Needle Felted Heart Garland

A little crocheted heart garland inspired this project. I loved the sight of the little red hearts along the natural cord. I knew that I wasn’t going to learn how to crochet in order to make the crocheted version. So I decided to try something similar with needle-felted hearts.

Needle felting is a method of interlocking and compacting wool fibers by poking them over and over with a special barbed felting  needle.  If you decide to try needle felting, please be very careful with the needles because they are quite sharp (speaking from experience).

Needle Felted Heart Garland

Supplies:

Wool Roving (clean, combed and carded wool that hasn’t been spun into yarn – in this case, dyed pink or red)

Barbed Felting Needles I use single needles and a “pen” with a trio of needles in it

Dense Foam Pad

Scrap Card Stock or Cardboard for Heart Templates

Heart Punch (optional) or Scissors

Wooden Skewer (optional)

Bakers Twine I found lovely twine in a local shop but you can get it here: (Divine Twine)

Large Needle  with eye large enough to fit bakers twine, for threading the twine through the hearts

Directions:

First make two templates for your finished heart.  I used a heart punch to make a one-inch heart out of card stock.  I also used it to put a heart-shaped hole in a small piece of cardboard.  I used these two templates along the way to guide the size and shape of the finished hearts.

Pull off two tufts of wool roving.  Fold the end of one piece in half over your index finger, pull it off carefully (still folded) and fold it lengthwise.  Set it on the foam pad and poke at the folded end repeatedly with the needle pen (3 needles held together in a pen-like handle) or with a single felting needle. Leave the unfolded end un-felted. Move the needles up and down into the wool. This causes the wool fibers to start becoming interlocked together.

Fold the second piece and start to felt it the same way.  Now lay one piece over the other crossways.

Give it a few good jabs with the needle.  Flip it over and poke it a few more times.

It’s starting to look a bit like a heart.  It is still pretty loose and I want a more solid, firm shape.  Take the cardboard with the heart-shaped hole in it and put it right on top of the wool you’ve started felting.

Jab your felting needle into the wool.  I find it very satisfying  just working away at it.  It makes an interesting little crunchy sound as you poke at the wool and the foam block.

Turn the heart over, put the template over it and felt the other side.

With a single needle I pay particular attention to the center top part of the heart (the cleavage, for lack of a better description), defining it with some well-aimed jabs.

When you take off the heart-hole template you’ll find the edges aren’t very cleanly defined.  This is when you use the heart made of card stock.  Set the paper heart over the wool heart and carefully felt the edges of the wool heart to align them with the paper heart.

Wrap the loose tails around the shape and felt them in place.  Go all around the shape, trying to make it fairly even.

Sometimes while doing a larger shape I use a wooden skewer as a tool to help fold the wool in place although with this small heart it isn’t needed as much.  You can also use the tip of the skewer to hold your shape in place, keeping your fingers away from the sharp felting needle.

If you find a part of your wool heart is flimsy or too thin, get another small tuft of wool roving and wrap it over the thin part and felt it in place.

Once you’ve got a wool heart you are satisfied with, you can trim it for a somewhat smoother, less fuzzy appearance but for this project I didn’t think it made much difference.

Keep making hearts until you’ve got a bunch.

Now thread your large needle with the bakers twine and thread the needle and twine through the hearts.  I left a space of about 4 inches between each heart.  Once I had them where I wanted, I felted in the area where the twine went through.  This helped to keep the hearts in place along the strand of twine.

If you don’t have a needle large enough for your twine, you can lay the twine over each heart and add a tuft of wool over the twine and felt it in place.

Now find a sweet spot in your home to hang up the garland.  Doesn’t it look great?  Or share the love and pass the garland on to  someone else.

Thanks so much for the visit!

19 Comments

Filed under Crafts

19 responses to “Needle Felted Heart Garland

  1. So cute! Check out my blog sometime – it’s all about the handmade 🙂

  2. This is awesome too! But, I would likely jab something that isn’t felt. 😦

    • Uh, yeah. I’ve jabbed myself though I don’t do it as much as I did when I started. I have to stay focused. It’s a bit easier to work on something a little larger and using a wooden skewer or chopstick to hold the wool helps keep my fingertips out of the way. It IS fun.

  3. This is SO cute! I’ve never seen needle felting before. This looks like it would be fun and those little hearts would make cute accessories too, maybe a pin, or for trimming out a hat. Cute!

    • Thanks, Juli – I’ll be doing a quick post on exactly that: making felted hearts into pins. I made some as party favors for my 50th birthday. I loved making them but I think the size I did was a bit too big. OK for a coat but a little clunky for wearing on a blouse or blazer. The size I made for the garland would make a nice pin and the wool is very light weight so it won’t pull on your clothing.

  4. Wayside Artist

    This is so sweet. I’m going to check my wool stash to see if I have any red or pink. The stencil idea is great. It never occurred to me to use one…:P

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