". You can just pull it apart gently with your hands - no need for scissors. (If it is hard to tear, move your hands further apart along the roving and it is easier to break.) Wrap this strip tightly around your chopstick. Now pull the roving off of the chopstick - it should already look stem-like without any needle felting. Place this on your foam and needle felt it while turning it over so it is even on all sides. To needle felt, poke the needle into the stem about 1/4" to ½" deep and at a 90 degree angle. Leave one end fluffy - this fluffy end will be used to attach the stem to the top. 

Step 2: Make cap. Pull a small amount of white roving and lay it on your foam. Repeat with the grey and then brown rovings, pulling a smaller piece for each color (brown being the smallest). Now wrap this strip of neutral roving rainbow into a spiral. The white should end up on the outside with the gradient to brown going toward the center. Now needlefelt this round shape until it holds together - you should end up with a flat disk.

Step 3: Attach stem to cap. First you can shape your cap with your hands so that it has a dome shape instead of a flat shape. Next, you will attach the stem to your mushroom cap by poking the fluffy end into the underneath of the mushroom top. Poke it all around until the stem is firmly attached to your mushroom.

Yay! Now repeat and vary your size for the ultimate cute factor. For a lovely display we attached our mushrooms to a real log using hot glue. This would make the perfect centerpiece for your next foraged meal with friends or family. If you want more needlefelting, be sure to check out all of our awesome kits!

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