Welcome to Crafting 101! The chance where we get to showcase our lovely and amazing guests here at Hochanda! In Crafting 101, you can expect helpful Top Tips, Tutorials, Video Q&As and more! This blog is for all you nifty crafters to enjoy! This month’s guests are Frankie & Sidney, with a fantastic list of felting top tips for you to get stuck into!
Here’s a little bit about them
Three years ago, Frankie and Sidney’s founder, Mandy McLoughlin, took to travelling around the nation with her trusty campervan, which she affectionately calls ‘Pegi’. Whilst on the road, she wanted a hobby that wouldn’t take hours to complete, that was easily portable, fun to do, and which wouldn’t take up a lot of space within Pegi. Needle-felting was the craft she turned to. She taught herself various needle-felting techniques and continued to master the craft as she travelled. When friends and family and those she met saw what she’d created they wanted her to share her skills.
Read on to check out some top tips for felting!
Tip 1: Off starting blocks, core wool and knotted centres.
As with most crafts and projects it is essential to begin with the best planning to get the best outcome, and needle felting is no exception. When creating 3D models creating a firm centre to build the model makes life much easier. Frankie and Sidney’s 3D model kits often include core wool, which is a coarser wool which felts together more effectively gaining a firm texture, alternatively our kits describe a process of forming a central knot in wools to create the basic shapes to form a firm working basis.
Tip 2: Needles
Every needle felter, whether a beginner to those more advanced will tell you their favourite needle size and shape. Needles are available in a variety of sizes and the shapes of the barrels create slightly different effects on the wool and the finished surface. From star to twisted triangle and crowns it can be quite a confusing scenario. Frankie and Sidney have tried and tested various options for our kits, they can have a variety of types included dependant upon what the finished effect dictates.
The most important aspect to consider when purchasing felting needles is the quality. It is all too easy to trawl the internet and find a fantastic deal on offer in some far flung corner of the globe, and yes they look the same, smell the same, but sadly not the same as our industrial quality needles. Our needles are manufactured in Europe, they are fabulous quality and are unrivalled.
Tip 3: Wire armatures
Your 3D models can be transformed by creating a wire armature, whether that be a full body, or additional wire supported limbs. Even beginner level felting kits can have very simple wire sections added, these are easy to build and cover with wool. Frankie and Sidney kits pre cut wire sections to ensure to have the correct size, and an easy to cover system for a fantastic felting experience.
Tip 4: Use of simple stencils
Whether you are a new felter, or someone who is established, the use of stencils is a very crafty and creative way to enhance your models. Simple felted stencils can be used to create ears on animals, leaves, even full shape models such as little ducks or flowers.
Tip 5: Presenting 2D felted artwork
Frankie and Sidney have launched some adorable 2D felted artwork kits this year, each kit includes an embroidery hoop making the felting process easier, and most small canvases from the kits can be displayed in the hoop. But why not extend your piece. You can then mount and frame your work for a perfect display option.
We hope that this blog has inspired you to pick up a fabulous felt kit and get started!