How to Needle Felt a Miniature Seascape

Create tiny jewel-like pictures by needle felting colorful fleece fibers onto a solid wool background.

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Materials and Tools:

solid or heathered wool or wool felt
hot water
1/2 cup of soda
washing machine
embroidery hoop or foam pad
air-soluble marker
various colors of wool roving (brown, green, blue, yellow)
felting needle
seed and bugle beads
beading needle and thread
mat and/or frame

Steps:

1. Wash the solid or heathered wool or wool felt in the washing machine with 1/2 cup of soda using hot water. Dry on high temperature to "felt" the fibers. The fabric will shrink considerably so start with a larger piece than you plan to use.

2. Stretch background wool fabric onto an embroidery hoop or pin onto a thick piece of foam.

3. Create a rough sketch on paper and use an air-soluble marker to mark main areas of color on background fabric.

4. Pierce the surface repeatedly with the felting needle so the fleece fibers become embedded into the background fabric. Use the needle felting technique to pin down larger wool fleece shapes such as water and clouds. Add smaller details such as a sun and a thin sandbar.

5. To make a palm tree, use a length of wool roving for the trunk. Felt in place along edges, carefully maintaining the dimensional quality of the roving.

6. Create the palm fronds by splitting a piece of green roving at one end, leaving the other end intact. Felt in place, joining to trunk and leaving fronds free.

7. If desired, use a longer piece of wool roving to felt a dimensional frame around outer edges of picture.

8. Embellish sun and sea with miniature seed beads and bugle beads. Add novelty beads at base of palm fronds to simulate coconuts.

9. Mat and frame your finished piece.

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